African designers Lukhanyo Mdingi, Jennifer Mulli of Jiamini, Margaux Rosita of Margaux Wong, Mohamed Awale of Suave Kenya and Louise Sommerlatte of Hamaji, presented their SS22 collections during Paris Fashion Week through the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), a program which introduces new designers to an international market. Ranging from jewelry, ready-to-wear, and accessories, the EFI designers were mentored and supported by leading industry veterans, including EFI Head and Founder Simone Cipriani, Hirofumi Kurino, a co-founder of United Arrows, and actress Dakore Egbuson-Akande. Since the completion of the program, the sustainable fashion brands are on their way to a bright future that heralds their African heritage and their continent’s specular craftsmanship and designs. Their contemporary artistry fused with artisanal and ancient techniques redefined the term “made in Africa.”
Designer Name: Louise Sommerlatte
Based: Kilifi, Kenya
Collection Inspiration: The Hamaji Sailing Home collection encompasses the elements of both the land and the sea, plus the contours and colors of the ocean on Kenya’s East Coast.
Designer Name: Jennifer Mulli
Based: Nairobi, Kenya
Collection Inspiration: The brand’s Mung’ung’uti collection is an exploration of the spine as a compelling organic form, a grounding foundational structure and as a symbol of the backbone of life.
Designer Name: Margaux Rusita
Based: Bujumbura, Burundi
Collection Inspiration: Rusita’s Daisy capsule collection is an ode to one of nature’s most resilient flowers. It features daisy-shaped and abstracted petal-based designs in the brand’s signature horn and brass combination.
Designer Name: Lukhanyo Mdingi
Based: Cape Town, South Africa
Collection Inspiration: South African visual artist Jeanne Gaigher collaborated with the brand on some of its select unique hand-dyed organic cotton pieces .
Designer Name: Mohamed Awale
Based: Nairobi, Kenya
Collection Inspiration: Workwear staples (Nairo backpack and Hali messenger bag) to off-duty companions (the Ronga weekender and Westy crossbody bag) for your portfolio of everyday needs.
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