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These statement offerings from regional design talent are a sure way to pique the interest of the continental fashion crowd in any fashion capital.

By Sithasolwazi Kentane

Feb 28, 2022

Fashion weeks worldwide set the stage to present culture-shifting designs on and off the runway. In more recent times, it appears that the faces in the front row hold as much weight as the designers and supermodels alike. If you’re part of the lucky few who’ve received a seat right in front of the action, then you know that the clothes you wear are nearly as important as what will be sent down the catwalk. If you’re determined to leave a lasting impression, delve into our FROW style guide and discover the complete ensembles that will leave your peers in awe.


1. Anything but ordinary

Black and white are a tried and tested match, and the monochrome trend permeates the style stratosphere decade after decade. It’s as timeless as the jumpsuit, whose versatility has made it an essential wardrobe item. So, first, invest in an updated classic garment with IAMISIGO’s short sleeve utility jumpsuit that defies convention with interesting cutouts and elaborate tie detailing, made from sustainably produced upcycled cotton twill. Then, play with silhouettes thanks to Viviers Cocoon Cape, a neutral-toned piece with perfectly placed peek-a-boo sleeves that provide complete body coverage. So, whether you’re looking to keep the cold at bay or in the mood to be noticed, kill two birds with this oh-so-stylish stone.

Add a dose of refinement with Jiamini’s Mwala Spine Leather Clutch, a marriage of supple black leather with a unique design element symbolizing the Mung’ung’uti or ‘spine’ in Swahili. And, don’t be afraid to double down on OTT accessories with these handmade Pichulik black teardrop earrings. Finally, not only respected for its comfort factor, open-toe mules like Shekudo’s Agbo, made from decadent Aso Oke cotton, also prove to be a suitable monotone block heel, ideal for dashing in between shows and dancing to dawn at after-parties.

Cappucino Cocoon Cape
Cappucino Cocoon Cape
Cappucino Cocoon Cape
Cappucino Cocoon Cape
Cappucino Cocoon Cape
Cappucino Cocoon Cape
Cappucino Cocoon Cape
Cappucino Cocoon Cape

Viviers

Cappucino Cocoon Cape

$1,120
Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit
Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit
Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit
Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit

IAMISIGO

Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit

$307
Black Calypso Earrings
Black Calypso Earrings
Black Calypso Earrings
Black Calypso Earrings
Black Calypso Earrings

Pichulik

Black Calypso Earrings

$85
Mwala Spine Leather Clutch
Mwala Spine Leather Clutch
Mwala Spine Leather Clutch
Mwala Spine Leather Clutch
Mwala Spine Leather Clutch
Mwala Spine Leather Clutch
Mwala Spine Leather Clutch

Jiamini

Mwala Spine Leather Clutch

$500
Agbo Mule
Agbo Mule
Agbo Mule
Agbo Mule

Shekudo

Agbo Mule

$330



2. Cool, calm and collected

Laid-back doesn’t have to be basic, so if you prefer a more relaxed look, take a cue from the exquisitely woven, mid-rise IAMISIGO culottes handcrafted in Nairobi from cotton and acrylic yarns with a whimsical, raw edge finish. The culotte arrived in the 1960s and continues to be reinvented by contemporary designers for a modern yet familiar look, artfully considered to create new and exciting iterations. Pair with the Japanese-inspired cotton and linen blend Viviers waffle knit top for a requisite touch of minimalist elegance.

The AAKS Baba Berry Bag speaks to elevated artistry with handcrafted and fraying details if you’re in the mood to continue the fringe theme. Whether or not you have a prescription, why not up the cool factor with a pair of Bôhten’s Gold Rosewood spectacles, which lend a welcome air of intellect while remaining bang on trend with their gilded finish. They perfectly tie in the ‘not trying too hard’ look you’re going for while still adding a hint of sophistication. Complete the look with a perfect pair of chunky White Fah Plus Sandals from Loza Maleombho for a look that’s uncomplicated in its delivery but impactful in its message of sustainable components and upcycled luxury.

Waffle Knit Top
Waffle Knit Top
Waffle Knit Top
Waffle Knit Top
Waffle Knit Top
Waffle Knit Top
Waffle Knit Top
Waffle Knit Top

Viviers

Waffle Knit Top

$470
Front-Pocket Culottes
Front-Pocket Culottes
Front-Pocket Culottes
Front-Pocket Culottes
Front-Pocket Culottes

IAMISIGO

Front-Pocket Culottes

$359
Baba Berry Bag
Baba Berry Bag
Baba Berry Bag
Baba Berry Bag
Baba Berry Bag
Baba Berry Bag

AAKS

Baba Berry Bag

$286
Gold Rosewood Aristotle Optical Glasses
Gold Rosewood Aristotle Optical Glasses
Gold Rosewood Aristotle Optical Glasses
Gold Rosewood Aristotle Optical Glasses

Bôhten

Gold Rosewood Aristotle Optical Glasses

$113
White Fah Plus Sandals
White Fah Plus Sandals
White Fah Plus Sandals

Loza Maléombho

White Fah Plus Sandals

$235


3. Green with envy

Typically symbolizing tranquillity, environmental awareness, and health, green can add a much-needed touch of calm to any wardrobe. Whether it’s just a hint, like in the iridescent Viviers Alchemical Tee, or as part of a geometric African print like in the Fruché Wanda skirt, a deconstructed approach to the classic midi, there are plenty of opportunities to include this emblematic hue.

Although one can rarely go wrong with an archetypal shirt and skirt combo, throwing Lisa Folawiyo’s psychedelic Batkara coat over one’s shoulder transforms it into something altogether more inventive, radiating an effortless chic that’s utterly timeless in construction while contemporary in delivery. When it comes to accessories, the playing field is vast. Get adventurous with a geometric collar necklace from Ami Doshi Shah, a striking piece that transforms a good outfit into a great one. Complete the look with a round-heeled Adiza Mule from Shekudo, a sculptural style that is at once playful and stylish, and bound to inject some more joy into your FROW ensemble.

Alchemical T-Shirt
Alchemical T-Shirt
Alchemical T-Shirt
Alchemical T-Shirt
Alchemical T-Shirt
Alchemical T-Shirt

Viviers

Alchemical T-Shirt

$270
Wanda Skirt
Wanda Skirt
Wanda Skirt
Wanda Skirt
Wanda Skirt

Fruché

Wanda Skirt

$225
Batkara Layered Coat
Batkara Layered Coat
Batkara Layered Coat
Batkara Layered Coat
Batkara Layered Coat

Lisa Folawiyo

Batkara Layered Coat

$1,073
Collar Necklace
Collar Necklace
Collar Necklace

Ami Doshi Shah

Collar Necklace

$700


4. SENSORY OVERLOAD

With the right pieces, fashion can play on one’s physical senses, creating a multi-sensory experience that is not only a delight to behold but to experience too. For example, the textured Okapi Aja Clutch feels exactly as sumptuous as it looks—expertly handcrafted with the most delicate skins, it embodies the spirit of a female deity who was said to hold mystical secrets of the forest. Invoke your divine feminine with this irresistible pink stonewash piece. Moreover, while the Jiamini beaded earrings serve the purpose of artistic aesthetics, they simultaneously emit a soft jingle that will make your presence known and have all eyes on you as you walk to your seat.

Lisa Folawiyo’s pleated coat dress, a colorful sartorial hybrid, has all the makings of a supreme show-stopper, making sure to command attention as soon as you step into the venue. Match it with a pair of silky Emmy Kasbit cargo trousers and Loza Maleombho’s Inggy Regal sandals that invoke the spirit of royalty with their sophisticated simplicity, and you have the perfectly curated head-to-toe that is both stylish and practical.

Pleated Coat Dress
Pleated Coat Dress
Pleated Coat Dress
Pleated Coat Dress
Pleated Coat Dress

Lisa Folawiyo

Pleated Coat Dress

$1,080
Adanna Cargo Pants
Adanna Cargo Pants
Adanna Cargo Pants
Adanna Cargo Pants

Emmy Kasbit

Adanna Cargo Pants

$155
Blue & White Yatta Fringe Earrings
Blue & White Yatta Fringe Earrings
Blue & White Yatta Fringe Earrings
Blue & White Yatta Fringe Earrings
Blue & White Yatta Fringe Earrings
Blue & White Yatta Fringe Earrings
Blue & White Yatta Fringe Earrings

Jiamini

Blue & White Yatta Fringe Earrings

$256
Pink Stonewash Aja Clutch with Beaded Tassle Charm
Pink Stonewash Aja Clutch with Beaded Tassle Charm
Pink Stonewash Aja Clutch with Beaded Tassle Charm
Pink Stonewash Aja Clutch with Beaded Tassle Charm
Pink Stonewash Aja Clutch with Beaded Tassle Charm
Pink Stonewash Aja Clutch with Beaded Tassle Charm
Pink Stonewash Aja Clutch with Beaded Tassle Charm

OKAPI

Pink Stonewash Aja Clutch with Beaded Tassle Charm

$630
Inggy Regal Sandals
Inggy Regal Sandals

Loza Maléombho

Inggy Regal Sandals

$145