From the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, to New York Magazine, we roundup our pieces that have caught the eyes of fashion editors the world over.
Nov 9, 2020
2020 has been quite the year. We’ve seen the COVID-19 pandemic all but upend the world, and change so much about the way we work, communicate, and generally move about the world. On the flip side of the coin, it also happens to have been a year that has seen some of Africa’s foremost design talent continue to gain global attention and acclaim. Whether that’s Rich Mnisi and Emmy Kasbit’s joint Vogue Italia "Scouting for Africa" prize win, designer Sindiso Khumalo’s securing of the Green Carpet Award for Best Independent Designer, or Thebe Magugu’s rapturously received debut at Paris Fashion Week, there’s no doubt that many African designers, including some whose collections we stock right here at Industrie Africa, are steadily getting their due. Read on to discover the pieces being tapped as top tier sartorial choices by the likes of Marie Claire, Vogue, and more.
A complex and intriguing creation by Ami Doshi Shah, the Kenyan jewelry designer and silversmith’s Form earring is a polished brass masterpiece, its curvaceous form delivering an unconventional yet refined shape. Called attention to by New York Magazine’s The Cut, it is an eclectic piece of adornment and an exercise in materiality; a sculptural yet wearable objet d’art wrought in spellbinding gold-toned metal and aventurine, encouraging a reverence towards the Earth’s own bounty. Make this unique take on the chandelier earring the finishing touch to a classic jeans and blazer pairing, or add to a chic black dress and stiletto heel combo.
Ojongo Suit Set
By Emmy Kasbit
Easily one of our most popular items, the Harper’s Bazaar approved Ojongo suit set presents a sartorial meeting of effortlessness and sharp tailoring. This purple Emmy Kasbit confection is a distinctly modern spin on the classic pantsuit, a handcrafted, notice-me wonder, whose playful touches (including the unexpected addition of a distinct flap detail and tapered pants cut from woven Akwete cloth) set it apart from your standard blazer and trouser set. Wear it with a pristine, classic white sneaker to play up the set’s casual quality, then turn to delicate gold chains and hoop earrings to add a dash of striking elegance.
By Kiko Romeo
Tie-dye has made a major comeback over the past few years, and heading into winter, an extra splash of color in your wardrobe helps to stave off the seasonal blues. Featured by American Vogue and more recently in the November issue of InStyle, Kenyan label Kiko Romeo’s Bumi Jumpsuit is a mellow, blue and white concoction made from cotton colored using traditional hand-dyeing technique and woven by the Pendeza Weaving Project (a mentoring organization in Kisumu). With its breathable cotton form, front zip fastening detail and elasticated waist, the jumpsuit is a convenient, practical, and exceptionally comfortable garment, the perfect one-step solution to easy dressing. Staunchly pair with everything from a chunky combat boot and utilitarian chic backpack, to a luxe winter boot and classic leather messenger bag, we’re for finishing things off with an oversized coat and chunky necklace.
Niki Messenger Bag
Yet another top pick for an edit in InStyle’s November Issue, this leather handbag by South African designer Thalia Strates is an investment piece that promises a hefty degree of style mileage, a tote that combines playful design and color selection with true practicality. Featuring a cross-body strap made adjustable by a buckle and a conveniently detachable tassel detail, the endlessly wearable bag makes a welcome addition to any closet. Although its unexpected green ostrich skin flap is a prominent and striking feature, the design also imparts a marked sense of restraint, one that renders the piece fabulous when combined with just about anything, whether that’s a snug, grey sweat set, a slinky black dress, or an oversized jacket and jeans pairing.
From the moment Beyoncé’s highly anticipated Black Is King premiered, fans and journalists celebrated the prominence that African fashion designers were given throughout the film. But of all the looks the artists rocked, there was one moment in particular that stood out for many; a black and white printed Loza Maléombho creation. The Ivorian designer’s luxe, olive green Thila heel is similarly adorned with her signature brass mask pendants that serve as hardware, a bold embellishment that steals the show. With its soft velvet exterior, the material of the shoe serves as a perfectly comfortable canvas for the 14k-gold gold-toned metallic embellishment, delivering maximum style impact with little effort.
Small Brilliant Green Yemaja Shoulder Bag
A collaboration between the South African accessories label, designer Maxhosa By Laduma and rapper Riky Rick, Okapi’s richly colored Yemaja shoulder bag will add a sartorial flourish to a simple day dress or jeans and a tee. Another pick by Harper’s Bazaar, the chic accessory features an adjustable strap and Springbok Horn embellishment (an object that is said to signify protection and considered good-luck charms in South Africa), and is sustainably crafted from ostrich skin; meanwhile the brand’s uncompromising dedication to meticulous craftsmanship and conflict-free practises presents an accessory that is beautifully bespoke and ethical. It's an effortless way to inject your look with a little vibrance and joy, making your off-duty look feel utterly fresh in a flash.
Made in collaboration with a number of Maasai (an ethnic group of East Africa known widely for their distinctive, traditional dress and age-old custom) women, Sidai Designs’ contemporary, handmade Selena Earring forms part of the label’s first silver collection, Warrioress, and was recently featured in a piece for Condé Nast Traveler. A culturally significant creation (Sidai’s mission is one of preserving the rich heritage of Maasai beadwork and sharing it with the world), the curved wire embellishment of the earring is enveloped in off-white glass beads, while silver discs hang from short chains, that elegantly dangle just above the shoulder. Wear with boldly hued garments that set off the piece’s lightly colored finish, and show off a modern aesthetic with its root in heritage craft.
Light Blue Ilamoye Mule
Here it is: the perfect everyday heel. A fringed winner, its delicate trimming said to be inspired by the Masquerade festivals of East Nigeria, this slip-one mule by Shekudo is a minimal style that fits perfectly into the modern woman’s wardrobe. Locally handcrafted using traditional fabrics like aso-oke cloth, the slip-on style is a showcase of the brand’s standards of craftsmanship and its Australian-born designer, Akudo Iheakanwa’s reverence and enthusiasm for her Nigerian roots. The orange and blue shoe also happens to be a top pick of American GQ and GQ Style Fashion Director Mobolaji Dawodu, an offbeat yet classic accessory that serves as a fine accompaniment to some vintage blue jeans and crisp, white button-down.
Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress
by Studio 189
A simple, modern and accessible black and white garment, this palette cleansing shirtdress by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah’s Studio 189 is a summer staple that looks just as good during the chilliest days of the year. Listed by The Zoe Report as one of the “Best Fall Dresses to Spend Your Money on Right Now”, it's a perfect day-to-evening dress, a smart and versatile purchase that gives off an elevated yet casual vibe. Made from fabric handwoven by local artisans to create a minimalist, linear pattern, this understated maxi dress is ideal layered underneath a great coat or dressed up with a heel for the evening, while the addition of a statement earring or colorful purse provides a flawless finish.
Rume Printed Pants
Another piece that’s part of a matching set, Orange Culture’s marble-like, crinkled-silk pants are a a slim-legged, unisex sensation that’s not for they shy and retiring given their strong contrast of colors. Declared a fine alternative to the tie-dye trend by The Zoe Report, and designed by the Nigerian brand’s founder Adebayo Oke-Lawal, the Rume Pants are an unequivocal power piece, the type of garment that will immediately liven up an otherwise neutral wardrobe and turn the heads of passersby. It's a ready-for-anything piece that you can dress them up with a billowing blouse and chic mules for a sophisticated work ensemble. Or dress them down for a little casual weekend flexing with sneakers and a crop top.
Rose Mandevo Street Pajama
by Taibo Bacar
It would seem that chic, daytime pajama sets continue to reign as streetwear staples. Maybe it’s because COVID-19 has indefinitely blurred the lines between loungewear, or perhaps it's due to new iterations of the style incorporating deliciously luxe touches, including feather trimming and diamanté embellishments. Whatever the reason, we’re certainly not complaining. And though Marie Claire chose the Mandevo Shirt Dress as one of the best maxi dresses of the season, we’re ready to embrace the flowy, unrestrictive elegance of Taibo Bacar’s Mandevo Street Pajama. Crafted from light pink silk sateen, the garment spells indulgence in capital letters, and when worn with a pair of sky-high stilettos, and understated gold hoops or silver drop earrings confer a practical elegance that can’t be beat.
Wide Leg Pants
Featured in The Cut and also spotted in this month’s issue of InStyle, this dynamically printed wide-leg trouser by celebrity-favorite Nigerian designer Lisa Folawiyo was created as a matching piece to her corresponding Cropped Jacket. That being said, it delivers equal impact on its own given its kaleidoscopic shades of deep blue and green. Crafted by local Nigerian artisan communities, it's an ethical and sustainable addition to your closet, produced using eco-friendly upcycling practices, and a statement piece that demonstrates exactly why Folawiyo’s creations have garnered her a growing global fanbase. Considering the designers stated inclination toward comfort, we think teaming the printed pant with a long sleeved jersey, vintage leather tote, and a chunky comfy sneaker or slip-on mule is the way to go.
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