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By Innocent Ndlovu

June 30, 2020

This year almost everything else may be cancelled, but with restrictions easing up and the sun shining bright, summer is still going strong. From the new-age suit set, to elevated bohemian craftsmanship, here are the trends to keep on your radar for when you’re ready to go outside again. Shop them here.


Photo: Studio 189

The New Suit

The new suit is a study of contrasting proportions, color, and captivating patterns. Think matching sets in both lightweight and heavier materials, and new details such as adjustable panels on blazers offered in less than traditional hues and patterns. Take a cue from Emmy Kasbit’s clean cuts in a variety of candy pop brights—his lavender set is an Industrie Africa editor favorite. The designer’s signature use of Akwete textile (the hand-woven material originating in Nigeria, intricately crafted by mixing raffia, cotton and sisal-hemp) often take center stage in his menswear-inspired separates. Ghanaian American label Studio 189 takes a more versatile approach to the suit set, teaming sleek tailoring and cigarette cuts with hand-loomed cottons to transition you from week to weekend. For a WFH alternative, look to Mozambican designer Taibo Bacar’s monochromatic loungewear ensembles.

Ojongo Suit Set
Ojongo Suit Set
Ojongo Suit Set
Ojongo Suit Set

Emmy Kasbit

Ojongo Suit Set

$270
Wide Leg Pants
Wide Leg Pants
Wide Leg Pants

Lisa Folawiyo

Wide Leg Pants

$420
Cropped Jacket
Cropped Jacket
Cropped Jacket
Cropped Jacket

Lisa Folawiyo

Cropped Jacket

$390
Green Double-Breasted Blazer
Green Double-Breasted Blazer
Green Double-Breasted Blazer
Green Double-Breasted Blazer

Studio 189

Green Double-Breasted Blazer

$575
Red Mandevo Street Pyjama
Red Mandevo Street Pyjama
Red Mandevo Street Pyjama

Taibo Bacar

Red Mandevo Street Pyjama

$782
Green Andy Pants
Green Andy Pants
Green Andy Pants
Green Andy Pants

Studio 189

Green Andy Pants

$375


Photo: Taibo Bacar

Power Prints

A statement print is a spirited way to infuse life into a tired ensemble, with its African counterpart —appearing in an array of cultural nuances—often pregnant with a plethora of untold stories. Whether you favour a sensory separate or opt for head-to-toe in a fearless clash, this summer is about optimism, and will dare you to brave prints and patterns that are busier and bolder than ever. We love Nigerian designer Lisa Folawiyo’s luxurious, layer-friendly take on West African Ankara (this SS’20 features a cameo from one of the season’s hottest hues: neon), or buttery-soft bombers from Congolese-American brand Kahindo. And, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try Orange Culture’s 70s inspired two-piece in a diaphanous crinkled silk.

Crossroads Mermaid Skirt
Crossroads Mermaid Skirt
Crossroads Mermaid Skirt
Crossroads Mermaid Skirt

Studio 189

Crossroads Mermaid Skirt

$375
Ruched Organza Shirt
Ruched Organza Shirt
Ruched Organza Shirt

Lisa Folawiyo

Ruched Organza Shirt

$329
Mandevo Bomber Jacket
Mandevo Bomber Jacket
Mandevo Bomber Jacket
Mandevo Bomber Jacket

Taibo Bacar

Mandevo Bomber Jacket

$445
Dipo Print Bomber Jacket
Dipo Print Bomber Jacket
Dipo Print Bomber Jacket
Dipo Print Bomber Jacket

Kahindo

Dipo Print Bomber Jacket

$354
Peacock Midi Coat
Peacock Midi Coat
Peacock Midi Coat
Peacock Midi Coat

Christie Brown

Peacock Midi Coat

$300
Rume Printed Pants
Rume Printed Pants

Orange Culture

Rume Printed Pants

$272


Photo: Kiko Romeo

The Artful One Piece

Amidst shifting work ideals in the current global climate, look no further than the utilitarian one-piece. Stylish yet heavy-duty, boiler suits and jumpsuits have made a fashion-forward comeback this season in a range of flattering silhouettes and details. For Nairobi-based label Kiko Romeo, this staple has popularly starred in many a collection, each uniquely styled (think coconut buttons), hand-painted, or dyed in collaboration with local Kenyan artists. From mix-and-match batik treatments in unisex silhouettes, to a cloudlike hand-dyed number cinched at the waist, ease and versatility remain the appeal for this one-stop garment that is equal parts form and function.

Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit

KikoRomeo

Bumi Jumpsuit

$255
Mermoz Jumpsuit
Mermoz Jumpsuit
Mermoz Jumpsuit
Mermoz Jumpsuit
Mermoz Jumpsuit
Mermoz Jumpsuit
Mermoz Jumpsuit

KikoRomeo

Mermoz Jumpsuit

$294
Barah Jumpsuit
Barah Jumpsuit
Barah Jumpsuit
Barah Jumpsuit

KikoRomeo

Barah Jumpsuit

$361
Blinky Jumpsuit
Blinky Jumpsuit
Blinky Jumpsuit
Blinky Jumpsuit
Blinky Jumpsuit

KikoRomeo

Blinky Jumpsuit

$345


Photo: Doreen Mashika

The Off Duty Dress

Undoubtedly the easiest way to nail seasonal style, the summer dress is the versatile staple offering effortless ease. These breezy must-haves are seamlessly adjustable to suit the wearer, and come in a variety of lengths, shapes, hues, and fabrics. Think upgraded florals, graphic prints, and billowing 80s-era sleeves. Consider Senegalese brand Diarrablu’s popular maxi dress, a multi-tasking wrap silhouette that is both comfortable and elegant. Made consciously from cupro, a sustainable fabric derived from cotton waste, this lightweight number breathes like cotton but feels like silk—perfect for a chic poolside sunset For a more youthful approach, try Tongoro’s all-over print dresses in voluminous silhouettes, 100% made in Senegal, or embrace Zanzibari designer Doreen Mashika’s playful botanical kanga dresses in flouncy shapes to imbue your next island getaway with pizzazz.

Bahari Dress
Bahari Dress
Bahari Dress
Bahari Dress
Bahari Dress

Doreen Mashika

Bahari Dress

$210
Mandarin Shirt Dress
Mandarin Shirt Dress
Mandarin Shirt Dress
Mandarin Shirt Dress

Studio 189

Mandarin Shirt Dress

$425
Nia Dress
Nia Dress
Nia Dress
Nia Dress
Nia Dress

Doreen Mashika

Nia Dress

$200
Amani Dress
Amani Dress
Amani Dress
Amani Dress
Amani Dress

Doreen Mashika

Amani Dress

$210
Marieme Dress
Marieme Dress
Marieme Dress

Diarrablu

Marieme Dress

$235
Pilipili Dress
Pilipili Dress
Pilipili Dress

Doreen Mashika

Pilipili Dress

$210


Photo: NKWO

Bohemian Rhapsody

Moving beyond prairie dresses and crochet fringe, today’s bohemian embraces its elevated counterpart, taking on a significantly more worldly approach via a focus on artisanal embellishment and conscious craftsmanship. In the region, these details are organically derived from a designers’ heritage and values: an artful textile often has a rich backstory, or a tactile fringe may be the chosen result of a hand-loomed woven. Turn this trend on its head by investing in statement-making pieces that stand the test of time. We love NKWO’s Dakala cloth jackets, crafted from upcycled denim and finished with hand-embellishment, or any piece from Malian designer Awa Meité, whose new fashion and homeware range are influenced by local textiles such as mudcloth.

Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest
Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest
Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest

Awa Meité

Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest

$300
Barkcloth Long-Sleeve Jacket
Barkcloth Long-Sleeve Jacket
Barkcloth Long-Sleeve Jacket
Barkcloth Long-Sleeve Jacket
Barkcloth Long-Sleeve Jacket

IAMISIGO

Barkcloth Long-Sleeve Jacket

$588
Sweet Knot Skirt
Sweet Knot Skirt
Sweet Knot Skirt
Sweet Knot Skirt
Sweet Knot Skirt

NKWO

Sweet Knot Skirt

$245
Coast Long-Line Jacket
Coast Long-Line Jacket
Coast Long-Line Jacket
Coast Long-Line Jacket
Coast Long-Line Jacket

NKWO

Coast Long-Line Jacket

$775
Point Fringe Skirt
Point Fringe Skirt
Point Fringe Skirt

Awa Meité

Point Fringe Skirt

$287
Half Ojiji Hybrid Shirt
Half Ojiji Hybrid Shirt
Half Ojiji Hybrid Shirt
Half Ojiji Hybrid Shirt
Half Ojiji Hybrid Shirt
Half Ojiji Hybrid Shirt
Half Ojiji Hybrid Shirt

Orange Culture

Half Ojiji Hybrid Shirt

$188