Our advisory board brings together outstanding figures in the African fashion industry, including entrepreneurs, consultants, curators and founders renowned for excellence in their respective fields.
Omoyemi Akerele is widely regarded as the driving force behind Nigeria’s flourishing fashion scene.
Akerele is a Nigerian founder and the Artistic Director of Style House Files, a fashion business development company that primarily focuses on the creative and commercial growth of the African fashion industry. Akerele founded the internationally acclaimed Lagos Fashion Week, one of the continent’s leading designer platforms. Named multiple times on The Business of Fashion’s #BoF500, Akerele also launched Fashion Focus in partnership with the British Council to propel the careers of Africa’s most promising young designers.
Sunny Dolat is an independent fashion curator, cultural producer and creative director from Kenya.
Dolat is ushering in a new age for Kenyan fashion with multiple groundbreaking projects. Founding The Nest Collective in 2012, a platform to showcase film, fashion, the visual arts and music, it became a gathering place for young and emerging creators in Nairobi. Dolat also co-founded the HEVA Fund, dedicated to supporting emerging artists in the fields of fashion, art, and music. Dolat’s projects provoke dialogue, on everything from infrastructure of the regional fashion industry, to his most recent book Not African Enough that interrogates what exactly qualifies as ‘authentically African’, featuring emerging Kenyan designers contributing to the shifting aesthetic of Kenya.
Roberta Annan is a Ghanaian businesswoman and champion for the African creative industry.
Annan is a founder and director, passionate about developing business opportunities for women. She founded the African Fashion Foundation in 2014 to empower female designers, its investment arm Frallain Group investing in African brands with social impact. Annan has several leadership awards such as the ‘20 under 40 Influential Business Leaders in Ghana’ and ‘Feminine Ghana Achievement Awards’, and has been entered into the African Leadership Hall of Fame, a testament to her outstanding professional achievements. She is the co-founder and Managing Partner of the Impact Fund for African Creatives — a 100 million Euro fund that invests in creative businesses across Africa. Annan is also an avid philanthropist.
Hanneli is a South African retailer and advocate of ethical and sustainable practices.
Rupert is the founder of Merchants on Long, a Cape-Town based pioneer of African-born luxury retail that curates and sells a selection of luxury, artisanal products. Rupert is also the founder and creative director of Okapi, a sustainable handbag and accessories label. Rupert’s accolades include membership to The BoF500 community; she was also appointed to World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and is a trustee of the South African children’s charity IMIBALA. Recently appointed to the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, Rupert has gained considerable respect as an advocate for sustainability in the African fashion industry.
Vika Shipalana is a South African luxury connoisseur and entrepreneur.
Shipalana is the founder of VBS Luxury Group — a consultancy firm that specializes in creating bespoke ‘money can’t buy experiences’. With over 15 years of experience working closely with iconic liquor brands Perrier Jouet Champagne and Grey Goose Vodka, and international brands Jo Malone, Prada and Cartier amongst others. Shipalana collaborates with brands to personalize their offering beyond their product. Shipalana works to champion ‘African-born’ luxury designers — continuing to be a voice for sustainability and luxury on the continent.
Alexander Julian Gibbson
Alexander Julian Gibbson is a Nigerian-American creative content specialist.
Gibbson is a visual artist and global ambassador for African style, with a cutting-edge reputation as a style, travel and culture editor. The New York-based visual artist creates aesthetically charged content, as a stylist and director his sartorial approach to fashion fuses contemporary looks with African cultural heritage. Since 2010, Gibbson has worked with international brands and publications such as Nike, Vogue Magazine, Coca-Cola, XXL, Atlantic Records, FLAUNT Magazine, GQ Magazine, FENDI and more, both as a creative director and stylist working for Nigerian musician, Patoranking.