African Designers Light Up Catwalk

African designers are set to feature in the Spring 2013 collections with updated prints, stunning silk and lace womenswear and show stopping, floor-length cocktail dresses.
Determined to rewrite Africa’s story, five designers by way of Lagos and London lit up the New York catwalk in the Arise African Icons tent with chic women’s and menswear designs.

Ozwald Boateng
Long before menswear started to have its moment Boateng was championing the fit of a good suit. From his Savile Row shop, the British designer of Ghanian descent, made history as the first black tailor to have a shop on the Row.

Maki Oh
With her first New York fashion week show, this 26-year old Nigerian designer, who is based in Lagos, is already making waves. Featured in the Cut this week, and with a designer of the year gong already in her pocket, not to mention the odd celebrity fan (Solange Knowles) Maki Oh is definitely a face to watch for 2013.

Tiffany Amber
Tiffany Amber’s mission with her third New York fashion week collection, she says, was right some fashion wrongs: “African prints have been demystified. It’s gone from haute couture to high street.” So she wanted to bring the glamour back.

Gavin Rajah
This South African-born designer brought the fantasy element of fashion back to the runway with creations that were electic and high glamour. The models wore metallic visors that resembled crowns, while the dresses in shades of bright pink to gold, dazzled the runway and emulated the Ice Queen in Snow White.

Tsemaye Binitie
Tsemaye Binitie hails from Nigeria but is based in the UK and after stints at Burberry and Stella McCartney, he set about creating his own contemporary womenswear label. With his sister as a muse for his designs, the runway show was awash with structured silk dresses, in light spring colours and deep reds, wearable leather trousers and peplum tops.



theguardian FASHION BLOG Images by Keith Bedford/Reuters