Africa Fashion Week London 2023: Meet the Designers
By Yemisi Suleiman
All is now set for this year’s edition of Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) Europe’s largest fashion event promoting and nurturing African and African-inspired brands and talent. Now in its 13th year, the AFWL 2023 is billed to hold from October 27th to 29th, at the prestigious Institute of Directors IoD London. It will feature a three-day fashion extravaganza on the runway from designers across Africa and Europe.
Here are some of the participating designers and what to expect from them.
Abaake by eQuip LTD
Abaake by eQuip is an ethical and sustainable brand taking inspiration from Nigeria. Based in the UK, they draw inspiration from the traditional clothing, textiles, self-care, and identity of Yoruba culture and incorporate them into modern designs and products.
The brand appeals to customers who appreciate African culture and want to immerse themselves in African-inspired clothing, accessories, skincare, and home decor items.
Representing Ghana, Jemima Bentiwa Duncan’s brand Adjoua-Pam infuses old and new techniques into every project. She believes that wearing the right fitted clothes is not only a fundamental part of fashion excellence but is also the building block of confidence and comfort for the individual woman.
Adjoua-Pam passion for making clothes from an obsession with not always finding the right clothes as and when you need them. Nominated as the best student in my year group, I hold qualifications from Accra Technical University and certificates from Accra’s top design institution Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design, Ghana where I tutored pattern-making working one-on-one with the students.
Over the past 10 years, I have since set up my own studio providing custom-made wear across the fashion range and working with partners to design and sew classy yet simple, comfortable womenswear for every occasion.
As the founder/ Creative Director of the @akposokudu brand,
Akpos Okudu Nwokekoro has been a force to reckon with in the fashion landscape in Nigeria for over 15 years. Since she launched the label in 2009, the brand has left an indelible mark in the fashion scene in Port Harcourt; being one of the the pioneers of ready-to-wear category in the city.
Under Akpos’s direction the brand has gained national and international recognition; showing her collections on various runways both home and abroad.
Her label has been a staple at the African Fashion Week London for over 3 years.
Her passion for the arts is worthy of commendation; she was named “Designer of the Year 2022” by the Fashion City Awards, nominated by the Future Awards (2011 & 2022), and MTN (2011) for the “Young Designer of the Year award”.
As a wife and mother of 3 amazing children, legacy is important to her. She is passionate about inspiring the next generation of fashion designers. Over the years she has trained and mentored over 100 young designers.
She describes her clothes as Feminine, functional pieces that have been worn by celebrities, authors, titans of industry, and more. The likes of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mercy Johnson, Juliet Ibrahim, Joke Silva, Stephanie Okereke, Toolz, Omawunmi, Tara Fela Durotoye and Adesuwa Oyenokwe have all worn her pieces.
Amarelis is a clothing and lifestyle brand that not only encompasses the simplicity of its designer, Lara Cole, but also uses virtuoso fabrics, creating introspective collections consisting of cutting-edge designs and on-trend styles.
All designs are fluid, timeless, and classic matching their slogan “Sustaining the effervescent spirit of Africa!”
Their collections embody a fusion of modern, multifunctional trends and African heritage. Timeless elegance appeals to a wide range of fashion-forward women looking for looks that complement existing wardrobes.
Apparel by Mo
Based in Lagos, Nigeria, ApparelByMo is a fusion of the Yoruba cultural heritage and Western contemporary design brand, specialises in women’s fashion bespoke, ready-to-wear, and fashion education.
Bantu Gold is a Botswana-based fashion brand that beautifully blends cultural heritage with contemporary style. Committed to local craftsmanship, we create garments that authentically represent our nation’s traditions and modern creativity. Our journey includes prestigious showcases at events like Mr. Price’s esteemed incubation program—an honour granted by one of Africa’s largest retailers.
Through this program, we are poised to further elevate our craft, contribute to the fashion industry’s growth, and continue sharing Botswana’s unique narrative with the world. Beyond clothing, we empower emerging designers, encourage cultural exchange, and celebrate Africa’s diversity. Join us in a journey where culture meets couture and experience the vibrant spirit of Botswana in every creation.
Bittany is a fashion brand from Africa founded by Fikayomi Agbola, a visionary entrepreneur driven by her passion for fashion and her unwavering determination to turn adversity into opportunity. Bittany began as a response to disappointments with tailors, blossoming from a mere hobby into an exquisite celebration of African culture and heritage through beautifully crafted designs made for everyone! Our goal is to put a smile on people’s faces and make African fashion accessible worldwide. Bittany embraces family values which birthed the ARÁBÁMBI Collection: Read here:https://bittany.co.uk/collections/all
With the tagline “Be unapologetically unique,” Bittany empowers individuals to embrace their personal style while upholding core values of integrity, creativity, and teamwork in every aspect of their operations. This brand is not just about fashion; it advocates slow fashion and sustainability through upcycling techniques and offering alteration and repair services, ensuring the longevity of garments.
But the impact of Bittany goes beyond fashion. Fikayomi’s dedication extends to job creation for artisans in Africa and supporting the gig economy in the UK through the sustainable fashion sister business, KÁYÒMI. Driven by a passion for fashion, sustainability, and positive impact, Bittany seeks to make a difference in the world, one stitch at a time. As the African fashion week London approaches, Bittany stands as an exemplar of creativity, cultural richness, and a commitment to a better world.
Ehiwoman is a social enterprise and a private label with a mission to scale and have an impact. We are particular about promoting African fashion, creating contemporary pieces using African prints and sustainable fabrics. Ehiwoman originated from the need to fill the gap of providing comfortable clothing for women of African descent.
Ehiwoman specialises in lux loungewear. Affordable and well-tailored with carefully selected, ethically made fabrics. At Ehi, we are deliberate and particular about quality, comfort, functionality, and versatility. We want you to get value for every outfit you purchase from us, wear them over and over again and it still fits into the trend and seasons.
Elpis Megalio is the epitome of bespoke and ready-to-wear fashion, curated for the modern woman seeking individuality and expression. Inspired by the fusion of art and wanderlust, our visionary creative director, Olufunke Afolabi, fearlessly explores the vibrant world of colors, pushing design boundaries with unparalleled craftsmanship.
At Elpis Megalio, we believe in empowering women to embrace their uniqueness and radiate confidence. Our curated pieces are crafted with a heartfelt vision to make every woman feel truly beautiful, adorned in outfits designed exclusively for her.
Join us at Fashion Week as we showcase our stunning collection – a celebration of art, travel, and the essence of being extraordinary. Stand out, embrace your essence, and unleash your inner beauty with Elpis Megalio.
Enadia Igbin Clothing
Enadia Igbin Clothing is an African-inspired clothing brand, we thrive in using African-inspired fabrics (e.g. Ankara prints etc.) to make everyday and special event wear for the African modern woman. We cater to standard UK sizes and also a bespoke size option to celebrate modern curvy women. We are based in Lagos, Nigeria and our products are made in Nigeria with so much love.
Ethnicity Clothing is a movement that produces quality afro-eccentric clothing for women, men, and children with a focus on investing and building a technical institute for garment manufacturing in Africa.
Grass-Fields Clothing Brand founded in 2013, is a leading name in the fashion industry, known for its captivating designs and exceptional quality. With a passion for celebrating individuality and diversity, we take pride in creating unique pieces that empower and inspire. Our brand has become synonymous with style, effortlessly blending traditional African aesthetics with a modern twist. Every garment is meticulously crafted by our team of skilled artisans, ensuring attention to detail and bright colours.
At Grass Fields, our customers hold a special place in our hearts. We cherish the relationships we have built over the years, and their satisfaction is our ultimate goal. From the moment you step into our world, you are greeted with warmth and a genuine desire to make you feel extraordinary. We strive to provide an unforgettable shopping experience, with personalized assistance and a wide range of sizes to cater to all body types.
Our customers’ happiness is the driving force behind everything we do. We listen to their needs, their desires, and their stories, using them as inspiration to constantly innovate and create fashion-forward designs. We believe in the power of fashion to uplift, connect, and empower individuals, and we make it our mission to deliver that experience to each and every customer.
Discover the magic of Grass-Fields and let us help you express your unique style with confidence and grace.
Hazza, an independently owned unisex ethical and sustainable brand, is the brainchild of Hassan Alfaziz Iddriss, hailing from Ghana.
Drawing inspiration from his cultural heritage and the traditions of his motherland, Hazza was established in 2013. Initially dealing in vintage apparel and contemporary fashion, the brand has since transitioned into crafting its own distinctive designs.
Driven by a vision that extends beyond mere clothing, Hazza’s mission is to weave narratives of Ghana and Africa as a whole through the realms of Arts and Fashion. With a deep-rooted desire to showcase the untouched beauty of African culture, Hassan Alfaziz Iddriss seeks to authentically introduce the world to the rich heritage and traditions of his homeland.
House of Solana
USA fashion designer from Milwaukee Wisconsin, the brand specializes in plus size clothing by creating a variety from ready-to-wear to high-end wear.
The brand has even found time to start their own beauty line – Solana Beautè which, was featured in British Vogue.
The brand has showcased in London, Paris, and Milan and has designed a dress for the Oscars.
ÌK-PEN is a luxury women’s fashion brand based in Abuja, Nigeria. The brand was founded in 2006 by Ikpen Yvonne Akwitti with the desire for perfection and craftsmanship.
The brand is African-inspired with contemporary designs. It’s known for its bespoke services and prêt-a-porter. Her prêt a porter line engages ethnic details and fascinating silhouettes, providing timeless pieces for its opulent clientele, ranging from traditional bridal attires, everyday classics, resort and glamorous dresses.
“For the sophisticated woman with style”.
Ire Clothings, located in Lagos Ikeja, is a unique fashion hub that blends modern styles with traditional Ankara and Adire fabrics, creating a vibrant Afrocentric aesthetic.
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