AFRICA'S TOP 5 | Five African Fashion Designers Showcasing During New York Fashion Week You Should Know


Africa Fashion Designers at New York Fashion Week 2With a stream of shows, a cluster of invites wedged into your program, and a number of  finger-stretches in preparation for constant social-sharing, lets admit-  New York Fashion Week is one of fashion’s biggest week in North America, and one of the most chaotically- glamorous and exclusive fashion-related events in the world.

Several thousands of designers battle for a share in the fashion market, with hopes of being discovered during the one-week, closet-filling extravaganza.

With more emphasis on global competitiveness and sustainability, we take a look at five (5) African designers who will be thriving in the fashion mayhem.

1. Award-winning designer, David Tlale ( @DAVIDTLALE who is the first South African to ever appear at New York Fashion Week.

He began his career in fashion in 2003, after winning the “Elle New Africa Fashion Designers at New York Fashion WeekTalent in South Africa” competition. In 2008, he was voted “Most Stylish Designer” at the South African Style Awards. This will be Tlale second appearance at the NY Fashion Week.

2. Zimbabwean Fashion designer, Maita Marimo ( @maitamarimo ) was also showcasing at a New York Fashion Week event;  Nolcha Fashion Week which is now in its sixth year.

This will be her first time showcasing her collection at Nolcha Fashion Week New York. Hailing from Mazowe, Zimbabwe, Marimo is not new to the fashion scene. She has had her designs showcased on a global platform through the various fashion shows she has been lucky enough to be a part of. These include, Zimbabwe Fashion Week, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa, where she got voted as Zimbabwe’s Fashion Week Designer of The Year.


3. With the recent launch of her new online store,  Liberian Designer, Korto Momolu  ( @KortoMomolu) and self-titled fashion line made her presence known on Sunday September 8th 2013.  Momolu (pronounced Cut • Toe – Mo • Mo • Lu) is a  fashion designer and stylist.  Momolu was born in Monrovia, Liberia and lived there until 1990 with her parents and siblings.  They left due to civil war and settled in Canada where Momolu pursued her passion and studied fashion design at the L’Academies des Couturiers Design Institute in Ottawa, Ontario.

Africa Fashion Week Designers at New York Fashion Week 3

After working as an independent fashion designer and continuing her education at the renowned Parsons School of Design, Momolu followed her dreams and won a place on the 5th season of Bravo TV’s hit show Project Runway.  Throughout the show, Momolu stood out as a designer who embraced color and diversity and displayed such extraordinary talent that she was awarded the fan favorite prize.

4. Kahindo Mateene, a designer based in Chicago, but originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is the creator behind MODHANIK ( @Modahnik) , a clothing line well-known for its mix of vibrant colors and bold prints. Mateene, who’s well-traveled, gets her inspiration from the European culture and “Avant Garde” spirit of the Congolese culture.

The Congolese designer, who appeared on Season 12 of the Project Runway, has been featured on runways in Los Angeles, Chicago, Johannesburg and New York.

5. Nigerian sisters Darlene and Lizzy Okpo are the faces behind the William Okpo  ( @WilliamOkpo ) collection. The brand, name after their father, is designed for women who are not afraid to explore the combination of style and edge. The girls are inspired by the intermix of their parent’s personal style with American culture.


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Disrupting Narratives & Creating Communities In Style

Cut off (verb): the act of stopping the movement or supply of something.

Cut off (adverb): the time when something must be done or completed.

Cutoffs (noun): short pants that are made from long pants by cutting off the legs at the knees or higher.