As if Africa doesn’t give us enough already, some of the most breathtaking fashions and designers come out of the Motherland. While we’ve seen some brands and designers come to the US, there are so many designers that we don’t know about because they don’t get the visibility of mainstream media outlets. But don’t worry, here are 10 designers and their brands you should check out next time you’re looking for a poppin’ fit:
1. Loza Maleombho
Based in Côte d’Ivoire, this brand bridges contemporary clothing with Ivorian tradition. Oh, and one of Maleombho’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection pieces was in Beyoncé’s “Formative” music video. So yep, queen bey supports this brand.
2. Thebe Magugu
I love everything about this South African fashion designer and his views of women’s fashion. She’s confident, fiesty, and boldly confident. Plus, he uses cuts and aesthetics that I don’t think enough designers explore.
3. Maki Oh
Although maki Oh shows in the US during Fashion Week, Amaka Osakwe is Nigerian and holds true to her Nigerian roots in her collection. One of my favorite brands, it’s a simple line that shows that sometimes, less really can be more.
4. Young & Lazy
Young & Lazy is a South African brand that is all things streetwear. It reminds me a lot of nuanced Balenciaga vibes, but in a few, fresher way that seems effortless and lightweight.
5. Christie Brown
Christie Brown, ran by Aisha Ayensu, gives us modern and traditional looks, all with a well refined cut and few of upcoming trends while still basking in modernity.
6. Sindiso Khumalo
Sindiso Khumalo does something unique with this womenswear collection — it’s highly structured with sharp details, while simultaneously offering a creative stance with the colorful palette of all her clothes. Plus, she creates her own original prints and they’re gorgeous. Beautiful!
7. Lisa Folawiyo
Folawiyo’s line isn’t new to the streets — originally founded in 2005, the collection brings traditional West African textiles to a modern intersectionality of contemporary fits.
8. DNA by Iconic Invanity
I first learned of this beautiful line when I saw Bonang Matheba rocking an orange and black fitted evening dress from their Spring/Summer ’17 collection. Now based in the United Kingdom, it’s an ethical fashion brand that dresses some of today’s top celebrities.
9. Gert-Johan Coetzee
Gert-Johan is another South African designer I learned of through Bonang. Aside from making drop-dead gorgeous red carpet gowns and fits, Coetzee approaches fashion consciously, focusing on social issues that mainly concern women, among many other causes.
10. Rich Mnisi
Launched in 2014, this brand is all things “hipster” to me — arts, pop culture, film, music, and everything else. Not only is there an emphasis on gender neutral fits, but the line and collection as a whole just seems so lax yet intentional, proving that you can be fashionable without breaking yourself for the look.