The fashion map continues to be redrawn with the new inclusion of design communities from around the world. Overflowing with talent, yearning for investment, Africa as a continent stands on the brink of an economic surge. There seems to be a resolute spirit of turning challenges into opportunities. Lack of working factories? Countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, and Kenya have stepped up to the plate offering traditional large scale manufacturing along with artisanal craftsmanship. No formal retail structure? E-commerce is booming with sites like Oxosi & Kisua, connecting consumers around the world with African designers. And with Sub-Saharan Africa reputation growing as one of the leading expanding economies with $31 billion spending potential and slowly but surely stabilizing infrastructures, it’s fit that it seems ready to step into the spotlight.
When we traveled to Lagos last year for the Lagos Fashion and Design Week we saw a selection of the best that the continent had to offer in design talent. 70 designers displayed their latest vision for Spring/Summer 2016 shows in the busy commercial capital and provided an eclectic range of inspiration and expertise. Coming back newly energized by the lush colors and surprising details, Models.com set on to connect the dots between the established and the new generation, giving a spotlight to a chosen few. For this exclusive shoot, photographer Ed Singleton wonderfully captures the spirit with vivid portraiture while stylist Solange Franklin playfully takes on the mission to feature designers that have ties to Africa- whether overtly or covertly. The result was a wondrous display of structured flair amazingly displayed by seasoned beauties South Sudanese, Ajak Deng and Angolan, Maria Borges.
Take an exclusive look below to see just what Africa has to offer.
Jumpsuit: Meena, Shoes: Brother Vellies, Bags: Tree Fairfax, Vintage Glasses: Linda Derector, Choker: Needle & Thræd, Neckerchief: Post-Imperial
Dress: Omer Asim, Shoes: Richard Braqo, Necklace:Osei Duro, Cuffs: Almasika
Jumpsuit: Tsemaye Binitie, Choker: Needle & Thræd, Earrings and bracelets: Third Crown, Vintage Glasses: Linda Derector
On Maria – Top: Washington Roberts, Pants: Tsemaye Binitie, Shoes: Brother Vellies, Earrings, Dog Tag Necklace, Choker, Bracelets on right hand: Third Crown, Silver Bracelet on left hand : Almasika | On Ajak – Jumpsuit: Tsemaye Binitie, Shoes: Brother Vellies, Choker: Needle & Thræd, Earrings and bracelets: Third Crown, Vintage Glasses: Linda Derector
Top & Skirt: Re’, Shoes: Brother Vellies, Green Waist Bag: Tree Fairfax for Orange Culture, Fringed Bag: Nomad Vintage NYC, Necklace: Vintage
Shirt worn as dress: Kenneth Ize, Vintage Glasses: Linda Derector, Choker: Needle & Thræd, Necklace: Azubike Ononye for Orange Culture
Shirt worn as dress: Kenneth Ize, Shoes: Brother Vellies, Vintage Glasses: Linda Derector, Choker: Needle & Thræd, Necklace: Azubike Ononye for Orange Culture
Dress: GREY, Shoes: Shem Paronelli Studios for Kenneth Ize