As African wealth rises, so does the consumer demand for luxury goods. Many small African brands and businesses are springing up all over the continent to capture this untapped demand. Local artisans are crafting luxuryproducts with a unique African flair and finish. The designers are embracing colours and choosing vibrant designs that draw from traditional skills of textile design, weaving, beading, dyeing, and painting. They are blending sophisticated African techniques and designs with western materials to target a global audience. Here are some of the leading African brand families putting Africa on the map.
Being able to wear fashionable knitwear outfits that have been inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork is possible with the new luxury line Maxhosa by Laduma. This African brand was founded by Laduma Ngxokolo, and all of the designs represent the biggest cultural group in all of South Africa. Maxhosa began in 2010 as a way for Xhosa initiates to dress in a dignified way as they were going through amakrwala. The collections of this African brand now include men’s and women’s clothing, socks, and rugs. Laduma Ngxokolo is capable of changing and evolving as necessary, which has been helpful with the growth of the company. Ngxokolo has won many awards for design and excellence since starting the company.
LaLesso promotes ethical fair trade as they are producing summer, swim, and beachwear. The designs that are used for this African brand were inspired by the lesso, which is a long rectangular piece of brightly colored and patterned piece of fabric that is commonly worn by the Swahili women that live along the coastal region of East Africa. The co-creators of LaLesso have found that there are many creative Kenyan artists that can incorporate unique designs and materials into their clothing. Some of the unique items of this African brand include hand-carved coconut buttons, masai beading, and brass work.
The Christie Brown brand allows women to have their own personal style while also incorporating the rich culture of Africa. All of the luxurious clothing was inspired by the grandmother of founder Aisha Obuobi as well as Africanart and culture. This African brand was officially founded in March of 2008, just as the brand had its very first runway show in Accra. This African brand has consistently found success and has claimed international acclaim and recognition.
South African traditional shoes are very comfortable, and the founder of Brother Vellies was able to create a modern version of these shoes while adding embellishments made from organic materials. This African brand currently sells boots, shoes, and sandals in many different styles that are as durable as the shoes of the past. In order to know how well made these shoes really are, everyone needs to know that the original Brother Vellie is constructed with 3 pieces of leather. Artisans sew the sole of the shoe onto the upper part by hand, which makes it more durable than any nailed sole. Each pair of shoes is truly unique because of the kudu skins that are used for each pair. Each kudu skin contains different marks and imperfections, so no two pairs of shoes are ever the same.
For all of the women in the world who want to dress well in a timeless and elegant fashion, there is a solution. This African brand was created by three women in 2012 to fill this niche in the world. The word Njema means good in Swahili, so the brand name actually means that Helena will be a good force that keeps this business moving forward. One of the founders of this African brand designs each of the collections and the fabrics are purchased from local traders. Njema Helena wants to continue encouraging local trade and employment as they continue growing their business.
The intricate jewelry that is sold by this African brand has been designed using gemstones and glass beads. All of the gemstones and glass beads are woven together with needle and thread to create colorful and ornate pieces of jewelry. Jewelry from the African brand LaLoo is all made in Cape Town, and the attention to detail is truly magnificent. Many of the amazing jewelry pieces have been featured in many magazines around the world.
Everyone can find jewelry inspired by Namibian culture at ZEZE Collective. The entire collection of this African brand has been created by artisan experts from around the world in order to create pieces that tell a story about the region where it was designed. One of the most famous collections of this African brand is the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, which uses modern pieces to bring timeless traditions to life.
Gourmet brand tea has been made famous by Yswara, which was founded in 2012. The most famous tea of this African brand is the African artisanal tea that uses ingredients from the continent of Africa. The plants that are used for all of their tea have been traditionally preserved so that the true essence and quality is always available to tea drinkers. The names that are used for the teas encourage everyone to learn more about Africanculture and history.
Lemlem means hand made in Ethiopia using natural cotton. Lemlem keeps this tradition alive by partnering with local artisans who hand weave, crochet, and embroider beautiful materials and fabrics. The founder of this African brand, Liya Kebede, knew how talented these artisans were and that their work was significant to the history of their country. She wanted these artisans to earn a living as well as preserve their hard work. This African brand sells clothing for men, women, and children. They also sell shoes, pillows, and blankets.
Silver jewelry inspired by Africanwildlife and landscape can be found easily at Patrick Mavros. All of their individual pieces were created with a unique story in mind that highlights the beauty of the country. This African brand was founded 35 years ago when Patrick carved a pair of earrings for his wife. When she wore them, her hairdresser fell in love with them and requested a pair for herself. The business is run by Patrick and his four sons. The business workshops, as well as the house, the studio, and the wildlife sanctuary, are all built to look like a small village. Their website is set up so that everyone can find exactly what they are looking for quickly and easily. This African brand has jewelry for men and women plus napkin rings, spoons, place card holders, swizzle sticks, wine coasters, and multiple gift ideas.