There’s some awesome women designers entering the fray and/or spreading their wings internationally from within Africa and the diaspora We wanted to spotlight these amazing women-led fashion brands, their stories of globalcreating and impact, and of course, their awesome designs. Check our Instagram and Twitter @globalcreating to enter a giveaway of clothes from these amazing designers.
Onion by Whitney Mero
Onion specializes in “beautifully effortless clothes that feel like lotion.” Even this may be an understatement because Onion’s fans swear these are legit goddess apparel. They combine extremely breathable fabrics with impeccable cuts that are actually conceptualized by a woman for women. The perfect balance of figure skimming, embracing, bending and flowing to optimize the silhouette and make the wearer feel like an honest-to-goodness diva.
Serene yet chaotic; untouched yet urban; ancient yet modern, dreamy yet very real, rich, poor, old, new, sacred, sexy, wise, fast and funny – Africa: cannot be contained. Since its birth, Bantu has been Made In Africa, by Africans, sustainably & fairly, and that will never change. With over 1 billion people, more than half under 20 years of age – Africa today is quite literally the future of the world – and the future of the world is made in Africa.
Inspired by Africa’s transition from Dark Continent to Bearer of Light, tales of the mermaid goddess of oceans Mami Wata, and a passion for surfing, Bantu was created by merging the rich history of African art and textiles with Africa’s deeply rooted surf culture. Bantu uses traditional processes and works exclusively with local vendors and artisans in Africa to make quality products that are functional and authentic for surfers, urban nomads and afro-punks.
LaLesso is a luxury African fashion and lifestyle brand. It supports entirely transparent, sustainable, eco and ethical production facilities in Kenya and south Africa. Co-creators Alice Heusser and Olivia Kennaway seek inspiration from the vibrant east African khanga cloth in the print rich designs. The exclusively summer label engulfs an effortless sense of freedom through it’s classic yet uniquely distinguishable silhouettes. In addition to production being carbon-zero, operations are hinged upon the training, upskilling and employment of local women and youth, at fair wages.
Unlike the others, Gbekembe signature dresses grow with your girl lasting for 3-5 years. Their dresses are artisanally made, using 100% cotton with traditional fabrics. They actually partner with workshops run by local seamstresses/ women entrepreneurs across to produce each line. Gbekembe provides the design, cut and standardization (as well as marketing) while the partners in Ghana customize with signature touches. In addition to excellent fabric quality and eye-catching prints, Gbekembe’s hallmark is time-resistant design that will fit young girls as they grow.
While each of these brands assumes a different ethos but there you will be sure to enjoy the dynamic play of color and print, easy wear fabrics, and layerable designs. These designers have created looks inspired by the diaspora perfect for your office the tropics or a resort getaway. Hope you enjoy our picks to rock on your next trip or to gift your favorite little girl.