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5 Fast Rising African Designers To Watch In 2019

Since time immemorial, African culture has been synonymous with colour and style and it is this unique blend of raw originality that has driven global demand for African fashion.

A new age of ambitious and motivated designers are bent on further challenging the status quo and the following are a few of them that have caught our eye;

Emmanuel Okoro (Emmy Kasbit)

Emmanuel Okoro photocredit. instagram @theokem_

Emmanuel Okoro, the creative director of Emmy Kasbit a contemporary unisex fashion brand has continued to show great consistency with the quality of his designs over the years.

His breakout collection in 2014 The Definition showed the world a whole new creative side of the designer. He boasts of a remarkable clientele which includes big names like Omotola Jalade Ekehinde, Beverly Naya, Yemi Alade among others. In 2018 he had the honour of styling Theresa May when she was in Nigeria.
In 2018 he emerged the winner of the 5,000,000 Fashion Focus Fund to support his business.

Destiny Nwadire (DNA By Iconic Invanity)

Destiny taking a bow at LFW

Destiny taking a bow at LFW. Photocredit: BellaNaija

Destiny Nwadire is a 20-year-old Nigerian designer under Iconic Invanity, a fashion brand founded by her mother Nancy Nwadire. Although her mother was a big source of inspiration, Nwadire had to transition and become her own person.

A successful feat as she debuted her first collection at the young age of 16 at the 2015 Lagos Fashion Week (LFW) alongside bigwigs in the Nigerian fashion industry like Mai Atafo, Lanre Da Silva, Orange Culture among others.

She wowed the crowd with her collection and in 2018 she again showcased her Spring/Summer ’18 collection at LFW and it was recognised by Elle magazine’s as one of the “10 brands to know from Lagos Fashion Week”.

Thebe Magugu

Thebe Magugu

Thebe Magugu. Photo credit: MG.CO.ZA

Thebe Magugu is a young fashion designer with a passion to create original couture and draws inspiration from the women who played important roles in his life.


His eponymous fashion label makes women’s apparel that complies with and enhances the everyday. He has contributed his views regarding modern fashion and South African youth culture to publications including The Times and Flux Trends.

His work has been featured in magazines worldwide like Vogue, Teen Vogue and Elle South Africa, and in 2018 he showcased his SS ’18 collection at Arise Fashion Week in Lagos, alongside reputable African designers like Oswald Boateng.

Hana Himmi (HimmiH)

Hanan Himmi

Hanan Himmi. Photocredit: Algiers fashion week

Holland-born Moroccan designer Hana Himmi draws her inspiration from the culture of her country; mixing it all up with the wealth of designing experience she picked up from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute where she added formal education to her natural talent.

Hana has lived in Dubai, Istanbul, Hong Kong and Shanghai. She has also travelled the world, picking chunks of inspirations to eventually create the collections for her HimmiH label. Her aim is for her brand to stand for feminism and elegance.

Himmi has always been a passionate artist. She sees designing beautiful dresses as her main goal in life alongside helping women feel more beautiful through fashion.

Ifeanyi Nwune (I.N Official)

Ifeanyi Nwune

Ifeanyi Nwune. Photocredit instagram @ifeanyinwune

Ifeanyi Nwune is a Nigerian unisex designer who started his career in fashion professionally while he was in the university and since then he has gone on to achieve so much more acclaim for his unique style and impeccable designs.

Nwune and his team which comprises of popular celebrity stylist Joseph Usiagwu have a reputation for styling notable names like Keith Powers, Jeremy Meeks, Runtown, Dave East, M.I, Wale, and a host of others.

Most recently his brand I.N Official had an exclusive presentation to showcase their Fall/Winter ‘18 collection to high-end buyers and influential personalities. This isn’t peculiar to the designer as he targets the high-end market for the exhibition of his collections and he sells out almost every time.

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