At OnoBello we love fashion to say the very least! So today as part of Women’s History Month and in celebration of International Women’s Day we are honoring few powerful women who have huge status in the African fashion industry and each of whom is an inspiration to us for their business savvy and style alike!
Nike Davies Okundaye
Legendary Nigerian textile designer and art curator, Nike Davies Okundaye is one of the internationally known and renowned female artists from Africa. The veteran textile designer brings a vivid imagination as well as a wealth of history and tradition regulating the production of adire (traditional Yoruba hand painted cloth).
Lola Faturoti is a fashion designer who has an extensive experience in the world of fashion. In the early 1990s, she moved to New York where she started her career in the fashion industry. Her love for fashion derives from childhood, precisely, from her grandmother, who was also a fashion designer.
Fashion designer, Folake Coker first entered the world of fashion in 1996 when she designed a collection for herself upon returning to Nigeria to start Law School. Today she serves as the creative director of Tiffany Amber, a world-famous iconic label.
With top models, A-List celebrities and famous society personalities making up her clientele lists, Deola Sagoe is arguably the most celebrated haute couture fashion designer from Nigeria. She has attained and maintained an internationally accepted brand.
Marianne Fassler is one of South Africa’s preeminent fashion designers. Based in Johannesburg, Marianne has spent almost four decades in the fashion business. She owns a diverse creative workshop, Leopard Frock which offers garments to suit a busy lifestyle, custom made special occasion wear and highly crafted wedding dresses.
Betty Irabor is a renowned Nigerian media mogul. She is the founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Genevieve Magazine, a leading fashion and lifestyle magazine in Africa. Aunty Betty as fondly called by many has paved way for other female publishers over the years. In 2011, she was honoured by the Association of Professional Women Bankers as the most accomplished female publisher.
Known as a forerunner of contemporary fashion in Africa, Zizi Cardow is one of the Nigerian fashion designers to begin a revolution for African fabrics with a view to globalization, resulting in a growing patronage in ethnic fabric.
Lanre Da Silva Ajayi
Lanre da Silva Ajayi is considered to be one of Nigeria’s leading couturiers. The young designer has not only managed to carve a name for herself in high fashion but her Mid-20th century and Victorian era-inspired style is a favourite of many public figures both locally and internationally.
Reni Folawiyo is the Nigerian founder and CEO of ALARA, a luxury Lagos-based concept store that has rapidly become a fashion destination for Nigerians and westerners alike. The store’s approach and international buy makes her boutique both a destination and leader in her booming native market.
Adenike ‘Nike’ Ogunlesi
Fashionprenuer, Adenike Ogunlesi started out modestly in 1996 selling the clothes she made from the boot of her car and in bazaars. She is the founder of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, a children’s clothing brand with the reputation for being one of the top throughout West Africa.
There’s no doubt that Amaka Osakwe is one of the biggest successful designers to come out of Nigeria’s burgeoning fashion scene. Her iconic label, Maki Oh have been recognized by US former First Lady Michelle Obama, Lupita Nyong’o, Solange Knowles and so many others.
Ivorian designer, Loza Maléombho at age 13 found interest in fashion while designing for her mother, her aunts and her own school uniforms. In 2000, she moved to the United States where she interned for famous designers and eventually launched her own eponymous label which has helped in putting Africa in the frontier ever since.
Having originally trained as a lawyer, Lisa came to fashion with no formal training. She founded two labels, Lisa Folawiyo and Jewel by Lisa which has spearheaded the movement of Nigerian designers achieving international recognition for their work. Lisa makes traditional African prints which have featured in Vogue Italia and are stocked in Selfridges.
Oyindamola Honey Ogundeyi
Honey Ogundeyi is a serial technology entrepreneur and founder of Fashpa.com, an ecommerce platform for African Fashion. The platform connects global buyers to small and medium sized fashion brands and artisans across Africa. She is widely recognised as the pioneer of fashion online retail in Nigeria and is one of the luminaries shaping Africa’s technology sector.
Senegalese designer, Sarah Diouf is one of the African creatives taking the media and fashion world by storm. The self-identified “child of Africa” is the creative genius behind Tongoro, a ready-to-wear fashion label based in Dakar, and Noir Magazine, a lifestyle magazine for black women.
Nkhensani Nkosi is one of the famous voices from South Africa: fashion designer, entrepreneur, television personality and lauded actress. Her distinctive Stoned Cherrie fashion label was born when she recognised that the urban energy that exists on the continent was not being branded and packaged into products.
Photo Credit: Getty
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