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For the past decade African fashion has been strutting its stuff on the global catwalk. It's a development that's hard to miss since the fashions of Africa are bright, creative and unique. Its rise in popularity has built a creative confidence, inspiring a larger number of talented designers hailing from every nation in Africa. With new blood comes new ideas that bring a new take on sustainable, and sought after luxury fashions within Africa, redefining the the industry of luxury with their artisanal heritage and authentic stories. As we all know, Africa is a big place, so for today let's narrow the focus to the luxurious fashions coming from East Africa and the talented designers and brands behind them.
Born in Nigeria but eventually moving to Kenya in 2005, Adele Dejak and her team create a stunning line of jewelry inspired by the rich culture of Kenya, and Africa as a whole. Turning her name into a brand and pushing her line forward, Adele developed her aesthetic when she was young, making jewelry for herself by experimenting with horns and brass.
Now the Adele Dejak brand handcrafts a luxurious line of jewelry in the heart of Kenya, using environmental-friendly materials, materials that many different African tribes would use to make jewelry, trinkets and ornaments in the past.
ZAAF, an internationally known name founded and based in Ethiopia, is a collection of luxury leather goods and accessories—handbags, wallets, scarves and more. The name ZAAF means tree in Amharic, the idea being ZAAF is rooted in its prominent Ethiopian history and culture, which they embody by having all their goods be handcrafted by local artisans in Ethiopia. ZAAF's design is inspired by cultural relics, having color, texture and ageless patterns made on a traditional loom, allowing the deep rooted heritage of Ethiopia to be expressed in a modern medium.
The founder and creative director Abai Schulze was born in Wollo, a province in Ethiopia. Starting in an orphanage in Addis Ababa, she traveled to the U.S, around the world, and back to Ethiopia. Committed to using her combined talents of economics and fine arts she is dedicated to opening paths of opportunity for other artisans and designers from Africa.
Established in 2008, Naledi Fashion House is an independent design company based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and was created by it's CEO and creative director, Kemi Kalikawe. As an interior designer by trade, Kemi is inspired by all forms of design which allowed her to seamlessly transition into the world of fashion.
Every collection is exclusively designed by Kemi Kalikawe herself (excluding a few designs made by her students at Naledi Fashion Incubator, of which she is also a founder). Naledi Fashion House makes modern, ready-to-wear, Afro-urban clothing and accessories for women and children, and is consistently made with Tanzania's national fabric, the Khanga, in addition with other African fabrics like Kitenge and Ankara.