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Africa's finest designers on Carob

Africa is the fashion capital of the world, Fashion is a statement, a vehicle of expression for many.
Carob Magazine checks out Africa's most influential fashion designers who are creating trends in the international space.

Laduma Ngxokolo (South Africa)

Laduma Ngxokolo is one of Africa's finest knitwear designer and innovator of the Xhosa (one of the South African dominant ethnic group) inspired knitwear brand MAXHOSA BY LADUMA. 
Ngxokolo established the brand 2011 with a desire to explore knitwear design solutions that would be suitable for the amakrwala (Xhosa initiates) traditional dress. As a person who has undergone the ritual, he felt that he needed to develop a premium knitwear range that celebrates traditional Xhosa beadwork easthetics, using South African mohair and wool. 
Since then, Ngxokolo has received numerous achievements and captures the hearts of many fashion lovers and media from South Africa, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Oslo, Berlin and New York. Ngxokolo recently won the 2015 Vogue Italia Scouting for Africa prize to showcase his collections at the Palazzo Morando Show in Milan, Italy. Furthermore, Ngxokolo was awarded the 2014 WeTransfer Scholarship to study masters in Material Futures at the Central St. Martins and graduated in 2016.
Ngxokolo is an agent of change, shifting and evolving with the changing times and further engaging in dialogue that pushes Xhosa culture to the future. 

Mimi Plange (Ghana)

Guided by the principle she refers to as “The Democratization of Luxury”,

Mimi Plange creates clothes that are very much inspired by the modern African Luxury sportswear tradition, with an infusion of dark romance and aimed at the new, international and democratically-minded consumer.

Africa remains a limitless font of inspiration for the Ghanaian-born designer, who constantly seeks out the unusual and the lyrical found in African traditions, landscapes and lore, and reinterprets these themes in a refreshingly modern way. 

“It’s about establishing a new point of view in luxury by capturing the creativity of ancient African civilizations,” says Plange.Mimi Plange launched her own ready-to-wear label in 2010, after a decade of
working in the New York fashion industry. She is a graduate of the San Francisco Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and holds a degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. She has received acclaim for her work in the fashion industry, winning such accolades as International Emerging Designer of the Year in 2011 at the Mercedes-Benz Africa Fashion Week held in South Africa. The year after, she was named Designer of the Year.

She also won Mayor Bloomberg’s Design Entrepreneurs Award in New York in 2012. Last year, she took part in the Celebration of Design Event

hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House. Mimi Plange’s designs have been worn by the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama, Vanessa Hudgens,Serena Williams, Rihanna, Paris Hilton, Michelle Trachtenberg and Janelle Monae, and many amazing women across the globe. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, T Magazine,, Ebony Magazine, Vogue UK, Vogue India, WWD, Harpers Bazar, Marie Claire, Essence, Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan etc. 

Taibor Bacar (Mozambique)

 Who is Taibo Bacar? An incredible fashion designer! That’s who is he. As the son of a seamstress, Bacar was always surrounded by fabrics, the constant sounds of old school sewing machines and he occasionally designed for most of his mother’s clients.

His leap of faith… After studying Information Technology, he decided to relocate to Spain and pursued his childhood interest (he loved playing with fabrics) by enrolling for a course in design and pattern cutting at the Instituto Marangoni. The school, which is an Italian private institute, has campuses in Milan, London, Paris and Shanghai.

The birth of the brand TAIBO BACAR… Since its inception in 2008, the young designer has graced numerous magazine editorials, international fashion weeks and creates tailor-made dress for yours truly. He currently has two lines; TB (ready-to-wear) and TAIBO BACAR Couture, which focuses on high fashion.

Christie Brown (Aisha Obuobi) Ghana

Aisha Obuobi began her love affair with fashion at an early age. However, the real motivation came from watching her grandmother Christie Brown, a seamstress, create rich and vibrant garments. Today, Christie Brown stands uniquely as a women’s apparel and accessories manufacturer and retailer with pieces ranging from beautiful bespoke gowns, practical yet statement pieces to innovative accessories all inspired by the African culture and art. Her clothes and accessories have made a bold statement, painting the runways with a fuse of color and culture, fit for the contemporary African woman. A bold statement, painting the runways.

Christie Brown is a Ghanaian based luxury women’s fashion brand that aims to satisfy the stylish urge of the woman seeking a true taste of neo-African culture. At Christie Brown, our aim is to infuse modernism into carefully curated traditional African aesthetics that transcend international tastes. It’s about the female expression of her experience of the cultural opulence of Africa without self-compromise.

Amaka Osakwe Nigeria

Amaka Osakwe is the Creative Director of Maki Oh, a womenswear label conceived in 2010 to initiate a continuous appreciation for ‘self’ and individuality through fashion.

Designer, Amaka Osakwe studied at the Arts University College at Bournemouth where she obtained a BA (Hons) in Fashion Studies. Her passion for couture and culture inspires her artistic collections as she believes cultural heritage must be kept alive. Sustainability and ethical practices are also principles she strongly embraces. Her label Maki Oh is based in Nigeria and remains one of the few Nigerian-based brands that are globally acknowledged.