Rob Sheppard/Catwalk Capture
Africa on the Catwalk brings you a few designers who live and breathe the culture and are at the forefront of showing the world the many creative takes on a continent and its culture that is varied, exciting and life defining.
Kezia Frederick (UK/St Lucia)
Kezia Frederick is a London based fashion and textile designer, specialising in silk screening and digital print. Being of mixed heritage British and St.Lucian, Kezia is interested in relaying this fusion of cultures in her work by continually exploring the theme of ‘dual heritage.’ Having worked with Jeremy Scott in LA, Suno in New York, and Zandra Rhodes in London she is hoping to officially launch her own brand in 2012, specialising. Since graduating she has shown her AW12 collection at ARISE Magazine Fashion Week 2012 in Lagos. Her debut collection was greatly influenced by the mesh of London cultures especially Nigerian
Bestow Elan (Ghana/ UK)
The designer behind this label; Erzumah Ackerson; is a former London College of Fashion graduate and assistant to fashion designer; Jonathon Saunders. She draws her inspiration from both classic and vintage stimuli, as well as influences from her Ghanaian heritage. Her garments are often described as timeless, feminine and chic. Having showcased at the V&A museum, La Geneve North, the much coveted Arise Magazine fashion week in Lagos, Nigeria and featured in Grazia Magazine, US based lifestyle website Clutch Magazine and Africa's largest TV network Studio 53. Bestow Elan is quickly rising as one of the Uk's and Ghana's prominent fashion stars.
Chichia London (Tanzania /UK)
London based designer Christine Mhando a graduate from Kent University launched the label that bears her childhood nickname, Chichia in 2007 and has been recognised as an international African designer who modernises and transforms traditional illustrative East African textiles into stylish womens wear. Tanzanian-born Mhando, created a ready-to-wear range that is an amalgamation of both continents and cultures from which the designer was raised. The label's signature transpires from the artful application of the 'Khanga'; a traditional East African, cotton printed fabric used by local women as wraps. The brand has been shown during London Fashion Week (off-schedule), Swahili Fashion week, and ARISE Magazine fashion week.
Eki Orleans (Nigeria/UK)
A self-taught designer and the creative force behind the brand; Hazel Aggrey-Orleans was born in Germany, raised in Nigeria and educated in London where she currently resides. This diverse mix of cultures has strongly influenced Hazel's design aesthetic as she draws inspiration from all of her cultural experiences, but the most notable from her West African heritage. This forms the foundation of her brand's identity and spirit. In Nigeria, the name 'Eki' means 'centre of attraction' which is a natural consequence of wearing an Eki Orleans creation. Hazel's fondness of West African prints has made her reinterpret the traditional designs that are typically printed on cotton, to create more unique prints on silk fabric.
The collections are matched with the following selection of accessory designers: Mo saïque, Mifani, Aiyda, Zebra Living, Joansu and Ugos Boutique.
Africa on the catwalk in collaboration with creative director and show producer Ola Shobowale of infinite beauty factory and Sabrina Henry, fashion director at Arise Magazine showcase five, talented designers who originate from the continent or are inspired by its rich cultural heritage.
Photo Credit: Rob Sheppard/Catwalk Capture