Forget the long backless gown. These African designers make dresses that are theatrical, imaginative, glamorous, and they’ve got back. Here are 10 African designers we want to see on the red carpet.
Kouyate is a risk taker and would be adored by stars who like a shock factor, such as Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus. He designs for men and women, and is known for modern pieces like this floor-length dress with Barack Obama’s face printed on it repeatedly, or bright fur coats for men.
Coker is always playing with different themes — you can see it in the way one collection will look worthy of the set of “The Black Swan” while another looks straight from the runways of the ’70s. Her designs are always flattering, with a little bit of dramatic flare.
Asibelua could easily dress the cast of “Mad Men” for a walk down the red carpet. She uses timeless, elegant designs such as pencil high-waisted skirts and cape jackets with gorgeous African prints.
We’d love to see Kate Middleton or Victoria Beckham in some of Nkosi’s sophisticated, feminine dresses with amazing pops of color and playful patterns. They’re somehow regal and girlish at the same time.
Tlale has an eye for the theatrical, with sweeping trains on dresses, a surprising but stunning use of metalics, and dramatic — almost costume-like — silhouettes.
Maleombho’s designs look distinctly African, so celebrities who were already fans of African prints and African-inspired clothing would be ready to rock one of these dresses down the red carpet.
We’ve mentioned Brown before…because she’s amazing! She makes incredible statement pieces for the neckline and is always surprising us with how she mixes materials such as tweed with feathers or tops made entirely out of beads. We hope to see her pieces on the cover of Vogue magazine.
It’s easy to picture Beyonce flaunting one of these fierce pieces down a red carpet. We love the sharp silhouettes, the generous use of golden hues, and the sometimes androgynous-looking items.
Maki Oh makes ultra feminine pieces with a very soft look, and often sheer, romantic fabrics. We could see January Jones (who played Betty Draper on the TV series “Mad Men”) in one of her creations.
Akib is predominantly a men’s designer. We can see the male stars with a more adventure style like Johnny Depp loving his tribal print pants, his coats fit for a king and his imaginative shirts.