The London fashion scene is exciting, inspiring and diverse. Though largely absent from the London Fashion Week lineup, black designers are making fashion that’s impacting the streets of London and the world. Though there are many more, here are six that you should know.
Jason Boateng – Jason Boateng
Working as a celebrity stylist is definitely an education in making an impact with fashion. From styling celebrities such as Nicki Minaj and Iyanya, Jason Boateng has made the leap to designing his own collections.
Following his debut collection, “Power of a Woman,” Jason recently showcased his SS16 collection at New York Fashion Week. Jason is well on his way toward his aim of making “women all over the world look and feel amazing.”
Irene Agbontaen – TTYA
Some of the best business ideas come when entrepreneurs develop solutions to their own problems. At 5’ 11,” Irene struggled to find stylish wardrobe essentials that actually fit. So she created Taller Than Your Average (TTYA). The TTYA range offers tall women staple jersey pieces and key wardrobe essentials.
TTYA is doing a great job in serving the needs of tall girls all over the world. Even if you’re not pushing six feet, some pieces like the “I Was Born Me” tee are perfect as oversized wear. Look out for her new collection — set to be released at the end of this month.
Bella Adeleke – Mr Garbe
With recent discussions around what counts as appropriation within the African diaspora, it takes creative boldness to make art and fashion that overlaps cultures. In 2012, Bella created Mr Garbe, a clothing brand inspired Africa’s rich cultural history as well as its dynamic future and the diaspora.
Mr Garbe’s latest collection is inspired by the art of collage. The designs juxtapose various issues affecting the continent from war, peace, opulence, style and history in an exploration of how these issues are mutating the identities of the new African youth.
Macharia Brian – Chef London & Dope Chef
The ability to create multiple successful brands is the mark of a shrewd business person, but also of someone with overflowing creativity. Having had success with the classic street brand To-orist, Macharia Brian is currently clothing everyone from London hipsters to rappers.
Travel has long been a central theme in Macharia’s design aesthetic. His latest collections always display a mind that is navigating the diverse ideas and influences that he has picked up during his travels.
Elizabeth Akingbade – Yemzi
Fashion, like all art forms, can be a force for good. This is an idea that is fully embraced by Elizabeth through her sustainable clothing line, Yemzi. The bold patterns, which are the hallmark of the Yemzi brand, perfectly reflect this bold ethical stand.
Following the success of her super-stylish yet affordable Art Tops (now rebranded as the Black Label), Elizabeth will be launching the Gold Label, featuring pieces made from 100% silk, later this month.
Gbemi Okunlola – Alo’Nuko
Creating the most memorable dress most women will wear in their lives is perhaps the ultimate fashion challenge. Having learned to sew at the tender age of 11, Gbemi is making her presence known in the fashion world with stunning bespoke bridal and evening wear.
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Gbemi launched the Alo’Nuko bridal collection of 15 hand stitched bridal gowns earlier this year. With a growing number of happy brides, Alu’Nuko is a fashion house to watch.