Bloggers in Africa are gradually being accepted as the huge influential force that they really are. They stand as game changers, fashionistas, role models, writers and the mouth piece everyone listens to. 2015 alone brought about a long list of brand-blogger collaborations; retail stores, E-commerce sites, high street labels and even designers all jumped on the bandwagon.
Ever so subtly, bloggers are moving away from wearing strictly Zara, River Island, and h&m, to more familiar names like Orange Culture, Simon and Mary, Grey projects, Lady Biba, Eve and Tribe, and Anisa Mpungwe.
While it will be difficult to deny our obsession with international labels, things are fast changing and the favor lies with African fashion brands. As girls, we may have dreamed about owning Chanel bags, Elie Saab dresses, or even Vera Wang bridals which had us all tripping, but now the crave is for something more local and easily accessible.
Meet the Africa-based trendsetters at the forefront of this new age, using personal style to express their individuality, showcase growing trend, and inspire us in ways to incorporate local fashion into our wardrobes.
Thithi Nteta of Teetee Is With Me
Thithi is evidently passionate about the state of her local fashion industry, you can sense the fevor in her words as she describes a designer piece or her motivation for exploring and patronizing local brands.
As she openly stated, “The only way the local industry will grow is if we put our money where our mouth is and start to educate ourselves on the local industry, support the local industry and consider and judge the work relative to the international industry.“
In 2012, as a way of fully supporting and buying local brands, she started ShopSA content slots on her blog, to share her discoveries on the go-to spots for cool local retailers. She has also collaborated with the brand, Missshape, to create the 2014 and 2015 Ambassadors collection.
Emma Menteath of My Life In Pink
With a must-have list that includes a pleather skirt from local fashion blogger, Brett Robson’s collection, Emma rightly backs-up her declaration “I am so proudly South African” by stylishly celebrating South African design.
As a native of Cape Town, South Africa who shuffles between schooling and full time modeling, Emma’s love for dressing up translates to a very girl-next-door meets laid-back-chic outlook that goes up a notch each time she’s spotted in African designer pieces.
Favorite looks: Adriaan Kuiters, Jody Paulsen and Katherine Pichulik ; Leather Lusting
Aisha Baker of Baked the Blog
The power of her grandmothers beautiful garments may have sparked Aisha’s love for fashion, but the efforts and endeavors in her dream career path keeps her in the game. She has led campaigns like Skip’s #MyFabulous campaign, while working with designer, Celeste of S E L F I. When she’s not busy creating inspirational and expressive content, you’ll find her around SA wearing Jenevieve Lyons, Keith Henning or Jody Paulsen.
Temi Otedola of JTO Fashion
All eyes turned to this fashion-elite 19 year old when she started her Made In Lagos series. Though she has access to a plethora of international brands and designers, Temi doesn’t fail to stand solidly by designers from her birth country, Nigeria.
She pairs both clothing and accessories from Nigerian brands and shares the looks on her personal style blog, JTO Fashion, where she also posts about her travels, beauty routines and personal projects. You’ll see her in every designer from Ituen Basi, to Bridget Awosika and Gozel Green.
Henry Uduku of Henri
Henry appears to have a budding, yet genuine love for Nigerian menswear. In an era where menswear is moving beyond the typical silhouettes, Henry is an adventurer; styling pieces in refreshing ways while exploring new avenues in an evolving culture of expressive menswear design.
He particularly fancies Orange Culture as a brand and in person of the designer, Adebayo Oke-Lawal.
Afua Rida of Styled By Rida
“Africa really inspires fashion globally“, writes Afua, “Our fashion industry is growing rapidly and serves as inspiration to the global fashion landscape”. This comes from a woman who adapted elements of her mother’s process, influenced by her Ghanaian culture and global fashion to hone her skills and open up chapters for sharing local fashion with an international audience.
After her partnership with House Of Cramer, she started the blog, Styled by Rida where she engages her audience with compelling content and style edits featuring designers & stores in Ghana.
Dodos Uvegharie of I Am Dodos
Dodos is irrefutably a style star. In less than a year of launching her blog, she had amassed a cult following that cuts across the beauty and fashion industry. It’s the way she wears clothes, with that touch of confidence mixed with impeccable styling. If you ever need a guide to walk you through chic, laid-back, androgynous and classy trends, Dodos is your girl.
Besides running a burgeoning beauty business, she writes a column for Style Me Africa, and once collaborated with lifestyle blogger Zina Anumudu of Style Vitae and the fashion label MAJU on a blogger-inspired collection.
Toyin Jolapamo of The Soho Sister
Toyin will be quick to dispel the notion that she has a closet-full of clothes, she’ll tell you that the key to that illusion is improvisation. It’s the perfect less-is-more and necessity-breeds-invention vibe that is rare among fashionistas of this day and age.
After moving back to Nigeria, she set sail in fashion as a presenter for Ndani TV, then moved on to running personal projects all tied to highlighting the works of Nigerian designers. By wearing and partnering with High Street to High Fashion brands like Grey, Gozel Green, Eve & tribe , I Am Isigo, House of Nwocha, Rayo, and Kamokini, Toyin has gradually made name as a Nigerian fashion ambassador.
Alae Ismail and Kiran Yoliswa of Styled By Africa
Fashion to these two means more than seasonal trends, famous labels, and latest collections. Instead it is about the craft, culture and ethics of fashion in the local communities within the African continent.
Their platform Styled By Africa was launched in 2013 to support African manufacturing and encourage sustainable trade, and has since grown from 4 to over 20 brands whose craft they share with a global audience. Through personal style, words and their carefully curated shop, “Made In Africa” continuously resounds.
Know any more stylish bloggers who support African brands? Tell us in the comment box below.
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