Celebrating Africa Day: Designers you should know Ishmael Zargue’sia

TODAY we celebrate Africa Day.

This day is celebrated annually in various countries on the African continent and across the globe.

The theme for this year’s Africa Day is “Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa”. The 2024 Africa Day Celebration will also focus on women in agriculture.

To commemorate this day, we take a look at prominent African designers you should know.

Claude Kameni (Cameroon)

At just 29, Kameni is one of the best fashion designers.

She was born in Cameroon and moved to the United States with her family when she was just eight years old.

She started sewing when she was 17, and years later, she has dressed the likes of former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi and multi-award-winning actress Viola Davis.

She is the designer behind the mermaid dress that Tunzi wore at the Miss Universe prelims.

She also dressed Davis at the 2021 Golden Globes Awards.

Kameni also made the jaw-dropping Ankara dress that Nomzamo Mbatha (Princess Mirembe) wore when she married Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler) in Coming 2 America.

Ituen Basi (Nigeria)

Ituen Basi

From Nigeria is Basi, who is known for her use of Ankara wax print fabric.

The multi-award-winning designer has cemented herself in the fashion industry- having designed costumes for the musicals Coloured Girls, ‘HearWord’ and ‘Saro the Musical’.

She has dressed Naomi Campbell and has showcased at Arise Magazine Fashion Week, AFI Fashion Week and Lagos Fashion Week, to name but a few.

Masa Mara (Rwanda)

Founded by Eli Amza Gold in 2013, Masa Mara is an Haute Africa brand from Rwanda that produces traditional and modern African designs.

Masa Mara has showcased at Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2018, Design Indaba 2019, the Rugby Trophy Tour of 2019, the prestigious Sun Met in 2020.

Maxhosa Africa (South Africa)

When Laduma Ngxokolo founded his brand in 2012, he knew that he wanted it to be one of the best fashion brands in Africa and across the globe.

The award-winning designer draws inspiration from his Xhosa culture, and that’s where the brand name comes from. His unique designs showcase the beauty, culture, language and aspiration of the Xhosa people. Maxhosa has showcased at New York Fashion Week and has designed costumes for the American sequel, Coming 2 America.

Zargue’sia (Zimbabwe)

Ishmael Tsakatsa is the founder and head designer for the brand Zargue’sia. Born in 1992, Ishmael grew up with a love for unique fashion and style. He first appeared on the fashion scene at the Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2012 in a Young Designers competition. 

He then launched his brand Zargue’sia in 2013 at Zimbabwe Fashion Week where he was nominated for the Emerging Designer of the Year. He was awarded the Zimbabwean Designer of the Year title at the Zimbabwe Fashion Awards night in September 2014. Ishmael’s designs are mainly inspired by the word of God from the Bible and the essence that lies behind his brand is the magnificence and radiance of God’s beauty. He has worked with local and regional celebrities.

Loza Maleombho

Loza Maleombho (Ivory Coast)

Born in Brazil but raised in Côte d’Ivoire and the United States, Maleombho’s love for designing started at age 13. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation at the University of the Arts of Philadelphia in 2006, she interned for big fashion houses in New York before starting her brand.

In 2009, she moved back to Côte d’Ivoire after having launched her brand in New York. Maleombho has dressed Kelly Rowland, and Beyonce for the Black Is King visual album. She is also one of the costume designers for Coming 2 America. — Wires

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