10 Emerging Fashion and Beauty Entrepreneurs in Africa
Africa’s beauty and fashion industries are speedily gaining the global recognition they deserve. Several factors are responsible for this international relevance, with one being high-profile individuals, such as Michelle Obama and Beyonce Knowles, wearing designs made by African designers to epoch events or showcasing them in music videos and other multimedia channels.
Plus, Africans are now accepting and patronising home-based fashion designers, beauticians, and cosmetologists more than they did in the past. Now, you can see African celebrities, videographers, and the likes proudly projecting the works of African designers and beauticians.
This is also evident in various runway shows – New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week among others – African designers are taking centerstage and are competing shoulder-to-shoulder with major players in
Europe and other continents. African fashion and beauty entrepreneurs are thriving and blazing the trails despite the obvious economic disadvantage in many African nations.
As the fashion and beauty industries in Africa gained global traction and acceptability, tons of creative entrepreneurs plugged in too. And today, they have created a sort of sub-sector in these industries and
many of them have become a force to reckon with on the continent and beyond. Therefore, we’ll be looking at 10 of the fast rising entrepreneurs in the fashion and beauty industries on the continent.
1. Cynthian Nwadiora (Cee-C), Nigeria. CEO, Cegar SportswearCeeC
Popularly known as Cee-C, Cynthia rose to fame after emerging the first runner up in the 2017 Big Brother Naija. She dumped her lawyer degree to pursue her dreams in the Nigeria’s entertainment and fashion industry, and she’s winning.
Cegar, Cee-C’s sportswear brand, is currently one of the fastest-growing sportswear brands in Africa. The unisex brand has been rocked by some A list celebrities including Toke Makinwa, Lilian Esoro, Mawuli, Lydia Forson, and a whole lot of others. As a resilient fashion entrepreneur, her dream is for Cegar to become widely known in the sportswear market.
2. Marwa Yehia, Egypt. CEO, Marwa YehiaMarwa Yehia
Marwa is an Egyptian hijabi makeup artist who is reforming beauty in the Middle East and North Africa. She’s the most followed North African makeup artist on YouTube with 767,000 subscribers and 392,000 followers on Instagram.
She’s inspiring Northern African and Middle Eastern ladies that they can still slay their makeups while on hijabs. Her goal is to express, inspire, and tutor North African women how to express themselves through makeups, and how to be comfortable in their own skin.
3. Shereen Makhanye, South Africa. CEO, Nubian NatureShereen Makhanye
Borne out of love for hair and science, Shereen founded Nubian Nature in 2012 and established it as a company in 2013. It all started when she decided to go back to natural hair, but didn’t get any natural hair
product that wasn’t damaging to her beautiful African-textured hair.
She immediately embarked on extensive research to create products that aren’t harmful to African hair. Her hair-care products moisturize, strengthen, nourish, and promote healthy African hair.
She intends to extend to bath and body products. She envisions spreading her brand to Europe, America, and becoming a natural hair-care and skincare household name.
4. Olayiwola Ogedengbe, Nigeria. CEO, Lamas ClothingOlayiwola Ogedengbe,
Although he had already developed a bias for fashion designing shortly after high school, Olayiwola was compelled to pursue a University degree – he, therefore, proceeded to the University of Agriculture Abeokuta (UNAAB) where he bagged a B.Agric degree. But before graduating, he had already launched his label, Lamas Apparel, and designing clothes for his peers and some working-class customers.
Upon leaving school, it was a no-brainer, as Olayiwola leveraged the network he had built as an undergraduate to navigate his path in the Nigerian fashion industry.
In 2009, the business rebranded and was changed to ‘Lamas Clothing Nigeria’ for better positioning. In the same year, he started gaining traction in the industry and by extension the Nigerian entertainment
industry – he landed his first major job to style Big Bamo of the ‘Olu & Tolu Maintain’ fame for their ‘Kowonje’ music video which went on to become a mega hit at the time.
Fast-forward to the present day, the Lamas brand, which specialises in luxury bespoke tailoring, has won several awards in Africa and abroad. Olayiwola has been featured in international media as one of the fast-rising African designers. And with a long list of Alist celebrity clients like Tuface Idibia, Alibaba, Timi Dakolo amongst others, the talented designer is hitching closer to playing in the big league…
Read the complete article in the latest edition of BEA magazine here: Find it on pages 24 & 25.
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