5 Billionaire Fashion Designers from Africa
Over the years, a number of African fashion designers have become incredibly successful and amassed significant wealth, creating stunning, innovative, and culturally inspired pieces.
From the stunning haute couture of Morocco to the vibrant prints of Nigeria, these designers have captured the essence of African fashion and created unique styles that have captivated audiences worldwide.
Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of African fashion and discover the stories behind the success of these five remarkable individuals.
As a South African Fashion Designer, David Tlale’s works have been showcased at the Cape Town Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and Paris Fashion Week. Tlale launched his fashion brand when he enrolled at the Vaal University of Technology in 2003. David who has a strong belief in South Africa’s culture said, “We can put South Africa on the global map, especially with the rich heritage and diverse culture that we have. We’re still taking baby steps, but I really believe that South Africa will become one of the world’s fashion capitals.”
His garments reflect beauty, craftsmanship, luxury fabrics, and prints developed/designed to evoke and translate the evolution of the African heritage, narrating the globalization of African stories. He was named the 2019 fashion designer of the year at the Africa Fashion Awards in Johannesburg. Reports say his collections tell stories in loud yet sophisticated tones, without pretense and shun harshness for poise, for the older and newer generations of Males and Females. David has an estimated net worth of over N5 billion.
The Nigerian Fashion designer launched her fashion brand, “Tiffany Amber” in Lagos in 1998. After studying law in Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Folake delved into fashion and became one of the pioneers of ready-to-wear outfits in Nigeria. According to her, starting out in the Nigerian fashion industry required a lot of marketing, hard work and consistency.
Ten years after Tiffany Amber’s launch, Folake showcased her collection at the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in New York. Impressed by her collections, they invited her again, making her the first African-based fashion designer to showcase her collection at the New York Mercedes Fashion Week two years in a row. With an estimated net worth of over N2 billion, Folake has a lifestyle “Tiffany Amber Living,” made up of high-quality handmade pieces that reflect African beauty.
Mimi Plange is a Ghanian Fashion Designer whose clients range from Rihanna, Serena Williams, and the first lady Michelle Obama. Drawing inspiration from her African ancestry, Mimi launched her fashion line ‘Boudoir D’huîtres,’ which was later renamed to Mimi Plange in 2010. Mimi who is determined to show people that African fashion can’t be pigeonholed said, “I am motivated by those things that make us question how we represent ourselves to other people.”
She also collaborated with furniture designer Roche Bobois to create Mahjong tiles and sofas. The furniture was dressed with her materials that were made in Burkina Faso. Sources estimate her net worth at N2 billion.
Adama Amanda Ndiaye, popularly known as Adama Paris is a Senegalese fashion designer. Raised in Europe, Adama left her banking career to pursue fashion design in Senegal. She manufactures her pieces in Morocco and sells them internationally. Speaking about her inspiration, Adama noted that “Much of my inspiration comes from the big cities… My aim was and still is sharing with all modern women one fashion without borders.”
The Senegalese fashion designer is credited for starting the Black Fashion Week. The events have been organised in Prague, the Czech Republic, Bahia, and Brazil. She also created the Dakar Fashion Week exhibition to expand the visibility of African design. The tenth year of the show attracted thirty designers from nine countries in Africa and Asia in 2012. With an operating cost of $150,000, the show had audience members coming from around the world.
The 20th edition of the show was even bigger as it was held on the historic island of Gorée, once associated with slavery. The event showcased the work of 20 designers, from Angola Morocco, Mali, Mozambique and South Africa to name only a few. Online sources estimate her net worth to be around N2 billion.
Deola Sagoe, a Nigerian fashion designer has attained global relevance for her lively and colourful designs. Sagoe is the first black woman to ever present a collection at AltaRoma, Rome’s celebrated fashion week in 2004 and the first Nigerian to have her own stand-alone show at the New York Fashion Week in September 2014.
Sagoe who unveiled her Komole collection in 2018, tries to fuse African cultural style with a modern approach to design. Komole is a selection of bridal and occasion wear which draws upon the mood and myths evoked through the ages by royalty.
With an estimated net worth of N1 billion, Sagoe won the “Africa Designs” and the MNET/ Anglo Gold African Designs 2000 awards.
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