Lions of the world’s catwalks

Lamine Badian: The Parisian designer of Malian origin who is behind the label Xuly Bët was at the forefront of African fashion going global. He has exhibited at the V&A in London, worked with Puma and graced international catwalks on five continents.

Ozwald Boateng: Son of Ghanaian immigrants born in London in 1967, Boateng started making clothes at 16 and opened his first studio at 23. Aged 28, he became the youngest and first black tailor to set up shop on Savile Row, iconic heart of English tailoring.

Duro Olowu: Lawyer-turned-designer Olowu launched his eponymous label in October 2004. A year later, he was named New Designer of the Year at the 2005 British Fashion Week in London.

Gavin Rajah: This South African’s bulky resume includes featuring in international publications such as L’Officiel, Vogue and curating an exhibition on Traditional Art and Crafts in the US.

Deola Sagoe: The grand dame of African fashion, who studied business in Miami and finance in Lagos, turned her back on the corporate world to establish her label in the ’80s. Using African fabrics, hand-woven materials, and contemporising almost-lost traditional African techniques, Sagoe designs present a unique vision and attitude for the modern woman.


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