I have met most of these ladies and am friends with them as well so can vouch for their work-I will state beneath each picture if I have already worked with the designer or not.
The market for African Fashion in Canada is getting more and more competitive and designers who are slacking find themselves slowly becoming less relevant.
A lot of the designers could improve by "refining" their looks and also staying true to their brand. Some are trying their hand at interior decoration whereas they should first of all perfect their pret-a-porter collections (my personal opinion).
Without further ado.....
First up is Kaela Kay collections. Kaela Kay broke out Summer 2012. I worked with her while I was a contestant for Miss Africanada 2012 during the Afrofest Fashion Show. I loved loved loved how she played with really colorful prints and actually had the guts to mix them up in a single piece! There are 2 of her dresses I need to order before I die (haha). Her price range is affordable for the working class but may come off as pricey for the average student. (About $120 for a really nice dress)! Check out some of last year's S/S collection:
You can purchase from Kaela Kay here
Next up, we have Ivorian jewlery designer whose brand is called Naori's Bijoux.
I also worked with her while competing for Miss Africanada and she is such a lovely person-plus she speaks French!
I'm such a huge fan of her chunky necklaces, which take her hours and hours to make. Her cute button earrings are a fan favorite because of their affordability ($5-$10 a pair) and I own 2 actually! They do wear out a little at the back so if you have sensitive ears or any ear allergies I suggest you stay away from them!
Here are some samples of her work:
To purchase from Naori's Bijoux, visit her Fan page here
So the closest I have gotten to working with Rahyma is during the Miss AfriCanada pageant when we were all supposed to model her outfits...and she didn't have anything that could fit me. I do understand that her sample pieces are made for models so I don't hold any grudge against her,haha.
I do not know her personally, but I know she was nominated for the award of Best Designer at the African Entertainment Awards.
Her stuff is on the more pricier end of things (I'm talking $200 for a blazer) so you know I won't be buying from her any time soon!
Her website needs to be updated because there are only about 10 items on the entire site, so I assume she is working on that.
Here is the blazer in question-definitely chic!:
Zeena is a personal friend of mine and a mother of 3 beautiful girls. I got to know of her through a friend. I am proud of the growth she has done so far since last year when I first met her. There is still room for further improvement (her jumpsuits for example) but one thing I love about her is the custom-made pieces she creates. if you go to her with your fabric and the design you want, she can re-create it for you. I personally own a few pieces from her-custom made, so weren't featured in her collections. I went with a picture and my fabric and said "Hey, please make this for me!" and the results were just lovely. You have seen me in this dress:
and this skirt as well:
Both by Zeena Kay!
Some more pieces from her:
You can check out her fan page to place an order here
Todun is the accessory line by the highly talented Nigerian- Lajipe, who happens to be a friend of mine (what can I say, my friends are highly talented!)
Todun offers accessories for both males and females, which include but are not limited to bags, earrings, bow ties, waist beads and hair pieces.
I am a huge fan of her little brooches that display such a marriage of colors. I also have a pair of the cutest button earrings from her!
Take a look at some of her work:
|Can you guess whose face this is?? Haha|
Todun was also nominated for the award of Best African Designer for the 2012 African Entertainment Awards.
To view more of her work and to place an order, go here
When I first came across Dione Mauve's site, I thought wow this is cool and different and very promising...but fast forward 3 years later, and her website doesn't exist anymore. She does have a blog where she displays her pret-a-porter items.
I loved the maxi dresses she used to have-they were made from very unique fabric which just had to be imported from somewhere far away...
Here are some pictures of her old stuff which I liked:
Well, here's a look at some of the pieces she is currently offering:
You can check out more from Dione Mauve here
When I was in university, this was probably the most well known African label out there. If you said "African designer", Emua Fashions had to follow. She has certainly met her competition, seeing as a lot of young designers have started springing and offering very creative and edgy pieces at affordable prices.
To be honest, I have attempted to purchase items from this young lady twice via e-mail...and both times it took her about a week to get back to me-not a good thing if you want my business! I was ready to pay and contacted her about sizing but both times, she took forever to respond and the responses were very vague...so I took my money elsewhere.
She has had some very very stunning pieces but when they sell out on her website, forget about them forever. I am very skeptical to order anything from her site right now because I'm afraid I shall pay and then only have my outfit show up 2 months later...I think if you know her personally, then you'd be in better hands.
This is by no means a bashing fest, it's just constructive criticism coming from a porspective customer.
I have attended at least 3 of her Fashion Shows and love the stuff I see on the models but for some reason, a lot of the pieces don;t make it to her website.
Well, here are some stuff she is currently offering:
|This is the hoodie I really really wanted to get...sold out currently...|
To purchase from Emua Fashions, just go here
Last but definitely not least! We have designer (and friend) Andrea Iyamah.
If you're a follower of my blog you are already familiar with this designer because I've worn her pieces so many times (and so well if I may say so myself) that I keep getting asked if I'm a model for her designs. Sadly, I am not-I pay for all my outfits from her as a normal customer does, I just take nice pictures while wearing them,haha.
Here are some of her pieces I have worn:
She really knows how to create those outfits that emphasize a woman's curves in the right way all while using bold colors and prints.
She is a little over the price budget of a student but usually holds a Sale for her more popular outfits and then they become affordable for students.
Here's some more stuff from her website-I'm hoping to purchase about 2 items by the summer!
Andrea was also nominated for Deisgner of the Year at the 2012 African Entertainment Awards.