Designer of the Month

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Christie Brown is a Ghanaian based luxury women’s fashion brand that aims is to satisfy the stylish urge of “that modern woman who seeks a true taste of Africa”.

At Christie Brown, our aim is to infuse modernism into carefully selected traditional African aesthetic that transcends international borders. It’s really about allowing women to experience the culturally rich and opulent side of Africa without having to compromise their personal contemporary style.

The label was founded in March 2008 with the launch of the brand’s first run way show in Accra. Creative Director, Aisha Obuobi began her love affair with fashion at an early age. However, the real motivation came from watching her grandmother Christie Brown, a seamstress, create rich and vibrant garments. Today, Christie Brown stands uniquely as a women’s apparel and accessories manufacturer and retailer with pieces ranging from beautiful bespoke gowns, practical yet statement pieces to innovative accessories all inspired by the African culture and art. Her clothes and accessories have made a bold statement, painting the runways with a fuse of color and culture, fit for the contemporary African woman.

To date, the label has demonstrated international success. Besides winning The Emerging Designer of the Year Award in 2009 at the inaugural Arise Africa Fashion Week in Johannesburg, South Africa, Christie Brown was also the only Ghanaian label chosen to showcase in the Arise L’Afrique- a- Porter, in Paris as part of Paris Fashion Week in March 2010. At the 2010 Africa Economic Forum hosted by Columbia University, Aisha was invited to sit on the panel for “African Fashion Going Global”; a discourse on making African Fashion a recognizable global industry. The brand has also captured the attention of global magazines including Harpers Bazaar, Vogue Italia, Arise (UK), Canoe 53 Sails, Black Hair (UK), Destiny (SA), and Glamour Magazine to mention a few.

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Adebayo Oke-Lawal has been designing since the age of 10, and since officially entering the fashion industry, he’s dabbled in writing and styling, working with African designers, actors, pop stars and even magazines like Rita Dominic, Tiwa Savage , Mochedda, Wow magazine and Élan But design is his greatest passion, and since starting the label in 2011, he’s been hard at work trying to bring Orange Culture to the world. It’s hard to believe, with all he’s accomplished, that he hasn’t even lived a quarter century. 

Adebayo Oke-Lawal describes Orange Culture as a “movement” more than a clothing line, for a creative class of men who he describes as “self aware , expressive, explorative, art-loving nomad[s].”  The label previously produced womenswear options, but Oke-Lawal says he’s since decided to focus on the fellas. Combining classic and contemporary western silhouettes (like collared button-ups and lapel-less blazers) with African sensibilities,  Oke-Lawal creates offerings for modern men who like a little flair, and of course: colour. Orange Culture is a heady mixture of Nigerian inspired silhouettes, print fabrics and contemporary urban street wear.

Since it’s inception the brand and it’s creative director have been featured in Vogue , Elle, Marie Claire, Voice of America, Financial Times, Wings, and the list goes on and on. the brand has been  a finalist for huge design platforms like the LVMH (Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennesey ) prize – where he was picked alongside 29 of the hugest emerging designers from all over the world out of 1221 , MTN Lagos fashion and design week and Mode men awards, picked by Vogue and GQ Italia to present a collection at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy.

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Sindiso Khumalo is a textile designer living and working in London.

Born in Botswana and raised in Durban, Sindiso studied architecture at the University of Cape Town before moving to London to work in the offices of architect David Adjaye. Following that, she went on to study a Masters in Design for Textile Futures at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, graduating with distinction. In February 2012, Sindiso launched her eponymous label off the back of the Elle New Talent competition, of which she was a finalist.

In February 2013, she was nominated for the “Most Beautiful Object in South Africa” Award by the Design Indaba. Her work has been showcased at the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington. Sindiso Khumalo has also been featured in Vogue magazine, The Financial Times and Elle Magazine.

Read more about Sindiso khumalo here

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Santa ANZO is the chief Fashion Designer & Managing Director of Arapapa, an international Ugandan premium fashion brand. She also directs Arapapa Modelling Agency and, as well is the President of the Uganda International Fashion Week 2001 to date

 “Santa is prized as a woman entrepreneur who has distinguished herself through outstanding business performance and achievement at all levels “She has walked a path never walked before in Uganda, carving out a career for herself that has inspired thousands of youth who today are reaping big from her passion of fashion; through Arapapa  & the Uganda International Fashion Week”, a quote fromUganda Women Entrepreneur’s Association, ICON & the International Labour Organization. 

See more about Santa Anzo here

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NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In one of the most electrifying and highly anticipated awards shows, some 400 attendees came out in full force to salute exemplary individuals who are working towards the advancement of Africans in the Diaspora and in Africa at the 4th Annual AFRICAN DIASPORA AWARDS, held on Nov. 15 at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College in New York City
David Tlale
The 2014 Honorees were: Actor of the Year: Ger Duany, star of “The Good Lie” [South Sudan]; Creative Artist of the Year: Kemi Adetiba [Nigeria]; Entrepreneur of the Year: Meck Khalfan, Puku Charger [Tanzania]; Community Leadership Award: Semhar Araia, Dawn Inc. [Eritrea]; Musician of the Year: Somi [RwandaUganda]; Friend of Africa: Bernadette Paolo, The Africa Society [U.S]; Advocate of the Year: Dr. Olajide Williams, Hip Hop Healthcare [Nigeria]; Designer of the Year: David Tlale [South Africa]; and Company of the Year: Ogilvy & Mather [U.S.].
Co-hosted by Tony Award nominee Sahr Ngaujah and actress and producer Ebbe Bassey, iconic tributes from honorees to their mothers, spouses, children and their faith for their success were highlights at this year’s awards show. 
World-class entertainers, fashion mavens, entrepreneurs, and scholars from the Diaspora attended the evening affair that lifted up the awards theme “Homecoming Revolution”, which drew attention to inspiring movements of Africans in the Diaspora who are driving the revitalization and economic progress in the global African community.
“Tonight we celebrate, tonight we honor those who are making a significant difference in the African community in the U.S. and Africa. Tonight we inspire one another. This is the most important generation ever,” said Debo Folorunsho, co-founder of Applause Africa.
“The honorees are a testament to the progress in the African Diaspora,” said Michael Ikotun, co-founder of Applause Africa.  
Broadway star Ngaujah’s opening performance set the inspirational tone for the awards show and Nigerian recording artist Sheyi Shay kept the crowd on their feet to close out the event. Comedian Seyi Brown had attendees laughing out loud during his set.
A special presentation by AFRICA RESPONDS urged attendees to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Ngaujah and Bassey sported custom-made African attire from Vlisco and designs by Yaovi Marius Ahiale. Madiba Restaurant provided a delectable spread of South African cuisine for the VIP reception. Source:prnewswire.com

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