4 Up-and-Coming African Men’s Wear Designers

Dent de Man

Last week at Pitti Uomo 88, the biannual men’s wear trade show, the International Trade Center, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, showcased the work of four up-and-coming men’s wear designers from Africa. Get to know them here.


Dent de Man Alexis Temomanin, 28, who was raised in the Ivory Coast and now lives in London, uses flamboyant Indonesian wax prints in his tailored designs. “My interest in fashion began with my mother,” says Temomanin. “I was adopted, and the last memory I have of her is the print dress she was wearing.”

© Pitti Immagine & Giovanni Giannoni


MaXhosa by Laduma South Africa’s Laduma Ngxokolo, 28, combines his expertise in knitwear (his mother taught him to knit as a teenager), with beading patterns from the Xhosa tribe and traditionally preppy silhouettes like polo shirts and clean-cut shorts.

© Pitti Immagine & Giovanni Giannoni


Orange Culture Nigerian designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal’s aim with his designs is to please “art-loving nomads,” by bringing an African edge to Western styles. Case in point: Oke-Lawal combines traditional Nigerian shapes and modern streetwear with pixelated stripes, transparent tunics, and pops of embroidery. For his achievements, Oke-Lawal was shortlisted for the LVMH young designer prize in 2014.

© Pitti Immagine & Giovanni Giannoni


Projecto Mental Tekasala Ma’at Nzinga and Shunnoz Fiel from Angola performed spoken-word poetry before launching their colorful label. “Fashion reaches people more directly than theater today,” explained Ma’at Nzinga, who cited Congolese musician Papa Wemba as an inspiration.

© Pitti Immagine & Giovanni Giannoni