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Lagos Rising: Meet the African Designers Who are Ushering in a New Guard of Fashion

As evidenced by the recent GTCO Fashion Weekend in Lagos, African fashion is as beautifully diverse as the continent, and African designers are transforming clichéd notions of what defines African design. No longer do ankara fabrics (a non-African import) dominate the scene, but instead designers are reviving traditional handwoven techniques and sourcing materials locally. The end result is a refreshing burst of innovative expression that is actually rooted in African history. Launched in 2013 by Ghanaian-born Abrima Erwiah and co-founder Rosario Dawson, social change has always been at the heart of the Studio 189 brand, whose made-in-Ghana ready-to-wear pieces celebrate family, heritage and community. David Tlale has a distinct fashion philosophy, combining fluidity, modernity and sensuality to create timeless and evocative pieces. The brand is a unique take on luxury–one that is rooted in the designer’s South African heritage, but with a cross-cultural vision and sensibility.