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The Africa Connection: Five Names Leading the Design Diaspora

African design is finally getting its much-deserved spotlight. After having been overlooked, stereotyped, or appropriated for many years, it is being redefined by a new crop of exceptionally talented designers from the continent and diaspora. Overcoming challenges often drives creativity – but it is key for Ilé Ilà, the furniture brand started by Tosin Oshinowo in 2017. Eva Sonaike is born in Germany, based in London and a former journalist turned textiles and interior designer draws on her Yoruba heritage to create colourful collections of cushions, rugs, lamps, wallpapers and textiles. 50-year-old furniture designer, Peter Mabeo launched his eponymous brand in 2006, weaves the skills of local craftspeople and traditional techniques into his designs – which helps amplify their work. Tania Doumbe Fines, 28, an interior design graduate and self-taught artisan, met musician Elodie Dérond, 25, in 2018 after studying in Montreal, Canada.