Beyoncé Celebrates African Fashion Designers


It’s been two weeks since Beyoncé took the stage at Global Citizen’s Mandela 100 concert, but the superstar chose to wait before sharing images of her time spent off-duty in Johannesburg. More than a travel diary, the Instagram update she posted earlier this week serves as an introduction to some of the most talented designers from across the continent. Onstage she may have utilized custom pieces from European brands like Versace and Mary Katrantzou to pay homage to the festival’s theme, but during her free time, Mrs. Carter sought out local creators with the help of stylists Zerina Akers and Peju Famojure.


Yhebe Design
The asymmetrical hemline and outside-the-box structure of the skirt Beyoncé chose from Ivorian designer Rebecca Zoro’s label, Yhebe Design, offers a hint to Zoro’s aesthetic. Romantic yet modern, Zoro’s pieces put a twist on the expected. Jeans with pleats that extend into rectangular flares, cocktail dresses with flowing fringe, and puff-sleeved wax-print blouses are only a few of the treasures Zoro creates.
Photos: Courtesy of Beyonce/ @beyonce / www.beyonce.com
Afrikanista
Franco-Mauritanian designer Aissé N’Diaye puts photography from within the continent front and center on her tees and hoodies. Not your average athleisure, N’Diaye’s features vintage portraits of men and women taken by Beninese photographer Roger da Silva in his Dakar studio or empowering phrases. Given that N’Diaye credits “Run the World (Girls)” with inspiring epaulet T-shirts, it seems only fitting that the superstar would wear one of her pieces.

Afrikanista
Franco-Mauritanian designer Aissé N’Diaye puts photography from within the continent front and center on her tees and hoodies. Not your average athleisure, N’Diaye’s features vintage portraits of men and women taken by Beninese photographer Roger da Silva in his Dakar studio or empowering phrases. Given that N’Diaye credits “Run the World (Girls)” with inspiring epaulet T-shirts, it seems only fitting that the superstar would wear one of her pieces.

Rich Mnisi
Rich Mnisi founded his eponymous brand in 2015, and since then his creations have been featured on the covers of magazines and on the back of Naomi Campbell. Multidisciplinary in his approach, Mnisi applies his talents to everything from furniture design to objets d’art, and his gender-fluid ready-to-wear has gained a cult following.
Peulh Vagabond
Raised in France by Senegalese parents, Dyenaa Diaw pays tribute to her roots with her label, Peulh Vagabond. Launched in 2014 with a capsule collection, it is named after the French term for the Fula people of West Africa. The label combines Diaw’s multifaceted creative influences with a singular vision: Everything from vintage Yves Saint Laurent shows to the traditional dress of the Maasai people has provided the designer with inspiration.

Peulh Vagabond
Raised in France by Senegalese parents, Dyenaa Diaw pays tribute to her roots with her label, Peulh Vagabond. Launched in 2014 with a capsule collection, it is named after the French term for the Fula people of West Africa. The label combines Diaw’s multifaceted creative influences with a singular vision: Everything from vintage Yves Saint Laurent shows to the traditional dress of the Maasai people has provided the designer with inspiration.
Mmuso Maxwell
Design duo Maxwell Boko and Mmuso Potsane picked up their degrees in fashion—at Vaal University of Technology and Central University of Technology, respectively—with plans to launch separate labels, but fate had other plans. The pair joined forces in 2016 after a stint on David Tlale’s television show, The Intern, a fashion competition where the best in South African talent vied for a spot at Fashion Week. Both interested in creating eclectic womenswear with a modern verve, they found their styles meshed, and success has carried them far beyond the confines of reality TV. Beyoncé pulled out a casual look from their Spring 2016 collection for her trip to Johannesburg, an asymmetrical top in bright green and blue paired with the perfect plaid shorts.  Adama Paris
Senegalese designer Adama Amanda Ndiaye understands the importance of the final touch. Born in Zaire and raised in Europe by diplomat parents, she began her career in finance before making the switch to fashion in 2002. Though her line encompasses womenswear and menswear, Beyoncé singled out Ndiaye’s impressive leather accessories. The boxy red Boyette bag the star carried throughout her travels struck the right balance between diva and mogul. As the founder of the Fashion Africa Channel and organizer of Black Fashion Week events across the globe, Ndiaye is doing her part to push the needle and create opportunities for the next generation of designers.  Photos: Courtesy of Beyonce/ @beyonce / www.beyonce.com

Mmuso Maxwell
Design duo Maxwell Boko and Mmuso Potsane picked up their degrees in fashion—at Vaal University of Technology and Central University of Technology, respectively—with plans to launch separate labels, but fate had other plans. The pair joined forces in 2016 after a stint on David Tlale’s television show, The Intern, a fashion competition where the best in South African talent vied for a spot at Fashion Week. Both interested in creating eclectic womenswear with a modern verve, they found their styles meshed, and success has carried them far beyond the confines of reality TV. Beyoncé pulled out a casual look from their Spring 2016 collection for her trip to Johannesburg, an asymmetrical top in bright green and blue paired with the perfect plaid shorts.
Adama Paris
Senegalese designer Adama Amanda Ndiaye understands the importance of the final touch. Born in Zaire and raised in Europe by diplomat parents, she began her career in finance before making the switch to fashion in 2002. Though her line encompasses womenswear and menswear, Beyoncé singled out Ndiaye’s impressive leather accessories. The boxy red Boyette bag the star carried throughout her travels struck the right balance between diva and mogul. As the founder of the Fashion Africa Channel and organizer of Black Fashion Week events across the globe, Ndiaye is doing her part to push the needle and create opportunities for the next generation of designers.
Photos: Courtesy of Beyonce/ @beyonce / www.beyonce.com

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