In partnership with Lagos' Arise Fashion Week, Naomi Campbell and a selection commitee—including influential figures like L'OFFICIEL star Alton Mason—turned Africa's premier fashion event into an ititiative for 30 up-and-coming designers to compete for a $500,000 grant and mentorship to build their brand.
Campbell, who has long used her position as one of fashion's most coveted supermodels to uplift Black talent and fight against discrimination in the industry, created the New Stars contest as an opportunity to highlight young talent and bring African fashion into the international sphere among European, American, and Asian designers. With support from fashion titans like Anna Wintour, the designers presented their collections in a two-day livestream event over the weekend, with Kenneth Ize prevailing as the winner and Ré Lagos and Mmuso Maxwell following suit as the first and second runner-ups. Here, L'OFFICIEL gathers 10 of the top Arise designers to keep on your sartorial radar.
An LVMH Prize finalist, Austrian-Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize has broken into the international fashion scene just years after launching his eponymous label, showing at Paris Fashion Week and appearing in print on the likes of Timothée Chalamet and Viola Davis. Ize is known for his colorful designs and use of handwoven Nigerian asoke textiles, which display his signature check print. He also became the first Black designer to create a capsule collection with Karl Lagerfeld's eponymous label, fusing his own Nigerian heritage with the fashion house's Parisian identity.
With Mmusomaxwell, South African duo Maxwell Boko and Mmuso Potsane's celebrate their heritage through contemporary, meticulously-tailored designs.
After working under Ann McCreath of Kikoromeo in 2018, Muyishime's Eddy Patrick launched his own label, producing voluminous, colorful designs that epitomize playful glamour.
Omafume Niemogha of Pepper Row centers sustainability and African heritage at the core of her craft, working with artisanal craftsmen for each of the label's imaginative collections.
Launched in 2014 by Frank Aghuno, Fruché imagines a new form of dress for African men and women, mixing traditional Nigerian culture and modern design.