Have you ever had to make a life or death, last minute, red-carpet choice of a fashion brand? Well, I definitely know the ones I’d choose… for sure!
Three of my all time favorite high street Fashion brands in Africa presently are Christie Brown, Mina Evans and Raffia. They’re all Ghanaian Brands. However, if you’re looking for a show of precision, authenticity and the perfect clothing to exhibit that flawless silhouette, then these brands deliver hands down.
On top of my list is Christie Brown. A Ghanaian based luxury, women’s fashion brand that satisfies the stylish urge of “that modern woman who seeks a true taste of Africa”. They exhibit an infusion of modernism into carefully selected, traditional African aesthetics that transcend international borders. Aisha’s designs allow a woman to experience the culturally rich and opulent side of Africa without having to compromise on anything. It’s an all-in-one package… contemporary fashion, Chic and comfortable clothing and above all high fashion.
Founded by Aisha Ayensu, a young woman who fell in love, and got married to a dream that brought forth Christie Brown. Today, she stands uniquely as a women’s apparel and accessories designer with pieces ranging from beautiful bespoke gowns, practical yet statement pieces, to innovative accessories all inspired by the African culture and art. Her clothes and accessories have made a bold statement, painting the runways with a fuse of color and culture, fit for the contemporary African woman.
After only a few of years in the industry, Christie Brown has created a strong presence for itself, reflecting the personality and inspiration of the founder, with a continued promise of effortless sophistication in each design. Besides winning awards such as, The Emerging Designer of the Year Award in 2009 at the inaugural Arise Africa Fashion Week in Johannesburg, South Africa, Christie Brown was
also the only Ghanaian label chosen to showcase in the Arise L’Afrique- a- Porter, in Paris as part of Paris Fashion Week in March 2010. The brand has also captured the attention of global magazines including Harpers Bazaar, Vogue Italia, Arise (UK), Canoe 53 Sails, Black Hair (UK), Destiny (SA), and Glamour Magazine to mention a few. To sum it up, here are my favorite picks from her 2016 summer collection.
My next favorite African high street fashion brand would definitely be Raffia. The line’s name comes from the Raffia Palm, which is “rough and dry in its raw state but can be used to make many beautiful things.” The high street fashion I perceived from this line came from the rare fabric used and the quality. These fabrics are woven with such attention to detail, and sewn by hand by women tailors in Accra, Ghana. Gonja cloth, also popularly known as batakari, can also be distinguished from kente cloth in another unique way—the gender of its weavers. Traditionally, men weave kente, but in Northern parts of Ghana, women do the weaving when they have time off their busy daily schedules. Founded by the beautiful Madonna Kendona-Sowah, Raffia’s beautiful range of skirts, blazers and crop tops might be a shock to those familiar with gonja cloth, which is usually only found as a smock or kaba and slit.
My finally favorite is Mina Evans. I first noticed Mina Evans from the hit series, “An African City”. Every piece was styled in such a way that, focus was on the luxury clothing aspect, but it could also relate as a household brand. Her clothing have fast moved from a Ghanaian luxury brand to a brand that has been accepted in Africa and across the international market. The Mina Evans label was founded by Mina Evans-Anfom. It was her passion for fusing luxurious fabrics with Ankara, intricate handpicked embellishments and custom textiles to produce timeless feminine, stylish and flawless pieces that gave rise to this ever rising brand.
In 2010, Mina Evans stormed the African fashion market with the “Jewels & Tulle” collection captured by the popular lifestyle show “Studio 53”, Since then the brand has participated in a number of international fashion shows including Alta Roma Beat of Africa, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa, Durban Fashion Fair, Glitz Africa Fashion Week and Vlisco Be your Dream, to name a few. Mina Evans has also been nominated for Designer of the year twice at the Ghana Fashion Awards, was recently nominated for Fashion Fusion Designer of the year at the London held GUBA Awards. In 2012 Mina Evans won Emerging designer of the Year at the Ghana Based Glitz Africa Fashion Week. In 2015, Mina Evans won Brand of the year at the Ghana Fashion Awards.
What are your favorite High Street Fashion Brands?