African Fashion Week Amsterdam at the end of August was an eventful mixture of designers AW19 catwalks, industry talks and consumer experiences. So, what’s new @AFWA? Lots of fantastic designers, exotic jewelry, creative, African arts, funky, sophisticated, sexy and chic knitwear.
House of ZIZA
Abdul Aziz Lowe a.k.a. ‘Ziza’ is a renowned Gambian Fashion designer and stylist. His brand formerly known as Ziza Creations (since re-branded to ZIZA) has showcased his designs at high-end fashion shows throughout Africa. Designer and stylist ZIZA began at a tender age and was inspired by his mother, a well-known stylist herself. He learned to never stop pursuing his dreams in the world of fashion and creative arts.
The AW19 collection from House of ZIZA “No Frills” is a fully sustainable, see-now-buy-now collection directly from the Gambia.
The artist and creator behind Zyllva – African-Caribbean handmade jewelry for men and women – is Millie, who has been designing exotic jewelry since 2009. She has developed a passion for combining the endless variety of colors, shapes, and textures of the exotic and natural components available in nature.
The ethos behind Zyllva is “The jewel with a Vision”, as Millie believes every person is unique and has to find the jewel within themselves. We could all use more inspiration and beauty in our lives and can express this even more with Zyllva Jewellery.
Millies Quote; it’s not the jewel that makes you shine but it’s you that makes the jewel complete. Zyllva Jewellery with a vision
Naa Duku is an empowerment and lifestyle brand based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Established in 2016, Naa Duku aims to bring women together in order to equip them with the art of styling and wearing African inspired headwraps in classy and comfortable styles.
For women who wish to reconnect to their African heritage, in style, comfort, class and within a community of women, the wearing of the Duku in Ghanaian culture has not only unified them but has also created a sense of belonging and identity.
The brand specifically focuses on creating cultural awareness of African heritage through the wearing of Duku’s, empowering women to utilize their creativity in developing stylish headwraps and creating a space for women to have a deeper connection and build community with one another.
Kyere Kwaku Awiti is alumni from KNUST in Ghana. He is a talented young designer who designs with passion for his brand Metakay and believes that when many creative people get together in one place, extraordinary things happen.
No pain, no gain has been Kwaku’s philosophy since adolescence. It’s through the pain that we sometimes find our purpose and appreciate the joy that follows afterward. Nelson Mandela is his role model and reflects his philosophy perfectly, but when it comes to fashion he looks up to Karl Lagerfeld. His values in life are discipline, creativity, and honesty.
Michi Knitwear Designer
Michele began knitting as a child and it was something she enjoyed doing as a hobby. Whilst living in Boston, Michele entered her hand knits in a Designer’s Competition and ended up winning. That was around the time her Grandfather died, who fondly called her “Miche” and as a tribute to him, her designer label became Michi.
Michele Walden Mcphee from Queens, NY, specializes in knitwear for women, creating “Knits to Fit”, that complement the full figure or slight frame, thus making a unique statement for all women. Using carefully selected yarns that vary from silks to rayon, wool to linen, and run the gamut of colors, these pieces can also be considered wearable art for women who are fashion-forward, confident, creative and seeking to be stylish.
Michi Knitwear’s goal is to change the perception of Knitwear. She doesn’t create your grandma’s knits, but ‘constructs modern knitwear’ that is funky, sophisticated, sexy and chic. Whether it’s a customized one-of-a-kind or limited edition piece, Michi Knitwear is the perfect go-to.
Kevin Leslie Collection
The designer Kevin Leslie learned at a young age the artistic and aesthetic value and appreciation for fashion, through his father’s work as a tailor. The brand Kevin Leslie was conceived in 2004 out of creativity. Kevin’s quote: ‘Creativity is a drug that I cannot live without.’ In 2009 Kevin started the actual production to build his capacity.
Kevin, therefore, deems it a great honor to be part of the African fashion week so that it will project, market and sell the brand Kevin Leslie