New York Fashion Week: The Many Shapes of Africa


Last week Arise magazine showcased three African designers at New York Fashion Week. The designers painted a confident and accomplished triptych of fashion from the continent.

In muted, powdery tones ranging from sand and putty to rose and aloe, Black Coffee’s autumn 2010 collection was inspired by the simple, structured lines of masks. The collection is a reinterpretation of African masks for a Cubist-like take on winter garments. The results are pleated and quilted, oversized silhouettes with strong, structured lines.

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Loin Cloth & Ashes designer Anisa Mpungwe, from Tanzania, used a monochromatic palette of urban blacks and greys for garments that are youthful and easy to wear.

Nigerian Deola Sagoe was inspired by two seemingly incongruous sources, East African Maasai warriors and 18th-century European military uniforms.

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