The Edit: 7 Just-Landed Fashion Brands To Know
Words by The Folklore Team
Since 2018, The Folklore’s mission has been rooted in empowering designer brands from Africa and the diaspora by using technology to connect them to customers around the world. This is the purpose of our new shopping platform, The Folklore Marketplace, where you can discover and shop designer brands across multiple e-commerce sites in one place.
That’s why we are pleased to introduce seven designers who have just landed on our virtual shelves. Hailing from various corners of the world, from Johannesburg and London to Amsterdam and New York, these Black-owned brands have created their own unique identities and easily recognizable signatures that makes them stand out in the industry, ranging from the use of color to regenerating vintage fabrics. Read on below to discover them now.
Christopher John Rogers
If you’ve recently seen someone wearing an ensemble with what seems like all the colors of the rainbow, chances are they were wearing Christopher John Rogers. One of the most exciting new names in fashion, the New York-based designer’s oversized silhouettes, sharp tailoring and bold aesthetic have been recognized with a CFDA American Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in 2020 and a host of famous fans including Regina King, Rihanna and Kamala Harris.
Reading international fashion magazines and seeing the dispatches from New York and Paris fashion weeks sparked the passion for fashion design in a young Thebe Magugu all the way in Kimberley, South Africa. After studying fashion design, photography and media at the former LISOF school in Johannesburg (and winning the award for best graduate collection), Magugu founded his namesake brand to tell of Africa’s storied history and promising future, through contemporary designs that establish and enhance the wearer’s identity.
Inspired by her Indian-Nigerian heritage and London roots, award-winning designer Priya Ahluwalia experiments with textiles and fabrication techniques in her creations for her eponymous label Ahluwalia, which she started in 2018 after graduating from the University of Westminster. Using vintage fabrics and surplus materials, Ahluwalia produces laid-back separates and knitted pieces with an unexpected edge.
Starting as a style and culture blog, Daily Paper initially produced merch, with an offering of five branded T-shirts. The brainchild of three friends Abderrahmane Trabsini, Jefferson Osei and Hussein Suleiman, Amsterdam-based Daily Paper is now a fashion label creating contemporary streetwear pieces with an Afro-centric verve, a reflection of the founders’ Moroccan, Ghanaian and Somali heritage. Athletic shapes and tailored silhouettes are rendered in traditional African prints or emblazoned with the brand’s Maasai shield-inspired logo for an idiosyncratic touch.
Founded back in 2014, this London-based brand has been creating collections inspired by the British and Jamaican heritage of its founder Grace Wales Bonner. Drawing on Black literature and historical eras, Wales Bonner takes a theoretical approach to designing smart tailoring, cozy knits and casualwear with sporty details.
Part of the pioneering streetwear collective Been Trill alongside Matthew Williams of 1017 ALYX 9SM and the late Virgil Abloh, Heron Preston is the creative mind behind his namesake label, which he debuted at Paris Fashion Week in 2017. The popular label combines age-old workwear qualities with modern streetwear style to create irreverent collections of T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, jackets and accessories.
A popular figure in the diasporic cultural scene, South African designer Rich Mnisi created his eponymous brand an expression of his bold vision. Born from a desire to connect with his cultural heritage, Rich Mnisi interprets music, art, nature and film into garments with bold colors, unique patterns and sleek silhouettes, all in a thoroughly modern package.