African designers like Ghana’s Mimi Plange and Nigeria’s Deola Sagoe are making strides in the mostly European dominated world of fashion. Miimi Plange just collaborated with famed shoe designer Manolo Blahnik for her Spring/Summer 2012 collection, which was showcased at New York Fashion Week. She had a great write-up in Vogue magazine this past February where she was officially introduced to the fashion world by Vogue mainstay Andre Leon Talley. Her foray into the world of design is not that far-fetched considering the fact that her own mother was a former model who modeled for the Ghanaian magazine Drum. As a child she loved to illustrate her own designs by sketching and this hobby turned into something more and it granted her admittance into showrooms of top designers like Rachel Roy who Plange, then a freelance contractor, worked for temporarily in the women’s division. And the rest is now history. Mimi Plange is fast becoming a household name with stars like Rihanna looking to her for guidance during award season, and her shows are one of the most sought after during Fashion Week. Deola Sagoe is also gathering momentum for her one-of-a kind pieces that are known for their vibrancy and distinct hues. She also caught the attention of Andre Leon Talley who nominated her for the MNET/Anglo Gold African Designs 2000 awards which she ended up winning.
This is the beginning of the African exodus and international recognition. And with sites like the noteworthy Heritage1960 helping to spread the word about all the cool things that are making this culturally rich continent relevant again, it seems this is an awesome time to finally take pride in AFRICA after such a long hiatus filled with disgrace and mayhem.