There are a million designers I love from the west but in terms of ranking these are my top five for Western, African and Nigerian designers. Enjoy!
- Elie Saab: Born July 4, 1964, sometimes known simply as ‘ES’, is a Lebanese fashion designer.
In 1982, Saab launched his Beirut-based fashion label when he was 18 years old. His main workshop is in Lebanon, a country to which he remains deeply attached. He also has workshops in Milan and Paris.
Ellie Saab to me is like the King of Fashion. I am yet to see any of Elie Saabs design that I hate or even just pass off. Ellie Saab to me is my no 1 designer. He creates new, wearable pieces. He is always on point. Elie Saab is my No 1 pick.
2. Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani: Best known as Valentino, born 11 May 1932 is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the Valentino brand and company. His trademark is the RED color which he uses most times for his collection. I love Valentino’s designs because they are very romantic, authentic and beautiful. His designs always tell a romantic story. He has designed for the who who in entertainment, fashion and business industry is including Jackie O. He is a truly a renowned designer.
3. Oscar de la Renta: Born July 22, 1932 is one of the world’s leading fashion designers. He is famous for his opulent evening gowns and lavish coats. He has a great sex appeal to his clothes and he loves to dress young socialites and stars as well as a stylish modern woman.
4. [Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel] was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist philosophy, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion. She was the founder of the famous fashion brand Chanel. Her extraordinary influence on fashion was such that she was the only person in the field to be named on Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century. I call her Queen of fashion. She changed the way we look at fashion forever.
5. Donna Karen v. Diane von Furstenberg: For my fifth pick I couldn’t decide between these two so I chose them both. Donna Karan, born October 2, 1948 is an American Jewish fashion designer and the creator of the Donna Karan New York and DKNYclothing labels. I love her designs because she creates must have key and timeless pieces for every ladies wardrobe. She became well-known for her Essentials’ line initially offering seven easy pieces which could all be mixed and matched, and created a fully integrated wardrobe. Karan always insisted that she would only design clothes, like jersey dresses and opaque Lycra tights, that she would also wear herself.
Diane von Furstenberg, born December 31, 1946. She is a Belgian, American fashion designer. She is best known for her wrap dress. She is the mistress of all things chiffon and loves to make beautiful dresses.
1. David Tlale: Born 29 January 1975. In May 2003 David started working from home running a design studio. He is one of Africa’s finest.
2. Renee Q Ghana: she is known mostly for her collection bespoke which is a mix of fashionable tees mixed with African fabric. She is also the mastermind behind Renee Q Accessories. Our Accessories range in style from necklaces, pendants and earrings, bracelets, anklets, cufflinks, hair pieces, facinators and many more.
3. Abigail Keats is a South African fashion designer. Born November 11, 1986. Keats signature style is best described as a sophisticated contemporary art form that plays with the paradox of masculine tailoring, while exaggerating a feminine figure. The focus throughout all her collections is embedded in exerting the power of a woman while magnifying the beauty and grace of her being and form. Her love for art, self-expression and creation is the inspiration on which all her collections are fashioned.
4. Abigail Betz: She is known as South Africa’s own Vera Wang. She is known to make beautiful dresses. She started her fashion line in 1997 and showed for the first time at African fashion week in 2010.
5. Anisa Mpungwe: she is the designer behind fashion house Loins cloths and ashes. This Tanzanian designer is all about the futuristic look which I love. Her designs are futuristic and are still wearable. She has a unique color sense which just seems to work. She started her fashion house in 2008
Nigeria Designers in the Diaspora:
1. Adebayo Jones: Nigerian designer based in London. He is an award winning designer that focuses on evening wear and wedding dresses. He is considered a haute couture designer. He understands the female form and gladdens the hearts of ladies the world over with his designs.
2. Yemi Osunkoya: Nigerian designer behind Kosibah creations is also London based. He is known for his fashion forward and affordable couture. He also specializes in evening wear and bridal dresses. He is an award winning designers who started his label in 1991. I love his signature which is the use of corsets and boning in his designs. His designs are made out to bring the hourglass shape out in a woman. He truly celebrates the female body with his designs.
3. Adefunke Adegbola: Is the designer behind Ella brown couture based in the United States. This self taught designer started her line in 2004 and has soared since then. Her designs are feminine with a sophisticated and luxury edge. She is one designer to look out for.
4. Ade Bakare: He started his line in 1991.he always like his designs to have an ethnic feel to it. He is one design that has helped catapult Nigerian fashion to the international scene.
5. Aloye Adede: Designer behind the line Eloye. Fresh on the fashion scene. Her designs easily depict her love for nineteenth century fashion. I know she is new to the fashion industry but I love her designs, though edgy a bit they always have a feminine touch. I love the way she modernizes Victorian fashion. I love the way she uses structure and pleats. she is good.
1. Lisa Folawiyo: Designer behind the Jewel by Lisa fashion house. She started her line in 2005 and is known for her love of Ankara fabric which she uses in most of her designs. She never designs without embellishments from sequins, Swarovski crystals, to beads. Her designs are always refreshing.
2. Ituen Bassey: Is the fashion designer behind the fashion line Ituen Basi. I know she is the personality of the week and I have talked about her. But I can’t stop talking about her. This is one designer that has mastered the act of putting pieces of fabric together without making it look tacky. Ankara prints are already busy on their own and to mix and match like 4 or 5 pieces together should be catastrophic but no, Ituen Basi knows how to blend it well and she has her color knowledge right on point.
3. Frank Osodi: Is the designer behind the fashion house Bunor Creazioni. He started his line as far back as the 80’s and 90’s. He has been on the fashion scene a long time and is one of the fashion authorities in Nigeria. I love his designs personally because they celebrate the female form and he has a good understanding of the female body.
4. Folake Folarin: Is the designer behind the fashion house Tiffany Amber. She started her line in 1998. Her signature is stylish, effortless designs with a feminine edge.
5. Deola Sagoe: She is a haute couture fashion designer from the Ondo State. She is known for her lively and colorful designs. She has featured in major runway shows across the world.