In recent years, the fashion world has witnessed a renaissance in design talent emerging from the dynamic and culturally rich nation of Côte d'Ivoire. Fashion designers hailing from this West African fashion powerhouse are making waves on both local and international runways, captivating fashion enthusiasts with their distinct aesthetics and innovative approaches.
The growth and visibility of fashion from Côte d'Ivoire owe much to the pioneering work of designers like Pathé O, Lafalaise Dion, Gilles Toure, Ciss St Moïse, Kente Gentlemen, and Loza Maléombho.
These designers have not only showcased the diversity of Ivorian fashion on global platforms but also continue to influence the next generation of designers. Their contributions have played a pivotal role in solidifying Côte d'Ivoire's position as an emerging force in fashion.
With the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations currently taking place in Côte d’Ivoire, bringing global attention to the country, AFI Fashion News explores the extraordinary fashion designers from Côte d'Ivoire that are leaving an indelible mark on the fashion stage.
DESIGNER: Elie Kuame Univers BRAND: Elie Kuame Univers
Elie Kuame Univers is a name synonymous with elegance, glamour, and exceptional craftsmanship. Through its vibrant, cosmopolitan blend of Kuame’s African and Eastern influences, this namesake brand has captivated the imagination of fashion connoisseurs across the continents. Crafted with lavish fabrics and intricate embellishments, Kuame’s mastery of fine materials makes for a gorgeous and graceful addition to African womenswear.
DESIGNER: Lewis Mardochee Tahou BRAND: Studio Madoch
Lewis Mardochee Tahou has become renowned for his ability to infuse contemporary fashion with elements of his Ivorian heritage through fascinating textures and prints. Drawing inspiration from traditional textiles, vibrant colours, and ancestral motifs, Studio Madoch boldly reflects the cultural diversity of Côte d'Ivoire. With meticulous attention to detail and impeccable tailoring, the Studio Madoch brand celebrates the spirit of individuality and pride in African identity.
DESIGNER: Michael Trah BRAND: Michael Trah
Pushing the boundaries of fashion, Michael Trah is known for an avant-garde approach that blurs the lines between art and design. With a knack for innovation, Trah explores structure, texture, and form. For their focus on delicate drapery, romantic silhouettes, and a harmonious colour palette, Trah’s gowns have made the Michael Trah brand popular with all socialites, brides and beauty queens who want to showcase their hourglass figures.
DESIGNER: Mathilde Mé-Wé BRAND: Mé-Wé
Mathilde Mé-Wé's eponymous brand, Mé-Wé, radiates empowered femininity and style. Embracing both contemporary trends and traditional ideals, Mé-Wé's designs are often characterised by a blend of intricate patterns and architectural pleats and silhouettes, celebrating asymmetry and unconventional artistry. Mé-Wé uses a variety of fabrics to create garments that are stylish and comfortable, with subtle, yet experimental details. Her commitment to sustainable and ethically sourced materials further enhances her brand's appeal among environmentally conscious fashion enthusiasts.
DESIGNERS: Mariam-Simone Sibidé and Gina Kakou-Marceau BRAND: SIMONE ET ELISE
Simone et Elise's painterly aesthetic is more than a design motif, but a joyful and confident celebration of African beauty, womanhood and culture. From flowers to faces rendered in different styles, Simone et Elise’s artistry epitomises contemporary clean-cut elegance, balancing majestic silhouettes with flouncy, feminine details.
Their designs effortlessly blend modern sophistication with a touch of African heritage, resulting in timeless pieces that exude timeless charm. Combining luxurious fabrics with subtle embellishments, Simone et Elise creates the perfect ensemble for the confident and discerning woman seeking effortless style.