REVIEW-Alia-Bare-s-DNA-Inspired-Collection-at-Joburg-Fashion-Week-2023 African Fashion International

REVIEW: Alia Bare's DNA-Inspired Collection at Joburg Fashion Week 2023

Ranji Mangcu

The Senegal-based, Nigerien designer Alia Bare made her third appearance at Joburg Fashion Week – her fourth overall at an AFI Fashion Week.

Known for its dedication to bridging style and luxury with comfort and accessibility, Bare’s eponymous label is consistent in achieving an air of grace and sophistication, appealing to those with refined tastes and a hankering for something beautiful.  

For her Joburg Fashion Week 2023 showing, Bare chose to direct her focus to prints – specifically, a graphic print emulating the scientific-diagram representation of DNA. This is not far off from her Joburg Fashion Week debut, or one of her most recent collections, which paid homage to the tradition of Indigo Dye in African fashion.

According to the designer, she specifically features prints that represent what the designer describes as her “creative DNA”. At the root of the collection is every lesson and experience – from her culture and heritage to her travels – that has built the woman that she is today, including a contemporary pop soundtrack. 


Since its inception in 2015, this label has been on a mission to celebrate womanhood and female form through a vision of African luxury that is not only beautiful, but sustainable and accessible.

According to Bare, part of her sustainable practice is producing luxury fashion that is timeless, durable and endlessly wearable.

Through the meticulous craftsmanship, attention to detail, and use of high-quality materials, the Niger-born, Dakar-based Bare has earned a reputation for producing garments that are as comfortable and accessible as they are the stylish epitome of African luxury.

This included a silk two-piece set, comprising a sweeping, ankle-length shirt dress and a pair of loose-fitting pants with a black, watercolour-esque tonal print.  

Speaking at AFI’s Joburg Fashion Week Masterclass, Bare was very candid about the cost of producing this beautiful collection. The designer, who travelled from Senegal for her Joburg Fashion Week showcase, expressed that due to the constraints around receiving government funding, she was forced to sell off pieces of her dowry. 

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