Africa is huge and has a lot of cultural diversity. In the last few years, the artist energy on the continent has started to thrive in new ways, with brands and artists starting to find their way out to the world in mass. Before, lots of Africans wanted just to go to Europe to make money, but lately, there is a new sense of opportunity within the continent. Immigrants are coming back home to create their own business and be entrepreneurs. This is the Africa we have today.
A Mozambican clothing brand that I love very much. They started with a range of capulana jackets that are beautifully done and creative. Today Chibaia has evolved into an exquisite clothing line that is well worth knowing.
A very good friend of mine from Maputo. He started at Nucleo de Art, learning with the best. Gonsolo became a well known creative artist, making incredible sculptures using old guns from our civil war. Now his pieces can be found all over the world with exhibitions in top galleries.
This creative lady is inspiring all of us in her creative journey. Taila is the co-founder of Ruum gallery. Not so long ago she created this amazing brand with beautiful African inspired jewelry. These are some of my favorite design products – they are a true WOW.
A Capetonean living in Mozambique. This amazing fashion designer helps us to be conscious about consumption. Lately she has been helping women revamp their wardrobes and create new pieces. Apart from loving all her beautiful pieces, I think her concepts are amazing.
Ha ha! Firstly, this is my favorite African name brand on the planet. Then I discover that it is led by a Mozambican woman – how proud can I be?! Mafastela means sunglasses, and they make the most amazing designs – check them out!
The top Mozambican brand in my opinion, RUUM has come a long way, and is now considered one of the best young design firms by Vogue and Elle home magazine. Their products are exquisite, reflecting so much of Africa, nature and our day to day life. TOP!
My cousin who I’m so proud of! Today, Taibo is in the top 10 fashion designers, with an amazing collection. His products are on runways and in shops from South African to Paris and Milan. His shops in Sandton, Johannesburg, and in Maputo are worth a visit.
The best natural cosmetics in Mozambique. Led by my friend/partner Ana Alecia Lyman, MIOMBO has an amazing natural cosmetic collection based in African seeds oils, clay, plant extracts, and beeswax. The line includes scented candles, masks, solid perfumes, lipbalms and more.
PIRATAS DO PAU
A recycled materials furniture company based in Maputo. I love all the combinations they do with old water geysers, pallets, and even water pump parts to create these amazing pieces. They have a beautiful and unique home collection. Before you buy any furniture in Maputo visit them and you will not be disappointed.
An amazing artist from Mozambique with abstract and colorful pieces. I just love all his work because somehow I find peace in his pieces. Every time I visit his atelier, there is always a sculpture he is doing that inspires me. Butcheca is one of those people who I can just go “Knock knock, someone home?” and he will open the door with a big smile, happy to see me.
Natural, fresh and amazing Mozambican teas. In Moksha, you find the African tea flavors with a mix of hibiscus, camomile and other herbs that are well known around the world. My favorite teas in their collection are IMMUNE (Cavalinha, cidreira, amoreira, Lemon and ginger) and FOCUS (Ginko Biloba, Roiboos and Lemongrass).
From my pariango! This amazing Mozambican brand is working with various materials including grass, leather, fabric and tyres to create luxury handbags that I love. Their collection showcases a range of materials and textures from Mozambique, with Linga-linga basketry, Maciene weaving and Karingane collaboration. Woogui is just a TOP Mozambican brand.
My little sister from another mother! Afro Ricky is a brand created by Ricacia Agira from Inhambane. The brand specialises in organic clothing and she is doing an amazing job – I am so proud of her beautiful and unique designs. Ricky surprises me every time with her creative evolution. BRAVO menina!
Too many hours of laughs, love, joy, fights and art in the little house where we lived in Maputo paid off for Lizette. At that time, she was the non-artist just watching all of us who were trying to launch our creative careers. Today, she is one of the best African contemporary artists. Her pieces are at the MOMA, in big galleries in New York, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Dubai – you name it. We are just too proud of you, sister.
Clay sculptures from the Maconde culture. An inspiration for all of us, Reinata is now celebrated and recognized for her unique and spectacular pieces. Her work brings me back to my traditions, reminds me where I come from, who my ancestors are and the value of my culture. Everyone should have a piece by Reinata.
This amazing Kenyan basketry brand works with around 700 women from rural communities, producing these amazing pieces that I love. The baskets are made from sisal and recycled plastic from Kenyan streets. A beautiful project and concept with amazing designs. It’s worth checking out these products because they are TOP!
Ahhh … this brand from South Africa makes me crazy every time I see a new piece from them! They are simply amazing, exquisite African designs. I love love love all of it: the colors, the cuts, the designs – no wonder they are the H&M African designers. Well done in making Africa proud!
CHNA DE SA
An amazing artist from Inhambane, well known in our city and the world. Chana’s work is loved by many. Most recently, he is coloring our streets with amazing painted murals, teaching art to children and using recycling materials to produce his work. Medusa is one of my favorite pieces of his artwork.
South African-born with Mozambican parents, living in SA. I have the opportunity to chat with this amazing chef and follow his work; he is one of my favorite African chefs. His food is amazing, very inspirational, very African and very tasty. If you can find his recipe book, you will always have the taste of Africa at your disposal!
The new contemporary recycling and upcycling concept brand. Recycled glass bottles, tyres, plastics and recovered wood, Biothonga blends these materials to create an ever-growing range of home and kitchen products, like jars, candle holders, ashtrays, cups, boards etc. Their amazing concept has even led to partnerships with companies like @pernodrichard, to look at new ways to upcycle waste glass from their product lines.
Many of us today see Africa with different eyes, with opportunities to thrive. Here are examples of my favorite African brands, mainly from Mozambique, who are doing very well and have amazing products now being sold around the world. Enjoy!
AFRICA RISE #UMBUTU