4 leading African fashion districts you should visit

Africa Rise.

Africa Rise.

Published Mar 27, 2024


Africa is flourishing in fashion. We have talented designers who make their craft from scratch using local resources, and that’s something that shouldn’t go unnoticed, considering how many opt to outsource overseas and stick their names on products that do not benefit the local economy.

So, if you’re looking at supporting African brands, these are the fashion districts you should visit.

City of Durban

Durban is one of the hottest fashion districts in South Africa. With organisations like the Durban Fashion Fair, the city is known for producing world-class emerging designers with an eye for fashion and a talent for innovative designs.

Durban designers can turn anything and make it into fashion.

For example, a few years ago at the Durban Fashion Fair, there was a student designer who used an Inyala (maize mealie) sack and turned it into an exotic dress, and that’s the kind of talent Africa needs – designers who save the planet using fashion.

Alára (Lagos, Nigeria)

Situated on Victoria Island, a district known for its energetic business atmosphere and modern architecture, this luxury store keeps Lagos alive with trendy fashion.

Founded by Reni Folawiyo, a Nigerian lawyer turned fashion entrepreneur and businesswoman, Alára is a fashion hub promoting emerging talent.

It is a space for the appreciation and curation of art collectables such as furniture, textiles, fashion and sculpture.

Elle Lokko. Picture: Supplied

Elle Lokko (Accra, Ghana)

Owned by Stefania Manfreda, Elle Lokko is known as Ghana’s inaugural women's concept store. When Manfreda launched the store in September 2015, she wanted it to be the one-stop destination for contemporary women seeking authentic experiences.

Today, that space is a “a collage of cultural and commercial entities consisting of fashion, music, lifestyle, art and photography”.

Africa Rise (Gauteng)

Owned by Thula Sindi, Africa Rise is a high fashion concept store with branches in Joburg City, Menlyn Park Shopping Centre and Sandton.

This is where you find exclusive collections by South African fashion legend Clive Rundle, along with collections by Erre, Loincloth and Ashes, Malondie, Ephymol, Naked Ape, and Relevance for Men, among many others.

“It’s very important to have spaces of beauty in commercial retail centres, and Africa Rise is the vehicle to bring African fashion, crafts, jewellery, accessories and fine art under one roof,” said Sindi at the time of the launch.