Across Africa bold, colourful and intricate patterns can be found throughout fabric and surface designsthat reach back through the centuries. Pattern continues to influence the expressions of modern design emerging from and inspired by the continent. Here is a selection African designers and artists creating their own unique pattern adorned creations.
Dubbed the Master of Prints, fashion designer Duro Olowunever fails to impress with his effortlessly chic, women’s wear collections that are characterised by a vibrant cornucopia of mix and match prints. Prints that despite being sourced from around the world, or designed by Olowu himself in the UK, all seem to give a big nod to his African heritage.
Sophisticated prints characterise the collections of Nigerian-based fashion designer Maki Oh, who makes use of traditional textile production and hand dyeing techniques such as Adire, Aso Oke to stunning effect.
Hassan Hajjaj, the Moroccan photographer living in the UK is perhaps best known for his Rockstars series of fashion photography. His pattern play comes in the form of not only using distinctive African print fabrics but also from the placement and repetition of objects in his artwork to frame his subjects.
Maxhosa by Laduma
Inspired by the initiation ceremonies and colourful world of the Xhosa tribe knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokoloset out to modernise local knitwear designs by infusing them with the patterns and colours of his Xhosa culture and in the process has created an instantly recognisable identity that combines culture with modern style.
Often referred to as the ‘Queen of Colour’ textile designer Banke Kukucreates intricately patterned textile collections for interiors and fashion. Her luxurious collections draw on her culture and heritage fusing west-African and Western aesthetics to create bespoke patterns and textiles rich with colour and texture.
Award-winning visual artist, writer, and photographer Victor Ehikamenordraws on influences from traditional African motifs and religious cosmology. Bold pattern is a running theme throughout his work whether creating fabric like installations for gallery spaces or fabric prints for fashion collections by designers such as Ituen Basi.
Evans Mbugua is a Nairobi-born, Paris-based visual artist and designer. He draws inspiration from the diverse mix of these two cities, using his artwork to explore identity and the stories of the people he depicts be they himself, friends or strangers.
[Image credits: The images shown are sourced from/belong to from main, Superga SA, Duro Olowu, Superga SA,Maki Oh, Hassan Hajjaj, Maxhosa by Laduma, Banke Kuku, Victor Ehikamenor; Evans Mbugua. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]