African Fashion Goes Global – and Takes Root in Ireland

As the fashion world devotes an increasing amount of attention on African fashion, the Western world is beginning to embrace its wonders. To meet this rising design, a new crop of Diasporan fashionistas are making their mark with innovative Africa-inspired designs in places far from the African continent. Umoja Linn (formerly Umoja Production) is an Afrocentric fashion brand set up in Galway in 2017 by friends Liswa McDonald and China Soribe. The pair were studying together in Galway and chose the name Umoja “because it stands for “Unity” in Swahili, one of Africa’s oldest languages. Dubliner Florence Olufemi-Ojo is the founder of clothing brand, M.I.O Prints, which she launched in 2017. She says she always wanted to her own boss and wanted to create a business that would blend her heritage and values together. Emerald & Wax prides itself on being a truly multicultural business. Founder Virtue Shine draws on her Ghanaian heritage, Japanese design and African fabrics to bring her pieces to life along the Wild Atlantic Way. Irish friends Joan Hughes and Lindi Campbell Clause, both art and design graduates, founded The African Shirt Company after a trip to the Mount Kasigau area of South-Western Kenya.


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