African Designers for Tommorrow: First Edition

Published on 23rd September 2014

FA254  is  proud  to  announce  the  ten  finalists  of  African  Designers  for  tomorrow  (ADFT), the first  international competition in  collaboration  with VOGUE Germany, ESMOD International Fashion School Berlin and eBay Fashion. The competition ADFT is a unique concept that gives emerging  African  designers  international  image,  distribution  and  access  to the  European markets.

The first Edition of ADFT features an international jury chaired by Christiane Arp – Chief Editor Vogue Germany, Melissa Drier – German Correspondant Women’s Wear Daily, Silvia Kadolsky –  Director  Esmod  Fashion  School  Berlin,  Nina  Puetz – Director  Fashion  &  Lifestyle  eBay Germany, Waridi Schrobsdorff – Founder & CEO of FA254, Bobby Kolade – Fashion Designer. 

In  collaboration  with  a  panel  of  fashion  experts  from  Nairobi  such  as  Diana  Opoti – Design Africa TV, Evgeniya Khromina – Co-Founder & President Panah, Franklin Saiyalel – Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger, Ingrid Tamborin – Africa Focal Point FA254, Linda Murithi – Founder of  Hub of Africa, Marc Oliver – Creative Director of Mille Collines. 

FA254  is  honored  to  present  the  ten  finalists  of  the  competition  African  Designers  for Tomorrow  from  three  categories –  Apparel,  Accessories  and  Home Decoration.  The  ten designers  nominated  are Ami  Shah,  Anne  Mpinga,  Anthony  Mulli,  Doreen  Nemael  Mashika, Gladys  Macharia,  Hardeep  Channa,  Ivy  Chege,  Katungulu  Mwendwa,  Lorna  Abwonji and Sisi King.

Each of the category winners will have the opportunity to develop and produce their product with the renowned international e-commerce platforms eBay Fashion (apparel), Urbanara (home collection) and Monoqi (accessories).  

The winner of ADFT award will exhibit his/her collection at the Vogue Salon during Berlin Fashion Week and will exclusively sell his/her capsule collection at eBay Fashion in July 2015. 

“At eBay, we are delighted to be part of such an outstanding cooperation like African Designers for Tomorrow! We firmly believe in the concept that Waridi developed and love the mentoring aspect of it. eBay Fashion will exclusively showcase and sell the winner’s collection in 2015.” (Nina Puetz, Director Fashion & Lifestyle eBay Germany)
Fashion Africa 254 was founded in 2013 by Waridi Schrobsdorff, former Kenyan top model, to promote new talent and to rebrand Africa through young and creative minds. “OUR GOAL IS TO CHANGE PEOPLE MINDS” (Waridi Schrobsdorff, Founder & CEO of FA254)  



ABSOLUT  VODKA  has  always  worked  to  support  acclaimed  artists  and  creative  institutions globally. ABSOLUT  always  looks  to  find  platforms  where  artists  from  a  variety  of  creative disciplines  from  across  the  globe;  can  showcase  their  creativity  and  originality  much  like  the nature  of  the  brand.  Therefore, it  is  only  natural  that  ABSOLUT  comes together  to  celebrate Africa's designers of the future with FA254. 

ABSOLUT appears as a catalyst for contemporary leading-edge creativity ultimately making the world  even  more  vibrant  and  exceptional. The brand has  always  challenged  conventions through creative collaborations with artists such as Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst.  

“We are delighted to be associated with FA254. The competition will open up an array of possibilities for some of the most creative minds locally; as well as give them an international platform upon which they can shine.” (Wanjiru Njenga, Marketing Manager East Africa Pernod Ricard) 


eBay Fashion

eBay is one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, connecting people with the things they need and love virtually anytime, anywhere.  eBay  has  149  million  active  buyers  globally  and  more  than  700  million  live  individual  and merchant listings at any given time, the majority of which is new and fixed-price merchandise.  Tailored  shopping  experiences  like  eBay  Fashion  customize  buying  and  selling;  and  eBay provides  variety  and  choice  for  sellers  by  enabling  them  to  offer  goods  through  online  and mobile channels to consumers around the world.  At  eBay  Fashion  you  can discover  the  most  inspiring  fashion  and  shop  incredible  items  and unique pieces. 

For more information, visit  


IREN-Cotton made in Africa 

The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) jointly with Hamburg based Cotton made in Africa (CmiA)  are  spearheading  The  Made  in  Africa  Initiative  in  East  Africa. IREN-CmiA  aim  is  to activate  the textile domestic market  and  to  make Eastern Africa Textile Value Chain Efficient. The initiative focuses largely on market analysis, matchmaking and value addition.  IREN-CmiA  is  working  with  Fashion  Africa  Limited  (FA254)  and  Peon  Glamor  to  offer  African designers a platform to showcase their textile design talent and produce ready to wear attires. IREN-CmiA is in discussion with leading textile retailers, industries and designers to explore the suitability of sustainably produced made in Africa textile products for the East African market and the world.

IREN  is  a  leading  independent  African  think  tank  that  promotes  ideas  and  strategies  geared towards causing prosperity in Africa through free enterprise and sound public policy.  

CmiA is an Initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation. In 2013; CmiA initiative worked with over 500,000 Small Holder Farmers, 7 cotton companies and sold over 20 million units of garments in Europe. 



Anne Mpinga

Anne  Mpinga  was  born  in  Nairobi  and  grew  up  with  an  affinity  to  the  arts.  She  founded  her clothing line Kipusa in 2011 and showcased her first collection at Hub of Africa Fashion Week in Addis Ababa in 2012. She later took part in FAFA Insight-2012, Nigeria Fashion Week-2012, represented  Kenya  at  Africa  Fashion  Reception  in  Paris 2013  and  has  been  selected  to represent  Kenya  and  showcase  her  collection  at  the  Africa  Malaysia  International  Fashion Show in Kuala Lumpur, later in 2014. 

Anthony Mulli

At  the  tender  age  of  16,  Anthony  began  to  artistically  express  his  creativity  through  rich cultural heritage leading to the formation of his first company Katchy Kollections, which today houses  the  affordable  luxury  Brand  JIAMINI.  He dived  deeper  into  understanding  the technicality of the construction of garments, jewellery and bags gaining first-hand experience from traditional craftsmen,  tailors and various artisans who gave  a better understanding into the world of leather work.   

Doreen Nemael Mashika

Zanzibar based and Tanzania-born designer Doreen Mashika is a true globetrotter. Inspired by the  island  and  continent  she  calls  home,  Doreen  is  constantly  infusing  her  eco–friendly collection with a cool, worldly vibe. Doreen’s sartorial style combines  the  best  of  African traditional style with a contemporary twist. 

Lorna Abwonji

Lorna  Abwonji  is  a  graduate  from  Vera  Fashion  Institute  with  a  background  design  in  craft items. Lorna started her fashion label called MIA MARA CREATION which means give me mine. She  specializes  in  occasional  and  casual  clothing for  women  and  branching  into  clothing  for men.  In  2008  Lorna  was  selected  as  one  of  the  REDDS  AFRICA  FASHION  DESIGN  AWARDS [RAFDA] finalists.   


Ami Shah

Her work has always been and continues to be an exploration of adornment’s ability to create and imbue sculptural form against the body, playing with the light, shadow, texture, patterns and  forms  which  also  by  default  should  stand  beautifully,  isolated,  even  in  absence  of  the softness  and  curvature  of  the  human  skin.  The brand I AM I is  about  creating  eclectic, statement adornment using locally sourced materials – copper, rope, brass, wood, leather and semi-precious stone.

Niku studied interior design and is now full time into Jewellery & Fashion Design. In 2014, Niku was awarded best designer of the year & Best Accessory Designer of the year in Africa  at the Mercedes  Benz  Africa  Fashion  Festival  in  Ghana.  In  2009,  Niku  showcased  his  work at  the London  Fashion  Week  by London brand “Made”. Niku’s creations are originally Kenyan designed and produced locally with an exceptional merge of costume brass & aluminium with semi-precious stone jewellery. 

Ivy Chege

Ivy Chege has  a Bachelor of Art's degree in  Design from the University of Nairobi. Ivy creates inspired  handmade  jewellery  pieces  that  range  from  minimalistic  pieces  to  more  structured, flamboyant and dominant pieces. Now on her own brand, she previously had the opportunity to design for the local jewellery brand 'RiRi Jewellery.' 


Gladys Macharia

Born  in  Kenya,  Gladys  Macharia  moved  to  Italy  to  enrol  at  the  Academia  Italiana  after graduating  with  a  BA  in  Fashion  Design.  She  then  worked with  the  Florentine  luxury  fashion house Ermanno Scervino, before completing silversmith training at a specialized artisan school, Metalo  Nobile.  Gladys  then  returned  to  her  home  country  in  2011,  to  launch  her  brand Loyangalani.  She  creates  jewellery  inspired  by  the  rich,  exotic  and  diverse  landscape  of  East Africa. 

Katungulu Mwendwa

After  completing her BA degree in  Fashion design, Katungulu Mwendwa started a line by her name in 2012. She was chosen to showcase her work at the GenArt Fresh Faces Fashion show during  New  York  Fashion  week  in  September 2013.  After  successfully  showcasing her Spring/Summer  2013  collection  named  sandstorm – the  journey of  a  challenged  nomad  part two – the Nairobi based designer was definitely one to watch.  

Sisi King

Sisters of Kenyan and British heritage, Sisi and Elle both studied at the School of Oriental and African  Studies  in London.  Coupled  with  a  strong  interest  in  fashion  and  design,  led  them to the founding of ZikoAfrika in November 2013. ZikoAfrica is a contemporary accessories brand inspired  by  the  dual  heritage  of  the  founding  sisters.  Each  product  is  made  in  Kenya  and reflects both European and African design.

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