Meet Africa’s Top Fashion Influencers – WWD

PARIS With a steadily increasing center class, Africa holds loads of untapped potential for luxurious manufacturers. However who’re the influencers who’re shifting the needle on the continent and past?

As of late, world manufacturers like Louis Vuitton, Prada and Hermès are competing with a rising variety of homegrown labels, as designers like Wealthy Mnisi, Kenneth Ize, Hanifa and Thebe Magugu faucet into rising demand for African-made style.

With a purpose to succeed, Western manufacturers should harness the facility of native influencers, starting from stars of Nigerian cinema, dubbed Nollywood, to tv presenters, singers and influencers, know-how firm Heuritech mentioned in a webinar titled “Uncover the African Style Scene.”

“The narration of African style can’t be accomplished with out African creatives,” mentioned Amélie Rotsen, style analyst at Heuritech, which affords manufacturers style development forecasting utilizing synthetic intelligence to translate footage shared on social media into market insights. 

“Folks are actually actually fast to name out a model for cultural appropriation, so cease any narrative primarily based on Western imagery, and attempt to actually name these creatives to create tales that can spotlight their tradition, the best way they know the way,” she added. 

Complete personal wealth held in Africa is anticipated to rise by 30 p.c over the following 10 years, reaching $2.6 trillion by 2030, in response to the “Africa Wealth Report 2021” printed by AfrAsia Financial institution. South Africa is house to the most important luxurious market in Africa by income, adopted by Kenya and Morocco, it mentioned.

The financial institution expects Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda to be the strongest-performing wealth markets in Africa over the following decade, with progress charges exceeding 60 p.c. Strong progress can be forecast in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. 

“To enter the African market, it is extremely vital for worldwide manufacturers to essentially perceive the specificity of the markets and have groups immediately within the subject. That is very true for influencer communication,” mentioned Jenna McFeely, style curator and development analyst at Heuritech. 

“Choosing the right model ambassador requires overseas manufacturers to do exhaustive analysis available on the market, together with the influential figures of a specific nation or subject. And lastly, it’s vital to think about the burden of the diaspora,” she added. 

“Because of colonization, individuals of African descent are current all through the world with their coronary heart and their pockets mendacity between the Western world and their roots, and this can to devour Black[-owned brands] has been strengthened,” she mentioned, noting the facility of U.S. magnificence influencers like Jackie Aina and Nyma Tang.

Among the many prime African influencers she listed had been Nigerian actresses Adesua Etomi and Genevieve Nnaji, who’ve 4.3 million and eight.2 million followers on Instagram, respectively.

Burna Boy

Burna Boy 
Michael Buckner/WWD

Nigeria has additionally produced main music stars similar to Burna Boy and Wizkid, who posted a message on Instagram final week saying his live performance on the O2 Area in London, scheduled for Nov. 28, bought out in 12 minutes. 

“Whereas the hyperlink between movie, music and style doesn’t should be confirmed anymore, these artists’ world viewers and edgy type make them perfect representatives for African and worldwide designers who’re hoping to draw aspirational or entry-level shoppers,” McFeely mentioned. 

Well-liked TV personalities embrace Bonang Matheba, identified for her catchphrase “Champagne, darling!”, who has launched numerous style strains and her personal glowing wine model, Home of BNG, along with starring within the actuality TV present “Being Bonang.”

Citing Nigerian public relations agency Redrick, McFeely advisable that manufacturers concentrating on luxurious shoppers depend on high-net-worth people just like the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who impressed Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first assortment for Dior along with her essay “We Ought to All Be Feminists.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Maria Grazia Chiuri

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Maria Grazia Chiuri 
A•tor Rosas Su–e/WWD

“There’s additionally the influencer market with entrepreneur girls and journey lovers like Boity Thulo, who showcases the lavish aspect of Africa, which is aspirational to say the least,” McFeely added. 

“And at last, there’s the promise of Afro cyber influencers who is likely to be a brand new enjoyable outlet, given the success encountered by Lil Miquela, who’s one other digital influencer,” she mentioned, citing the instance of digital mannequin Ivaany. 

In parallel, WWD requested knowledge analysis and insights firm Launchmetrics to compile knowledge on the highest 5 African influencers ranked by media affect worth, or MIV. The measure, primarily based on a proprietary algorithm, estimates the worth of protection throughout social networks and within the media.

1. Mihlali Ndamase (@mihlalii_n): 1.4 million followers on Instagram, 59 p.c of engaged viewers from South Africa

The make-up artist and content material creator, also called Mihlali N, payments herself as the most important magnificence YouTuber in South Africa with 345,000 subscribers. 

She not too long ago generated $143,000 in MIV for a submit with Style Nova, $112,000 for a submit with Revlon and $80,000 for a submit with Dior make-up. 

Featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Below 30” listing this 12 months, Ndamase has expanded into luxurious and way of life content material, through paid partnerships with the likes of Radisson Inns and Protea Inns by Marriott.

2. Temiloluwa Otedola (@temiotedola): 1.2 million followers on Instagram, 54 p.c of engaged viewers from Nigeria

The daughter of Femi Otedola, a Nigerian billionaire lively in sectors together with vitality, and youthful sister of music star DJ Cuppy, Temi Otedola established her presence with the launch in 2014 of a weblog masking areas spanning style, journey and a e book membership. 

Her Instagram submit about Etro’s Forte dei Marmi pop-up in June generated $113,000 in MIV, whereas a submit with Farfetch in 2020 was price $68,000, reflecting the development in her follower rely.

Otedola made her performing debut final 12 months as the feminine lead in Nigerian director Kunle Afolayan’s movie “Quotation,” the story of a college scholar who accuses a professor of sexual harassment, which is out there to stream on Netflix. 

3. Kefilwe Mabote (@kefilwe_mabote): 1.2 million followers on Instagram, 56 p.c of engaged viewers from South Africa

Born within the township of Soweto in Johannesburg, Mabote final 12 months printed her autobiography “Kefilwe Mabote: Influencer De Luxe – From Soweto to Milan,” which doubles as a information to changing into an influencer. 

Recognized for her glamorous type, she generated $49,000 in MIV for a submit with Ugg in Might, however can typically be seen in high-end designer clothes by the likes of Burberry, Tom Ford and Versace. She even has a devoted website online,, to promote her castoffs. 

Mabote’s private life made headlines final 12 months when her then-boyfriend, businessman Edwin Sodi, was caught up in a corruption scandal. She subsequently misplaced a defamation lawsuit in opposition to the weekly tabloid Sunday World.

A post on Lesego "Thickleeyonce" Legobane's Instagram account.

A submit on Lesego “Thickleeyonce” Legobane’s Instagram account. 
Lesego Legobane/Instagram

4. Lesego Legobane (@thickleeyonce): 765,000 followers on Instagram, 66 p.c of engaged viewers from South Africa

Photographer, plus-size mannequin and physique positivity activist Legobane — identified professionally as Thickleeyonce — additionally has her personal on-line clothes retailer, Leebex. 

A current submit with Style Nova Curve generated $39,000 in MIV; one other with Bombay Sapphire was price $63,000, and a 3rd for Beyoncé’s Ivy Park assortment with Adidas generated $50,000. 

Legobane revealed final 12 months that she had been chosen as an influencer for Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie line, however final week referred to as out the model on Twitter for not providing any pay. The tweet was subsequently taken down, however she posted a separate message that learn: “PAY INFLUENCERS. CREATING CONTENT IS WORK.”

5. Sarah Langa (@sarahlanga), 579,000 followers on Instagram, 61 p.c of engaged viewers from South Africa

An in depth buddy of fellow influencer Kefilwe Mabote’s, Langa landed her first paid gig with South African division retailer chain Woolworths in 2015. She has often countered criticism from haters by highlighting her educational achievements, which she lists on her Instagram biography.

Langa works with a wide range of manufacturers together with hairstyling home equipment firm GHD and cell phone maker Samsung. She generated $31,000 in MIV for a current submit with fast-fashion e-tailer PrettyLittleThing; $26,000 with Nespresso, and $16,000 with Patrón Tequila.

One among her most up-to-date Instagram posts reveals her unboxing an Hermès Birkin purse in a promotion for luxurious items sourcing service Aquarius Luxurious Concierge. 

Sarah Langa

Sarah Langa 
Oupa Bopape/Gallo Photos through Getty Photos


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