With a number of brands and retailers alienating consumers with culturally appropriated products, the time has come to stop borrowing from non-western societies and instead start working with them.
Recognising the need to bridge the gap between African designers and the rest of the world is online platform Oxosi. Founded in 2016 by Nigerian friends Akin Adebowale and Kolade Adeyemo, the site – described as part e-tailer, part online magazine – was launched not only to give smaller, unknown brands access to a broader international market, but also to educate western consumers about African design.
The site gives brands the opportunity to disrupt the often single-minded traditional identity narrative associated with the continent, providing a more accurate portrayal that is both multifaceted and diverse.
Brands showcased on the site include South African knitwear brand Maxhosa, Nigerian menswear label Post Imperial and Côte d’Ivoire-based luxury womenswear designer Loza Maléombho – featured in our Instagangs: African Designers & Brands report.