This is the second part of KORLEKIE celebrating the beautiful and talented black designers who are either born or located in London. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate all that talent and beauty!
Tanzanian-born designer and former stylist Rene Macdonald moved to London already at a young age, continuing her life travelling between Africa and the UK. Her brand Lisou, launched in 2017, is known for its hand-designed, bold prints and vibrant colours. Macdonald gets her inspiration from her home country, creating classic styles with a modern twist. All of the prints for the collections are designed by Macdonald herself and the materials used only the finest silks. The brand aims to make a positive global impact by donating part of its profits to young African communities and promoting the long-lasting qualities of slow fashion.
After graduating from De Montfort University, Samuel Ross worked in commercial design, getting hired by Louis Vuitton and Yeezy before launching his own label A-Cold-Wall* in 2015. The brand is inspired by the British class system, reflecting Ross’s own life story of growing up in a working-class neighbourhood in Brixton. A-Cold-Wall* has been distinguished in several fashion competitions such as ANDAM grand prize and LVMH Prize, and collaborated with sports brands like Nike. Samuel Ross has also been named the Fashion Award’s British Emerging Menswear Designer in 2018.
Titi Adesanya, who grew up between Lagos and London, started her educational career in pharmacy but found her real passion for design and shoe craftsmanship. After spending two years on collaboration with Italian artisans she launched her luxury footwear brand called Titi Adesda in 2019. The brand focuses on creating ethical and delicate hand-crafted footwear in a family-owned factory in Milan. The designs aim to reflect the style of a contemporary woman with a youthful essence, offering a balance between understated elegance and modern femininity in every collection. The label’s logo of a diamond represents the unique and imperfectly perfect diamond in every female.
Tolu Coker is a British-Nigerian fashion designer, textile designer and illustrator who released her own namesake label after graduating from Central Saint Martin’s in 2017. Coker’s collections are inspired mostly by politics of identity and social climates, mixing artisan craftsmanship with technological solutions. Her designs are largely unisex and base on garment deconstruction and sustainability. Among other rewards, Tolu Coker has been chosen as the winner of The Diesel Award, The Vogue Talents Award and The ITS Time for Coffee Award.
Camille Perry is one of the cofounders of Tove Studio. The brand was launched in 2019, when Perry and her longtime coworker from Topshop, Holly Wright, decided to join their forces and create a brand new contemporary womenswear label. Tove aims to create timeless designs that stand in between balancing modernity and femininity while setting the price tags according to the true cost of the garments. The labels name ‘Tove’ is inspired by a Danish woman’s name and reflects strength and beauty that is the true essence of everything Tove Studio is creating.
Kemi Telford is a Nigerian-born self-taught designer who moved to England in 1996. Originally focusing on law and having a career in credit risk analysing, she discovered her love for fashion while being on child leave. Telford’s brand Kemi Telford got inspired from her blogs, where she described her deepest thoughts and dreams. Remembering an old childhood dream of owning a womenswear shop, Telford finally decided to make it come true and launched the brand in 2017. The brand is known for its use of bold patterns and colourful fabrics that reflect the Nigerian influence mixed with a western twist.