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African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style

October 6, 2018 - April 28, 2019

Mint Museum Randolph








Kyemah McEntyre, designer (b. Newark, NJ, 1997)

Mind of Kye, Based in East Orange, New Jersey

The Prom Slayer Dress, 2016

Vlisco wax print, Angelina
Courtesy Fowler Museum at UCLA
Photo: Don Cole

Lekan Jeyifo (b. Nigeria) and Walé Oyéjidé (b. Nigeria, 1981)

Johannesburg 2081 A.D.

Africa 2081 A.D. series, 2014

Digital print    

Courtesy Ikiré Jones                  

Francis K. Honny (b. Elmina, Ghana, 1914–1998)

Portrait of man and woman, Elmina, Ghana, circa1975

Black and white photograph

Courtesy Tobias Wendl





African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style introduces visitors to a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits: "popular" garments created by local seamstresses and tailors across the continent; international runway fashions designed by Africa’s newest generation of couturiers; and boundary-breaking, transnational and youth styles favored in Africa's urban centers. All feature the colorful, boldly designed, manufactured cotton textiles that have come to be known as "African-print cloth." 


An introductory section of the exhibition is followed by four areas exploring the global stories of these textiles; studio-based portrait photography, the diverse popular styles worn across the continent,  groundbreaking runway fashion, and transnational interpretations of African-print. Throughout, African-print fashions can be seen as creative responses to key historical moments and as reflections of ever-changing stylistic preferences. The exhibition includes works from the archives of the Dutch company Vlisco, the most well-known maker of African-print cloths, private lenders, and holdings from the Fowler Museum at UCLA. New works by artists and designers have been commissioned for the exhibition.The exhibition features 250 objects: one-hundred and thirty cloths, sixty tailored ensembles, twenty photographic works, twelve works of contemporary art, and objects from archival collections.  Organized by the Fowler Museum, the curatorial team includes includes Suzanne Gott, Kristyne Loughran, Betsy Quick, and Leslie Rabine and is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue. 


Selected Resources 



Artists and Contributors 

  • James Adu

    • Designer and Tailor based in Adiebeba, Kumasi, Ghana  

  •  Titi Ademola 

    • Ghana/Nigerian Designer and Founder of KIKI Clothing 

African-Print Fashion Now!: Designer Titi Ademola from Fowler Museum on Vimeo.


  • Olutola Afolayan

    • Designer  

    • b. in Nigeria and based in Oakland, California  

  • Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou

    • Photographer  
    • b. Porto-Novo, Benin, 1965
    • This CNN article showcases Agbodjelou's series of photographs titled "Musclemen," where Benin bodybuilders pose with objects such as plastic flowers and bouquets.
  • Lanre Da Silva Ajayi  

    • Nigerian Designer   


  • Nicole Amien 

    • Designer and Seamstress based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire 
  • Monsieur Bâ

    • Designer and Tailor based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Mory Bamba

    • Photographer  
    • b.  Sikasso, Mali, 1949
  • Ituen Bassey (Basi)

    • Nigerian Designer  
  • Njideka Akunyili Crosby

    • Visual Artist and 2017 MacArthur Fellow
    • b.  Enugu, Nigeria, 1983


  • Afua Dabanka

    • Designer
    • b. Germany  
    • Dabanka and her sister are interviewed here about their luxury footwear line that is made in Ghana and inspired by their Ashanti heritage. 
  • Victoria Dadie

    • Designer and Seamstress based in Parasi Estate, Kumasi, Ghana 
  • Moussou Diagne 

    • Designer and Seamstress  
    • b. Senegal  
  • Mame Mor Diba (Deep Dakart) 

    • Artist and Designer  
    • b. Senegal  
  • Omar Victor Diop

    • Fine Arts Fashion Photographer
    • b.  Dakar, Senegal, 1980
    • The Guardian conducted an interview with Diop about his Project Diaspora, in which he staged portraits based on paintings from the fifteenth to nineteenth century. 


Video from CNN Interview 

  • Alpha Doumbia

    • Designer based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
    • Interview with Doumbia about his company Samarra Shoes (in French) 
  • Djibril Drame

    • Senegalese Visual Artist  
  • Nana Elvis 

    • Visual Artist 
    • b. Ghana 
  • Emma 

    • Designer and Seamstress
    • b. Cameroon  
  • Ernestine 

    • Designer and Seamstress  
    • b. Cameroon 
  • Lisa Folawiyo

    • Designer 
    • b. Nigeria, 1976
    • Folawiyo gives Vogue a tour of her native city of Lagos, Nigeria and talks about the importance of fashion in Nigerian culture.  
    • One of Folawiyo's pieces is pictured in this article about Industrie Africa, a digital showroom for young African designers. 
  • Ibrahima Faye 

    • Designer and Creator of Ibou Fashion   
    • b. Senegal   
  • Hassan Hajjaj

    • Contemporary Artist  
    • b. Larache, Morocco, 1960 

Video from CNN's "Meet Hassan Hajjaj: The 'Andy Warhol of Marrakech'"  

  • Francis K. Honny

    • Photographer 
    • b. Elmina, Ghana, 1914-1998 
  • Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga

    • Visual Artist   
    • b. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1991 
    • This piece from Intense Art Magazine describes how Ilunga incorporates both historical and contemporary influences in works. 
  • Lekan Jeyifo

    • Artist and Digital Illustrator
    • b. Nigeria and based in Brooklyn 
    • To highlight the poor living conditions in the shanty towns of Lagos, Nigeria, Jeyifo created images of a futuristic, dystopian version of a shanty town located right in the center of the city.    


  • Regina Konadu  

    • Designer and Seamstress based in Kumasi, Ghana 
  • Amelie Kouadio

    • Designer and Seamstress based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Delphine Kouassi

    • Designer and Seamstress based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Inge van Lierop

    • Vlisco Senior Fashion Designer (2008-2016)
    • b. The Netherlands  
    • Photo Gallery of Vlisco's "Splendeur" campaign designed by van Lierop 
  • Oumar Ly

    • Photographer 
    • b. Podor, Senegal, 1943-2016 
  • Béatrice Manovan 

    • Ready-to-wear Stylist based in Treichville,  Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Kyemah McEntyre 

    • Designer 
    • b. Newark, New Jersey, 1997
    • This article from Cosmopolitan depicts how McEntyre first gained recognition as designer at eighteen when her African-print prom dress went viral online in 2015. After that, she was soon contaced by actress and singer Naturi Naughton to make an African-print dress for her to wear to the BET Awards that same year.  


  • Amadou Lamine Ngom (Docta)

    • Graffiti Artist and Street wear Designer  
    • b. Senegal  
  • Adama Amanda Ndiaye

    • Designer and Creator of the Fashion Label Adama Paris 
    • b. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo 
    • CNN interviews with Ndiaye about how she founded Dakar Fashion Week in 2002, giving designers from West Africa a place to showcase their works. 


Video from CNN's "Putting Africa on the Fashion Map" 


African-Print Fashion Now!: Designer Alexis Temomanin from Fowler Museum on Vimeo.


  • Gilles Touré

    • Designer 
    • b.  Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, 1973
    • Article about the celebration of Toure's 20 years as a fashion designer 


  • Maguette Traore (Diablos) 

    • Artist, Designer, and Creator of DoxKaTT  
    • b. Senegal, 1989 
  • Regina Chinwe Uchechukwu  

    • Designer based in Onitsha, Nigeria 
  • Jacques Toussele

    • Photographer  
    • b. Bamessingue, Cameroon, 1939-2017 
  • Ken Traoré

    • Designer  
    • b. Senegal  
  • Patricia Waota  

    • Designer  
    • b. Côte d'Ivoire


Wax Print Companies and Stores





Created by Rylee Aquilanti, Intern for the Mint Museum Library, Summer 2018