Top 15 Cameroonian Fashion Brands to know
Updated: Dec 10, 2022
With the popularity of my post on the 20 Nigerian clothing brands to know, I got a lot of requests from Cameroonians asking me to compile a similar list for Cameroonian fashion designers. Shout out to everyone who supported the Nigerian brands by the way by shopping from their sites. I always knew I was going to create a similar list for Cameroonians, I just needed some time and well, the time has come.
Much like Nigerian fashion, Cameroonian fashion drastically evolved just over the last 20 years. Gone are the days when we would expect strictly bold and bright prints when we thought of Cameroonian fashion.
Many designers still incorporate ankara into their collections but it's no longer as much of an expectation as it used to be. Toghu and Ndop prints are no longer reserved for just weddings and funerals but can also be worn in a more casual way thanks to the ingenuity of several Cameroonian fashion designers.
You would notice that a lot of Cameroonian designers and brands on this list are fairly new (emerged less than 7 years ago) and that just goes to show it's not about how long you've been around but what innovation you've brought to the industry.
A lot of names would be instantly recognized while others may be new to you but I hope that you would check out each brand featured below and show them some love. We need to support our Cameroon fashion industry if we want to see our people on the global fashion scene just as so many Nigerian brands have succeeded in doing so.
Without further ado, I present to you my top 15 Cameroonian fashion brands to know, in no particular order.
1) Imane Ayissi Fashion
Founded by Cameroonian-born Imane Ayissi, this label is synonymous with haute couture. Imane Ayissi fashion lends its inspiration from African-style bricolage as well as contemporary cuts seen in high fashion brands like YSL and Balenciaga.
I love that the designer, Imane, is known to create two types of collections - one which is more affordable and another one considered to be high fashion where he collaborates with luxury brands. The luxury collection tends to boast more contemporary style than its counterpart.
A previous model and ballet dancer, the artistic influences are seen in Imane's collections where feminine silhouettes and soft fabrics are common features. There is also the use of a lot of abstract prints which could be linked to ankara/ wax prints. His collections also tend to be named after Cameroonian words and phrases, paying homage to the designer's roots.
You can shop some prêt à porter pieces from the brand HERE but to shop the haute couture line, you would need to reach out the brand directly. Whenever you're shopping high fashion, be prepared to shell out a couple thousand dollars on an item.
2) Eloli Designs
I'm fortunate to have met one of the founders of this contemporary African-inspired brand in person during my last stay in Cameroon. Eloli designs is run by 3 sisters located on 3 different contents. Their pieces tend to feature clean lines and minimal color combinations with modern designs.
I can personally vouch for the top notch quality of their design as I won several pieces from the brand. They also own a brick-and-mortar store in Yaoundé, Cameroon where customers can purchase pieces from both their recent and older collections.
I also appreciate that international customers can easily purchase items from their website, which is not a feature many of the brands on this list offer.
Another reason to love the brand: Eloli pieces are made from scratch in Cameroon by local tailors and local artisans!
Their tunics have got to be their most popular items and you can find my favorite HERE.
Most pieces fall within the $100-$300 price range, making this a mid-level luxury brand. I can't wait to see what their upcoming collection looks like.
3) Margo's mode
Margo's Mode comes as a newbie to the industry with an important message - sustainable fashion in the Cameroonian fashion industry is possible. The brand blends Africa’s rich cultural heritage, arts, and craftsmanship to create eclectic, sustainable pieces. Liz Ngwane is the brains behind this made in Cameroon label. Her signature pieces feature dresses with artistic faces on the front.
I appreciate that the brand has a website, allowing those of us abroad to support by purchasing directly from the site. I did not see an option to pay via credit card or PayPal however so I am not sure how payments are processed for international orders.
Prices range between the $120-$200 range which is fair for the type of garments sold by the brand and their more sustainable methods used.
4) Lavie by CK (now Claude Kameni)
Cameroonian-born Claude Kameni has made her New York City-based brand a household name in the African American fashion scene thanks to her use of what is referred to as African print. This is thanks to her designs being worn by popular black American celebrities such as Janet Jackson.
Before bursting on the global fashion scene, Lavie by CK had made a name for themselves in the prom and bridal wear scene. Nowadays, you can catch Lavie by CK at the MET museum and on red carpets across the world.
Their ready-to-wear collections fall within the $300-$1,000 range while their made-to-order pieces typically start at $1,500. Claude has really added value to our wax prints by combining trendy styles and great craftsmanship to the bold colors of ankara. Now her brand has made its mark on the global stage and I cannot wait to see what she does next.
5) Maison D'Afie
As pulled from their website, since launching in 2010, the brand’s beautifully crafted pieces have slowly gained international acclaim landing digital press features in ELLE, British VOGUE, FORBES and several highly praised blogs. Maison d’Afie strives to offer its clients well-tailored elegant pieces with a strong cultural flavour, which transition smoothly from season to season and with which they can fall in love over and over again.
Sarah Divine Garba is the mastermind behind this unique brand. Born and raised in Cameroon and educated in England, Sarah was able to receive early training in tailoring thanks to her mother, a dressmaker in Cameroon and founder of “Afie of Douala”.
The brand sells both high-end pieces and accessories at prices that range between $300-$1,000.
6) EB Kreations
EB Kreations is an eclectic, made in Cameroon brand founded by Ebangha K. The brand is known for their vibrant take on common orints and fabrics in Cameroon, especially in the bridal industry. The best way to purchase their items is by headed to their boutique located in Douala, Cameroon or by contacting the brand via their Facebook page.
Their signature item has got to be their flirty Toghu skirts Melapteh carried. I have worn them multiple times over the years and love how light they are and the icing on the cake - the double pockets!
Their prices range between $40-$150 for most items and unfortunately they do not have a website just yet.
Lakelle is the answer to 'how can one wear pieces made in Cameroon on a daily basis?' Not everyone wants to be decked out in flamboyant colors and African fabric on the daily, especially with a lot of office dress codes preferring a more neutral palette.
Lakelle was founded by Sharon and Viola in 2017 and was established with ethical sustainability as the foundation.
I love how they play around with different colors & fabrics and accommodate most sizes and their pieces are for the everyday person who just likes to look well put together. They also have a functioning website that sells pieces for men, women and children.
Their prices range between $15-$50 making them one of the most affordable brands on this list.
I have personally purchased a couple of pieces I am yet to wear but can vouch that their customer service is top notch and the quality is pretty good. You're definitely getting a good value for your dollar.
8) Kibonen NY
I am fortunate to have known Kibonen Nfi, founder of Kibonen NYC, before she blew up. We were IG friends and had messaged each other the week before her Humans of NY interview went viral. The Cameroon-born designer had been struggling with her brand just weeks before meeting Brandon, the creator of HONY and after that interview, everything changed for her.
She got the recognition she so deserved and showcased at NYFW. Her fashion line got a front-row sear on the global fashion stage as a result. She was also featured in Vogue and had her pieces worn by Lupita, Gayle King and other celebrities.
Kibonen is now focusing her efforts on creating a Made in Cameroon factory to rival international ones. You can check her project out at Cameroon Clothing Company.
9) Kolo Designz
Kolo Designz came to my attention in 2020 when a photo of one of their toghu bridal dresses was circulating on several Cameroonian blogs. I immediately bookmarked the dress and followed the designer on Instagram knowing that one day I will eventually use their services.
Chlautille Fobuzie is the designer behind the fashion label which focuses on bridal gowns. They make toghu look so regal and I love how they play with structures and silhouettes.
Unfortunately the brand does not have a website you can order directly from and so you would have to contact them via their Facebook or Instagram pages to place an order.
10) Amah Fashion House
Amah Fashion House is Cameroon's go-to clothing brand for all things agbada and male traditional sets. Amah Bertrand adds a modern twist to the male traditional pant suits. I love how a lot of their sets are actually unisex and so women can find themselves sporting matching sets with their significant others.
11) TC design fashion house
TC design classic is a a Cameroonian-based fashion design studio created in the early 90s, when the first design was created, which focuses on tailored suits and business wear for both men and women. They are a Yaounde-based studio offering custom-made suits and dresses for formal occasions.
The founder, Taku Claude, has a background in Environmental Science but developed a passion for sewing and tailoring from his father after graduating from university.
I appreciate that his brand not only designs outfits but also offers tailoring services for pre-owned items, allowing you to recycle your favorite dresses and suits. They also cater to kids in case you're looking to get matching ensembles for the family.
Although they have a website, not all items can be purchased without contacting the brand and payments are made via bank transfer.
The prices seem to range between $50-$250.
12) Sha Sha designs
Sha Sha official, created by designer Sha Sha, is an award-winning brand that focuses on high end traditional wear. They work mostly with toghu and ndop fabrics to create breath-taking gowns for special occasions.
The wedding gown sector of Cameroon's fashion industry seems to be very well-represented and it warms my heart. Gone are the days of boring or overdone designs for special occasions. Now if only more Cameroonian celebrities could make more an effort to collaborate with many of designers for their red carpet events...
13) Whizz Fashion House
It seems like the men are very much represented in Cameroon's fashion industry as we have Whizz Fashion House also on this list.
Clifford Ngeh is the creator of the brand which recently announced they are the official partners of Motherland Empire clothing, which is musician Stanley Enow's label.
They now have a store located in Douala where customers can get made-to-order garments meant for special occasions ad red carpet ceremonies.
Do check out the brand's Instagram page to place an order.
If you're looking for a way to get your hands on street wear or slightly formal designs featuring prints unique to Cameroon, but live in a foreign country, Afrilege is probably your best bet. As many of the designers mentioned on this list do not have official websites, you could shop some great Toghu, Ndop and other prints via the brand's Etsy platform.
They have great reviews and a near-perfect 5-star review across their page with over 10,000 sales. Do note that pieces ship from Georgia and the price range is $70-$150.
They even have the cute Toghu skirts HERE.
15) French kind
French kind is Cameroon's streetwear brand based in Cameroon. It was founded by Rostou and focuses on casual and loungewear. You can find pieces such as jogger sets, caps, slides and hoodies decked with the brand's logo at affordable prices.
Unfortunately it appears their website is not functioning and so I invite you to check out the Facebook page if you are in the diaspora and wish to place an order.
They also have a physical store in Douala where you can shop the pieces in person.
There's a brand I wish I could add to this list but it seems they no longer have a social media presence and that is Atelier Akande. When I was in Cameroon in 2017, I visited their atelier and purchased some great quality street wear pieces.
I hope you have found this list helpful and you would check out any brand you are not familiar with. It is unfortunate that many of them do not have websites and so cater less to the international crowd and I hope this is something they work on in the near future. I am so proud of how far African fashion in general has come and can't wait to see where it goes next.
A lot of Cameroonian fashion brands don't necessarily follow fashion trends and this can be seen both as a positive and negative thing. They also do not tend to release pre-planned collections and prefer to put out a capsule collection here and there.
I hope they take this into account as a lot of African designers do need to tap into this aspect of fashion to be able to make a mark in the fashion world.
Is there a brand you feel should be on this list? Let me know!
Until the next post,