If you didn’t catch our post on where to find the coolest African designers online (via refinery29) last night, you’re missing out. The article introduced us to Industrie Africa, a platform founded by Georgia Bobley and Nisha Kanabar, that spotlights designers and brands from 23 African countries. One of these brands is Dema Chena, which has become known for its unique, artisanal approach to luxurious womenswear.
The South African brand launched its first collection, ONE, in 2017 and has since become known for its timeless style that merges traditional craftsmanship with modern cuts and designs. Collection ONE was inspired by Phyllis Galembo, a renowned photographer and professor of art the State University of New York, who studied masquerade events across Africa, capturing the continent’s many cultural and religious traditions. Photographing her subjects in their brightly coloured, heavily embellished costumes, she captured the spirit of Africa and the same is true for Dema Chena’s Collection One.
Collection One is comprised of warmly coloured garments made up of recycled fabrics, yarns and wool. Each garment gives a nod to the embellishment and styles seen worn during traditional, masquerade events by ways of tassle pant-legs or earrings and woven designs. The intricate weaving techniques seen on many of Dema Chena’s clothes are hand-woven by South African women, making each piece unique.
Dema Chena is a luxurious, ready-to-wear womenswear brand that takes pride in its African heritage whilst garnering international appeal. Creating clothes that are multifunctional in that they can go from day to night-wear with just a few little tweaks, Dema Chena speaks to modern women who are looking for a little more out of life and their wardrobe.