Congolese art director, fashion designer, and entrepreneur Nsimba Valene Lontanga has joined the course to change the face of Fashion from Africa with amazing designs deeply rooted in the African heritage. Nsimba love for fashion was inspired during childhood because her parents were particular about how they dressed and presented themselves. Years later, she launched her brand, Libaya in Ghana. Derived from the Bantu language, Lingala, which is mainly spoken in DR CONGO, LIBAYA means a “traditionally tailored women’s top”, which is the essence of the brand – reminiscent of the founder’s cultural background.
"Libaya grew out of the need to show that African women are part of the book of style. When I picked up magazines, I only saw a Western viewpoint. African women have always been influential within the fashion industry," she says. According to Fashion analysts, Lontanga challenged the African aesthetic by creating a brand free of the prints the West is so used to attributing us with.
Libaya speaks to women who want to look good and feel good. Elegant yet playful, and as feminist as it is feminine, the brand is influenced by an African way of dress – where women traditionally wear a personal tailored made top that doesn’t need much more than a cloth around the waist to celebrate their own unique beauty. Holding style elements such as off-shoulder, ruffles, and flairs, the African aesthetics remind the world that African feminists in the streets of the Congo to Ghana and the ones that crossed borders — have always been part of the global book of style.
[Photo: Libaya, Facebook}