Given the overrepresentation of lingerie featured on this blog from Europe and North America, I thought I would try to diversify my lingerie searches and focus on one continent at a time (excluding Antarctica, of course!). After discovering RUBY South Africa, I was naturally curious to discover more African lingerie brands, which brings me to this article highlighting some of the beautiful and interesting lingerie from across the continent. Enjoy!
Baie Nice creates handmade lingerie from Cape Town, South Africa. I chose to feature this set because of the gorgeous color, plus the embroidery (although it’s hard to see in the image). The size range is tiny, 32-36 B-D, but that’s something I noticed across these brands.
Atiklaman is my favorite of the African lingerie designers that I’ve come across, which is why I couldn’t only include images of one of their sets. They have such a beautiful use of traditional African fabrics and amazing colors! The original patterns and materials are what make me really want to give them a try. The bad news: the size range is once again extremely small, including only 85-95 B-C.
Isn’t that color absolutely fantastic? So vibrant.
Arwen Garmentry is South Africa’s premier corsetière and I love the look of this long, laced girdle. They also have some cool ready to wear garments with a Victorian slant to them. If you’re looking for a corset or girdle from anywhere in Africa, it seems like this is where you might need to go!
Designer Fatou Kébé was born in Senegal, but grew up in France, designing for her own label “Fatou Fatal.” This set is so expensive, but there are rabbit fur pom-poms! Anything with pom-poms instantly wins my heart.
One thing I do want to talk about is how so many of the models of these designs are white. Among African designers, it seems no more common than among American ones to use darker skinned models, which is such a shame– when the vast majority of the population looks a certain way and you choose to represent the more powerful minority in your imagery, I think that says a lot about the way that lingerie excludes women of color. In some cases there were some pieces by these designers shot on women of color, but I preferred the other lingerie– it’s just sad that so often it comes down to choosing between representing diversity and showing off good lingerie.
On a more uplifting note, it was fantastic to find so many great brands from across Africa. If anyone else knows of some good ones, please let me know! I always like to expand my lingerie knowledge.
Next up: South America!