Africa Rebranded: Meet the Designers for Tomorrow

"Our goal is to change people’s minds.” With over two decades of experience on the catwalk, former top model Waridi Schrobsdorff knows better than most the transformative power of design. Her latest venture FA254 celebrates contemporary Africa’s design richness and creativity, promoting new talent in an attempt to rebrand Africa through young and creative minds.

This month, FA254 in collaboration with Vogue Germany and ESMOD International Fashion School Berlin is launching African Designers for Tomorrow (ADFT), one of the first international competitions to help emerging designers based in Nairobi break into the challenging European market.

The competition puts a spotlight on some of Africa’s brightest young talent based in Kenya. The FA254 team have searched far and wide for the best creative minds in Apparel, Accessories and Home Decoration categories, selecting 10 finalists and ultimately, one winner.

As a proud partner and sponsor of the Home Decoration category, URBANARA will mentor three finalists within the category over a period of two months, helping the young designers create a home accessories product range before choosing a winning collection as part of the official FA524 jury – based on design, performance and sustainability. The winner will be announced in January and the final collection available to purchase at URBANARA online in April.

Although FA254 could easily be mistaken for an exciting flight number, the number two refers to the emerging and fascinating African continent’s code, while 54 acknowledges the number of countries present. More often than not, the diversity of African design is lumped into one basket, which is something Kenyan born Schrobsdorff longs to change with her new enterprise: “We have so many talented young people who deserve the recognition,” she says.

Check back next week for exclusive interviews with each of the three FA254 Home Decoration finalists.