British-Nigerian fashion designer Elizabeth-Yemi Akingbade founded Yemzi in 2013 with a limited edition range of printed t-shirts. The fashion brand’s first ready-to-wear collection, SS16 which was released in 2015, set the premise for Yemzi's aesthetic. Tired of seeing African designers limited to the same Dutch wax design, Elizabeth creates the artwork for her fabrics, which are inspired by West African culture. She combines her unique fabrics with Western and traditional silhouettes.
At home in East London or on her frequent travels Elizabeth aims to sketch and paint to inform her bold yet intricate designs. Her work is consciously influenced by her English upbringing in the seaside town of Bournemouth with her Caucasian foster family, hybridised with her Nigerian roots.
Yemzi has shown in several European cities and has been worn by internationally recognised musicians and entertainers.
Elizabeth completed a BA Hons degree in Surface Design at University of The Arts London in 2013, before learning garment construction, patterning cutting and bespoke tailoring.
"The darker palette, with the bright contrasting yellow highlights and satin silk fabric combinations radiates a lush and sophisticated ensemble. The print detailing inspired by elements of yoruba culture, reflecting your skills as a notable textile designer also further enhances the appeal of individual pieces.
The sports -luxe, utility, and your signature classic inspired pieces would appeal to girls and women from different walks of life. The collection shows growth and a new maturity to your work."
- Ola Shobowale, Art & Brand Director @ Infinite Beauty Factory
- hand illustrated surface designs made from Elizabeth's oil paintings and fine-liner doodles.
- mark-making and imagery that build exclusive trans-seasonal fashion prints, inspired by iconography, patterns, textures and culture of the young African diaspora.
- all pieces are made in East London. Female empowerment is embraced by working with groups of skilled females from social enterprises and marginalised backgrounds.
- small quantities and exceptional attention to detail because we love ad take pride in what we do. As fast fashion continues so does the demand for cheap labor and sweatshops
- safe sustainable materials such as azo free dyes, GOTs certified organic cotton and lenzing modal.
- trend conscious but not trend led, girlboss, timeless style, otherworldly essence, self confident, natural, nurturing and alluring...
- Yemzi prints and silhouettes may span a few seasons, since when was art disposable?