Kente Gentlemen is seeking to address misconceptions about what is meant by “African” fashion. More expansive than what’s typically highlighted, fashion in Africa encompasses “a multitude of traditions, cultures, textures, forms, techniques and philosophies,” according to founder Aristide Loua.
Loua serves as creative director, the the team consists of Sydney Bagrou, chief financial officer, and Cyprien Mvuanda, chief technology officer. The brand’s aesthetic approach is a combination of culture, poetry and color into each article of clothing. Each piece is tailored in unique style from fabrics handmade in Africa to pay respect to and support the textile heritage and local craftsmanship of the continent, which includes a community of hand-weavers, artists, tailors and artisans. Loua ventured to the markets of Abidjan to find tailors, and the countryside for local artisans.
Other standouts include the “Femi” cropped jacket, which retails for $155, and the best-selling “Tradi-Jacket III-01,” a denim-like shirt jacket handwoven by local artisans in the Senoufo region of Côte d’Ivoire.