THE BRAND: A contemporary African print brand that prides itself in quality and affordablity.
BEHIND THE BRAND: In 2015, Grace Bampile founded Haute Afrika, the home of her day to day African print designs made to change the narrative around African fashion. She travels the continent in the hunt for high quality materials to create designs inspired by Africa’s history, heritage and stories for Africans from Cape to Cairo.
INSPIRATION: Exquisite and elegance inspires the designs
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Gracia Bampile, I’m 28 years old and I am a fashion designer. I am half Congolese and Rwandese.
What inspired you to go into Fashion Design, focusing on African print?
I’ve always been inspired by African fashion. When i started Haute Afrika there was a need and a huge gap in the market, people wanted good quality outfits and when i started out I don’t think many people had access on where to get good quality fabrics. Until today i still see a need for people who want good quality African fabrics at a reasonable price. That’s where Haute Afrika bridged the gap. Why I started Haute Afrika I’ve always loved African fashion, it was just a matter of time.
Who does the brand cater to?
Everyone there is no discrimination, it caters to men and women of all sizes and all skin tones, who love African print
What inspires your designs?
Simplicity. I love being elegant, I love making a statement without it being over the top, but I need to make a statement. Exquisite and elegance inspires the designs
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
My biggest challenges that i have faces are; Cash flows problems in certain months
and being armed robbed on set for a photo shoot where they literally took everything that was at the studio including the outfits.
What are some of the biggest achievements you’ve had so far?
So far throughout the year it has to be winning Essence’ best dressed and the Sun met best dressed and also people having a collection that people accepted without having to convince them.
What can we expect from Haute Afrika in the near future?
More Clothes, more fabulousity, big and Greater Heights!
Written by: Olwethu Ngodela