Making African wear a tradition with Haute Afrika

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Mar 26, 2019

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Not many can say they discovered their ‘why’ before they turned 10 but Gracia Bampile knew when she was only seven years old that she wanted to be in the fashion industry and years later, she owns a clothing brand that takes pride in African couture, Haute Afrika.

This formidable entrepreneur has no formal fashion training background, yet she has found herself to be a trendsetter in the booming fashion industry.

A clean Haute Africa look. Picture: Supplied. 

To create aesthetically pleasing day-to-day wear using African print, the International Relations graduate travels the continent in the hunt for high-quality materials to create designs inspired by Africa’s history, heritage and stories for Africans.

The Congo-born creative who has lived all over Africa has had the opportunity to learn about different cultures around the continent, using what she sees around her as an inspiration for her designs.

Rocking an Haute Afrika jumpsuit. Picture: Supplied. 

“As much as I try to be bold, I always like simplicity in my designs. I want African print to be everyday wear.

“My inspirations are the ideas I have in my mind. Sometimes I could be walking and be like, ‘ I like that tree, how it’s structured and its colour. I like that green and how it’s not common' so I’ll go and search for green fabric that matches that leaf and make something out of it,”  she says.

Bampile has dressed the local stars including Mpoomy Ledwaba, Tino Chinyani, Ancillar Mangena and Ayanda Mankayi naming just a few.

To see more of Bampile's work, visit


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