This online shop is dedicated to African designers and here are 5 cool brands you can shop

With many retailers and small brand still suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic, now is more important than ever to carry on supporting black-owned fashion brands, which is why you might want to check out KOIBIRD's latest offering, which you can shop shop both online and in their London store.

The store, launched by founder Belma Gaudio, focuses on new destination each season, inspired by the collections of its brands. This season the store is focusing on African designers, though Belma admits the lockdown made things difficult.

'Closing the store back in March was a hard thing to do, given we just reopened our newly refurbed store for the new season, a week prior to close. We pretty quickly directed our customers online and focused on the digital experience. Being a small company, we are still able to be reactive and change course pretty quickly. It did make me very sad that customers were not able to experience the immersive KOIBIRD experience in store, and this season we brought so many wonderful design talents that we scouted at Lagos Fashion Week.', she said.

In typical KOIBIRD tradition, the store (now open) went through a dramatic monochromatic design transformation, inspired by an exhibition in Dakar by Senegalese artist, Babacar Mbodj Niang. The rails are full of clothing from the likes of Thebe Magugu, Lisa Folawiyo and Studio 189, and you can also shop a homeware selection with brands such as The Baba Tree Basket Company and try testers from African-owned brands such as EPARA and Skin Gourmet at our Pharmacy-K.

There are 30 brands and designers showcased in the pop-up, and here are just five highlighted by Belma ('When attending Lagos Fashion Week, we were blown away by the talent, diversity and energy on show from African brands who were makes waves in regards to sustainability and slow fashion').

Thebe Magugu

Shop now: THEBE MAGUGU Red Twill Coat for £1,305 from KOIBIRD

He is a name within his own right, having won the LVMH Prize in 2019, and implements his heritage into each collection, through social commentary within the designs and keeping the production of his pieces in South Africa to support the burgeoning industry there.

Lisa Folawiyo

Shop now: LISA FOLAWIYO Layered Maxi Dress for £630 from KOIBIRD

She is a Nigerian designer famous for fusing Ankara fabrics with sensual modern tailoring and stunning embellishment.

Studio 189

Shop now: STUDIO189 Jazzy Jeff Print Alicia Skirt for £305 from KOIBIRD

The brand is an amazing advocate for conscious fashion and previously the winner of the prestigious CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability. Co-founded by actress Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, these amazing women support female empowerment and educational opportunities in Ghana.

Rich Mnisi

Shop now: RICH MNISI Veins Of My City Jumpsuit for £330 from KOIBIRD

Johannesburg-based, Rich Mnisi gives us bold prints and sexy silhouettes with daring gender-fluid collections that are so perfectly matched to the Koibird girl. MaxHosa Africa, is an amazing brand that is influenced by their Xhosa culture and creates beautiful and distinctive graphic knitwear.

Super Yaya

Shop now: SUPER YAYA Ana Dress for £690 from KOIBIRD

This was a brand we immediately fell in love with as it really stood out. They use history, pop culture and music and major influences and has such an amazing modern perspective. I think of it almost as an African Balenciaga – a mix of street, youth, pop culture and classicism all in one.

Main photo

Stylist: Julia Sarr-Jamois Model: Bibi Abdulkadir Photographer: Ruth Ossai

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.