Here are the 8 designers selected to join Mettā’s second cycle of Fashion Product Lab.

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Mettā has unveiled designers selected to join the second cycle of  Fashion Product Lab.

This cohort was selected from more than 140 applicants from different backgrounds and represent a diverse range of geographies from across the African continent.

As part of the product lab, the 2017 cohort will have the opportunity to engage with high-profile speakers, expert mentors, and a global network of support throughout the 8-week program in Nairobi. Startups will also have access to a space, industry resources, and the for zero cost and zero equity.

“We are delighted to welcome a diverse cohort with a mix of perspectives and backgrounds, and give them access to mentors, speakers and Metta members who are global experts including more than 500 investors, serial entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and academics.” said Maurice Otieno, GM at Metta in Africa.

The cohort comprises of 55% of women from South Africa, Ivory Coast, Togo and Ethiopia with a good majority coming from Kenya and Nigeria. The 8 participants comprise of 6 female designers and 2 male designers, all eager to lead disruptive fashion businesses.

There are 3 Kenyan companies,  1 Nigerian, Sudanese, Ugandan,  Zimbabwean and South Africa and all design ready-to-wear collections. The Fashion Product Lab will culminate on December 2, 2017, at the Metta Demo Day, where entrepreneurs will pitch their startups, showcase their collections for funding and partnerships.

The 2017 cohort includes;

  1. NKATHA KARAURI

Brand: Ihsani Culture

Our vision is to reinstate beauty and dignity in the fashion industry in Kenya by our mission: innovation in fashion, excellence in service and investing in industrial workers. Creating great, loyal partnerships. Producing beautiful ethical, functional, clothing that denotes the meaning of Ihsani Culture – Good/Lovely/Beautiful

  1. SAM OMINDO

Brand: Genteel

A bespoke menswear Combine cultural diversity and let it speak through the cloth. This is true identity. This is image.

  1. MAYADA ADIL

Brand: Mayada Adil

Mayada Adil is an afro-chic women’s wear fashion house that prides itself in expressing the modern woman’s desire through fashion and design.

  1. CHENESAI MANGOMA

Brand: Chenesai :

The African woman of colour has always been a complex multifaceted being. For centuries her survival has been bold, beautiful, brilliant. Within her fabric has always been this profound ability to be the seed of nations balanced with re-inventing cultures, one generation at a time. Our vision at Chenesai is to remember, recover and reveal that which sustains the African woman through the fashion lens….

Founded in 2012 by fashion enthusiast Chenesai, Chenesai strives to honour the African woman’s intricate narrative, thread by robust thread, design by innovative design. With world-class tailoring and groundbreaking global appreciation of style, we are thrilled to invite you to personally advance this narrative when you wear Chenesai.

You were born for such a time and it is our deepest honour to contribute to your meaningful and sustainable fashion statement.

  1. NQOBILE ZINYERENGE

Brand: MINEstitched

The ethos of MINEstiched is based on my life story. At MINEstitched, our goal is to create a space for people to transform their memories and experiences into beautiful, reflective collections, eloquently stitched with every care and the mandate to describe the indescribable.

  1. TOBILOLA AJIBOLA

Brand: Dresses by Aloli

We desire to become Nigeria’s first online custom clothing store for women that enables shoppers to customize clothing items to their preferred taste & design

  1. VALERIE NYAMWAYA

Brand: Afrivazi

AfriAfrivazi was founded in August 2012 by Valerie Nyamwaya, a fashion designer and entrepreneur who had a vision of revolutionizing fashion in Africa by creating a platform that provides an opportunity for upcoming designers to sell their work and connect with professionals who have made it in the industry. Her vision was inspired by a long period of hard work, creativity and the need to earn a living from her art. She met up with a couple of friends, shared her idea and that was how everything came to life.

  1. GUY ZZIWA

Brand: Thirty

Thirty brings you a whole new approach to fashion under the new vision of creative director Guy Jaiy Jairus