Here at ELLE we’ve got our eye on Mozambican designer Taibo Bacar.

Bacar’s Autumn/Winter 2013 collection celebrates the traditional capulana with a ready-to-wear collection that is quintessentially Mozambican yet modern and contemporary. The collection has already become a reference throughout most African fashion weeks.

taibo bacar capulana collection aw 2013

Taibo Bacar was born in Mozambique in 1985 and originally studied Information Technologies. The son of a seamstress, Bacar grew up around the sounds of sewing machines, fabrics and the design sketches that he drew for some of his mother’s clients.

One day he decided to take a chance and follow his childhood passion, leaving the world of IT and heading to Spain to take a course in design and pattern cutting at Instituto Marangoni. At that time there was no fashion industry training available in Mozambique.

taibo bacar capulana collection aw 2013

taibo bacar capulana collection aw 2013

In 2007, Taibo created the brand TAIBO BACAR, today with two simultaneous lines in each collection: TB (prêt-a-porter) and TAIBO BACAR couture (high fashion).

Bacar’s design process follows no particular method. ‘I talk to my fabrics, I ask them what they want and I give them life,’ he told the Nigerian Tribune earlier this year.

In this collection we see silk mousselines, guipour lace, mesh and the traditional capulana. Silhouettes are often structured, accentuating the female body and placing emphasis on the waist.

‘The capulana is a gem from my country when it comes to traditional fabric,’ Bacar told Rossio Magazine in July. The woman that wears his clothes is ‘sophisticated, sure of [herself], enjoys a good quality of life and values her silhouette,’ he added.

taibo bacar capulana collection aw 2013

taibo bacar capulana collection aw 2013

It was Milan Fashion Week in 2011 that catapulted Bacar into fashion’s limelight. ‘It was an honour to meet some of the world’s most famous designers such as Valentino, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gucci… you name it. Coco Chanel once said “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” I believe that’s a point I made at Milan,’ Bacar told Rossio.

taibo bacar capulana collection aw 2013

taibo bacar capulana collection aw 2013

Bacar believes now is the time for African brands to penetrate the international fashion market, but first it’s necessary to strengthen bonds and establish more effective partnerships between professionals in the African continent.

The Mozambican Government for example is setting up agreements with Indonesia to invest in textile production in Mozambique, and we are witnessing a new industrial quarter being built in the Maputan province of Marracuene.

Bacar believes that the stage is set for African designers. A Mozambican Designers Association is being created by fellow fashion designer, Wacelia Zacarias and Mozambique Fashion Week is becoming an increasingly important event with its eighth edition this year.

taibo bacar capulana collection aw 2013

On his future Bacar says ‘Currently my studio is filled with fabrics, it’s totally insane! My mood board is filled with sketches for starting my new S/S 14 Collection. I’m on a roll.’

Taibo Bacar doesn’t want to be just another African fashion brand. ‘I visualize my company growing and expanding throughout other continents. The number one African fashion brand in the world,’ he told Alizé La Vie Magazine earlier this year.

What do you think of Taibo Bacar’s capulana collection? Tell us by leaving a comment below!

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Words edited by ELLE © Maria Falé, fashion journalist & editor @RossioMag,

Photos © Joca Faria.