Designer/Author Thony C. Anyiam
Author, inventor, and fashion designer extraordinary, Thony C. Anyiam has earned notoriety in creating one-of-a-kind, high-quality contemporary, traditional African and African-inspired (Afrocentric) fashion for both males and females. Mr. Anyiam, a Nigerian-American, is considered one of Africa’s most creative and influential designers of our time and one to watch in the industry now and into the 21st century.
Anyiam studied fashion at Howard University in Washington, DC, where he earned a B.Sc. degree in fashion merchandise and an MFA degree in designing, with a specialty in fashion designing. In 1991, he established Anyiams Creations International after working in the industry for two years. He designs under his label “Anyiams” and “Thony Anyiams.” Anyiam’s style has been greatly influenced and inspired by the beauty and richness of African culture and people.
Anyiam is the best-known African-born designer outside Africa. He stated, “I try to bring to the mainstream, through my designs, the richness and sophistication of contemporary African fashion like no other designer before me.”His goal is to continue to inspire and influence up-and-coming fashion designers to embrace the rich African culture and beauty in their designs.
Designer Thony Anyiam is considered the pioneer of the modern Afrocentric style, which according to him, came about in 1988 after his trip to Africa. His rise and recognition in the industry do not surprise those who have seen his creations. In October of 1998, due to a tremendous request for his fashion, Anyiam went online with his fashion. His website www.anyiams.com is one of the most popular and exciting fashion sites on the Internet.
Anyiam has designed creations that have been worn by celebrities and dignitaries such as former President and Mrs. Clinton, President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Stevie Wonder, Iyanla Vanzant, gospel singers Yolanda Adams and Richard Smallwood, and the Reverend Al Sharpton, to mention just a few. In 2008, he designed a line of Afrocentric evening dresses for then-first lady Michelle Obama for consideration for President Obama’s first Presidential inauguration. Later in the year, he designed a men’s wear line inspired by President Obama called Alite Collection.
In 1997, one of his creations was featured in the highly successful movie Contact with Angela Bassett and Jody Foster. AnyiamsCreations have also been featured in local, national, and international print and broadcast media. Notably, he was the first black designer to have his fashion featured in Brides and Modern Bride (two leading bridal magazines in the U.S.) in 1995/1996. In addition, he was the first African designer to be interviewed by the prestigious Associated Press (AP) in 1994.
Anyiam’s work has also been featured in other publications, including Black Elegance, Signature Bride, Upscale, Wedding Bell, Essence, Brides Today, and Jet magazine. International magazines include Amina International (Paris) 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and October 1999 and Eve magazine (China), June 1999. Books include Jumping the Broom, Going to the Chapel, Getting Married in New York, and Men of Color. Other print publications include the Washington Post, Washington Times, Afro American, Ohio Plain Dealer, and Nigerian Times, to mention a few. His creations have been featured on ABC World News Saturday, CBS (Channel 9) Broadcast House Live, Africa Plus, DC, MD, and VA cable channels, and Channel 2 (Baltimore ABC) show: To the Point and On-Time on local television stations.
Furthermore, Anyiam has participated in numerous fashion shows, including the Congressional Black Caucus Annual fashion show, National Urban League, and numerous bridal shows across the country and overseas. Some of his notable creations include Afrocentric bridal gowns, Alite shirts, vests and tuxedos, beachwear, pastoral and choir robes, and Afrocentric style academic caps and gowns.
In 2008, Anyiam authored his first style and information book titled: Jumping the Broom in Style: A Collection of Style and Information for the Entire Wedding Party. The book is available everywhere books are sold. Anyiam is also an inventor with patents pending on two of his inventions. The first is called“AngelSaves,” a device that will help stranded motorists attract help. His second invention is called “ThermoA WristWatch,” which is an audio temperature and time watch that will help people with visual and hearing problems know the current temperature via audio announcement both inside and outside.
In 2021, Anyiam launched a new ambitious project called “Gone But Not Forgotten” (www.gonebutnotforgotten.online). The project aims to put faces to the stories of those lost to COVID-19 across the globe. The goal is to make the website a permanent stay on the Internet where people can post personal stories about those close to them who lost their lives to COVID-19. The service is completely FREE.
Also in the works according to Mr. Anyiam, a new invention that will make watching American-style football very exciting, and fun. Excited and can’t wait! Look out for this and future projects from Thony C. Anyiam.