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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Still in love with: Gossip Girls - Africa-inspired Fashion Shoot

This is 5 years old, but hands down still one of my favorite Africa-inspired photo shoots. It is so stylish, cool, cute and adorable! Titled "Gossip Girls" this shoot was done by Pride Magazine (see all credits below). After looking at these awesome pics again together with some friends, we decided to do something similar - but of course with a different theme. And I am not going to reveal yet what the theme will be :-). We are planning to publish it early March - so watch this space!

Credits for photos:

Fashion Editor: Shevelle Rhule
Fashion Assistant: Zed Eye
Hair: Wayne Shorter Campbell using Mizani
Make up: Pauline Briscoe using MAC and Bobbi Brown
Photographer: Joseph Sinclair
Shoot Assistants: Bela & Ola Shobowale
Location: Betty Blythe Fine Food Pantry
Special Thanks to Jessica, Lulu and Dolapo of

Courtesy of Pride Magazine

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It is Skirt Time! What is your favorite look?

I am such a skirt - and I mean that literally! I love skirts. Give me a skirt over pants or a dress anytime. I definitely have more skirts than anything else in my closet. So today was skirt time! If you want to shop the looks - all links are available at the bottom of this post

During 2014 I had received lots of great fabric from Vlisco (thank you!). And as I am a strong believer that you can never have enough skirts, I went to my local tailor in Brooklyn and got these nice, streamlined skirts created. So below you see a skirt and crop top created from Vlisco's Bloom collection, an A-line skirt from their Voilà for you IV collection and another A-line skirt from their Hero collection. Which print do you like best?

Hero Collection

Voilà for you IV

Bloom collection

The Urban Maasai
This skirt I created from a Maasai blanket that I bought from the The Urban Maasai. Initially I wanted to use it as a scarf or throw-over to keep me warm in the brittle NY winter. But as there was so much fabric, I decided to create a skirt instead. The colors are very vibrant and the material is great for a winter skirt. I am wearing it all the time!

Kaela Kay
I fell for the Esi Millie skirt because of the combination of stripes and prints, as well as the blue/purple/yellow color. This skirt just looks different. I had to get rid of the pleats as anything pleated just doesn't look good on me - I am a straight A-line skirt kinda girl. But now I am wearing this skirt at least once a week! Sometimes twice.

Shop the look:
Black Boots by Steven Madden - similar here
Army green fitted blazer from Zara - similar here
Leather handbag with cross-body strap by Maurizio Taiuti - similar here
Fake fur vest from Forever21 - similar here
Purple shades from Second Hand Store - similar here
Purple leather gloves from Street Market - similar here or similar here
Statement studs from Anthropologie - similar here or here
Vlisco fabrics - website
The Urban Maasai - website
Kaela Kay - website

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Think - The new Vlisco collection

Vlisco's first collection in 2015 is titled "Think". The new colors and prints are supposed to inspire women to think about the cool outfits they want to create out of the fabrics: "Think inspires women to follow their mind's eye and give it free reign to create an outfit that fits their heart's desire perfectly." 

The prints are inspired by the architectural and minimalistic world of Bauhaus, one of the first schools of design in Germany. The prints and the designs are quite young and edgy. The first 4 looks are my favorite!

What do you think about this collection? Comment below!

Find out more:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Future is still Print: L.A.M.B.'s Spring/Summer collection

Photos: Sophie Muller - taken from
Gwen Stefani is back with a collection for her label L.A.M.B. The time out of three years to focus on family & music hasn't diminished her sense for style. But compared to older collections this one is very wearable and almost elegant if you look at the black and white print dresses. Love the flow of the outfits and I am especially smitten with the pink & black print dress and her black & white designs. 

Inspiration for this summer's look according to Stefani "Orange County girl meets Jamaican Dancehall vibe". Not sure I can see that but who cares - the designs are great. What's your take? Any outfit that you like best? Comment below!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Must see: Chris Ofili exhibit in NYC

Drop everything and go to the New Museum to see the exhibition "Night and Day" by Chris Ofili. It is only on view until the 25th of January so you better hurry. The exhibition of the Nigerian/British artist goes across 5 floors and gives an insight in his early work, his most popular and controversial pieces as well as his latest creations. So by ascending the floors of the museum, you participate in the artist's creative and personal journey.

I saw Ofili's paintings with elephant dung many many years ago in London for the very first time and I have been hooked since. Make sure you grab one of the free audio guides as you will get a wealth of information about the artist, his background and his inspirations. 1996 - the last time Ofili exhibited in NYC - mayor Rudolph Giuliani tried to stop the exhibition and even threatened the Brooklyn Museum to remove their funding, if they continue with the show. Luckily the 1st amendment prevailed and the show could go on. 

One of my favorite pieces is "No Woman No Cry" - a portray of Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Steven Lawrence, a young black man who was killed by white racists in London in 1993 while waiting for a bus. The investigation was neglected due to institutionalized racism within the Metropolitan Police

Race and the black male experience are themes that are picked-up several times in Ofili's work. Also the longing for an "Afronirvana" as portrayed in is red/black/green images, inspired by the Pan-African flag. Again, I can only stress that you invest 1,5-2 h of your time and see this exhibition before it closes on the 25th of January.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Africa Fashion Day Berlin: "Raising awareness for the diversity and skill in African Fashion"

APiF: What is Africa Fashion Day Berlin (AFDB)?
Beatrace Angut Oola: Africa Fashion Day Berlin is an innovative communication and marketing platform with runway shows, fashion panels and exhibitions. This platform was brought to life in 2012.

APiF: What is your background and why did you start AFDB?

Beatrace: I studied Film and TV business in Dortmund. I worked within the film and TV industry in the art department as production designer and assistant. I moved on and worked as Fashion stylist in a commercial agency full time till last year. Today I still work as a freelance Fashion Stylist. 

My central inspiration was in Uganda. I was from 2009 -2010 for a longer period
in Uganda and was totally impressed by the design, music, and film scene. I thought "oh my god, so much is happening on the continent and we in Germany do not have a clue about it". Since I work as stylist I always attended Berlin Fashion Week and noticed that designers of African decent were not represented and I asked myself – why? So I started my research and developed AFDB.

APiF: How is AFDB different form other African Fashion events in Europe? 
Beatrace: We aim to bring international key industry players together to raise awareness of the diversity and skill in African Fashion and it’s economic potential through "Africa Fashion Day Berlin". We are addressing the international fashion industry and press and are not just focused on the Afro community. AFDB is part of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin and the PREMIUM INTERNATIONAL FASHION TRADE SHOW. I hope to achieve brand awareness for the designers and their products. I hope to establish AFDB as an international network platform for designers of African decent. 

Maxhosa by Laduma
APiF: Why just a day and not a week?
Beatrace: I think it is better to start with one day and grow. I like small but well done events. When I started I only had the idea and not a big sponsor to support me. I had to think of something that I can handle. In the meantime AFDB is not only happening on just one day - in total we have three days. Since summer July 2014 we are actually - Africa Fashion Days Berlin. :-). The aim is to eventually grow to one week.

APiF: Which designers have you showcased so far?
Beatrace: For example Alexandra Tamele, Nana K. Brenu, SOBOYE, Gloria Wavamunno.

APiF: Besides the event and showcasing designs - what else is AFDB working on/doing for/with designers?
Beatrace: AFDB is working on different projects. I am connecting with different people from the fashion scene not only in Germany. Developing concepts with organizations, so 2015 will be exciting. A German fashion magazine created an africa-inspired shoot with my support and designers of AFDB were featured.

APiF: What is AFDB planning for 2015?
Nana K Brenu

Beatrace: From January 19-21st AFDB will participate in the PREMIUM
INTERNATIONAL FASHION TRADE SHOW in Berlin. This is a huge step for us, as this platform is where business  starts and happens.We will also host a Fashion Panel on the 20th of January at PREMIUM Exhibtions Hall 7 D06. The topic is "The new global African aesthetic" and Jacqueline Shaw will be one of the speakers. In July 2015 our runway show will take place, hopefully with more designers.

APiF: What are the biggest challenges in the "African Fashion Industry" and how could they be addressed?
Beatrace: I think the biggest challenge is to make the step from a sample production to the mass production. At the moment there are many talented designers who produce limited editions. Limited editions are for big well known fashion houses uninteresting. They want high quality in mass production and on time. In the international fashion industry mass production is what sells, this can only happen with strong partners who invest in the African Fashion industry.

APiF: Is Lagos the new fashion capital?
Beatrace: Yes, for sure it is! Not only Lagos, I would also say Dakar and Accra.

APiF: What is your advice for emerging designers and start-ups in the industry?
Beatrace: My advice is to think from the very first moment about your brand strategy, image, look and to be patient. If designers are interested to enter the European market, it is important to get advice from fashion consultants/experts. They know how the market works.

>>> Save the date: Africa Fashion Day Berlin @Premium Int. Trade Show, January 19.-21st 2015

Find out more:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Kwanzaa: Africa-inspired Photo Shoot

Shoot by: Superior Magazine with special thanks to Africa Fashion Day Berlin

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the US and also celebrated in the African Diaspora.The celebration honors African heritage and takes place from December 26 to January 1st. The fashion shoot by Superior Magazine with support of  African Fashion Day Berlin uses Kwanzaa and African fashion as inspiration.

Kwanzaa has seven core principles:
  • Umoja - Unity
  • Kujichagulia - Self-Determination
  • Ujima - Collective Work and Responsibility
  • Ujamaa - Cooperative Economics
  • Nia - Purpose
  • Kuumba - Creativity
  • Imani - Faith
Find out more: 


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