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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Selly Raby Kane: Dakar City of Birds - FW 15/16

Photographer: Jean-Baptiste Joire
Styling: Selly Raby Kane
Mua: Khady Niang
Model: Aida
PR: Anna Toure

Kimonos seem to be it this Fall/Winter - I have spotted them already in several collections. One of them the F/W collection of Senegalese designer Selly Raby Kane titled 'Dakar City of Birds'. Some of her designs - described as "eclectic, androgynous and playful" - remind me a bit of the 80ies. My favorite pieces are the sweaters and the skirt with the silver fly-print - that is kind of fly, isn't it?!

Not to withhold from you what the official press release has to say about 'Dakar City of Birds': "Kimonos are embellished with classic quilted wax prints, mixed with shrimps and parrots while sweaters are patched in a Senegalese Baye Fall style." Selly Raby Kane' s designs are for the fashion forward more edgy and unconventional dressers out there. And: Must like birds!

How do you like the urban, afro-pop designs with the bird and fly prints? Comment below!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Print and Fabric Mixer: Duro Olowu

Photos: Luis Monteiro
 Some people want a Burberry Coat in their closet - I just want a dress from Duro Olowu. What I really appreciate about this designer of Nigerian heritage is that he stays true to himself and his brand; but without being boring. He always manages to wow me again with the next collection - just when I thought I might have seen it all. Mixer of prints, mixer of textures - his designs are a statement, they are stylish, they are art. 

The first image just wows me - this Autumn/Winter 2015/2016 collection makes me wish for October - even though I am over the cold and I actually can't wait for Spring. But just look at his outfits, and you will understand. All these masterpieces were apparently inspired by Dutch painter Van Dongen - who was part of a movement called Fauvism. Fauvism was according to wikipedia a style of artists in the early twentieth century who emphasized strong color and anti-linear painting styles.  

How do you like Olowu's collection - what's your favorite look? Comment below!

Find out more:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fainting: Demestiks NY - New Collection

I adore the images and the designs and basically want to wear everything! The new collection from Reuben Reuel's label Demestiks NY - photographed by Kia Chenelle. The 50ies inspired African print looks are just stunning. My absolute favorite are the green dress, the blue print coat dress and the black & white skirt. What's your favorite? Comment below!

Find out more:

Monday, February 9, 2015

Queen of the Village: Heels by Buqisi-Ruux

APiF: Please introduce your brand.
Buqisi Ruux: Buqisi Ruux, founded by Lynn Bugaari, Tetsi Bugaari & Nuba Elamin, is a footwear brand that provides heels made from African fabric. But most importantly, we use our shoes as a platform to tell stories of African women who are shaping our nation. Each one of our shoes is named after an inspiring African woman. 

We are based in Nairobi, Kenya and have a presence in Kampala, Uganda and Cape Town, South Africa. We hope to continue expanding to several other countries in the near future.

APiF: Does the name Buqisi-Ruux have a specific meaning?

BR: The name means "Queen of the Village". Buqisi comes from an ancient Egyptian word, Bulqisi, meaning queen and Ruux is short for our home town, Rukungiri which is in Western Uganda.

APiF: What differentiates you from other shoe brands?

BR: Buqisi Ruux places great emphasis on quality and the individuality of each pair of shoes. We focus on creating a product that fits into modern Africa while maintaining high quality standards that can compete with top brands worldwide. We also share the stories of African women, the backbone of our society. These African women, in one way or another, can be an inspiration to other women worldwide because they are relatable. 

APiF: How does your culture/heritage influence or inspire your designs?
BR: Our brand is inspired by the African continent and African women. We place a high regard on our roots and heritage and this is reflected in our name and also in our "Kwanzaa" collection that was named after family members who have continued to inspire us and helped make Buqisi Ruux a reality. The Kwanzaa collection was designed with very bright colors and loud patterns (reds, greens, yellows). To us, this is a direct representation of our diverse continent.

APiF: How and where can readers in the US/Europe buy your shoes?

BR: We deliver shoes internationally. They can get in touch with us via and place an order. However, our online shop will be launching in March to make this process much easier for our customers. 

APiF: Please share with us the secret of walking in high heels!
BR: Number one rule: get the right size. Most women buy shoes that are either too big or too small – usually too small (guilty!) – making one walk like a penguin. For ladies that are just learning to wear heels, practice makes perfect. Start with a low comfortable pair and slowly work your way up to the higher "movie-star" style heels. 

All images except first one: Isabella Gomez
APiF: Any tips for start-ups in the fashion industry?
BR: Starting up any new business is always a challenge. Things will often not go as smoothly as expected and the best advice we can give is to keep going no matter what. When it comes to the fashion industry, the key is to have a unique product that evolves with the changing industry, that keeps your customers interested. But maybe what is even more important is the power of networking. It’s amazing how much we can learn from one another!

Find out more:

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Clean lines & bold prints: PAPAYA & CO

PAPAYA & CO is a new, Toronto-based label from two sisters. All items are handmade and made to order. With the collection the ladies want to "channel our love of art and design into creating pieces that are a blend of our distinct styles." The images in the look book are very arty - not your usual collection presentation. Unusual but definitely interesting. I like the combination of the clean lines with African prints. How do you like the creations from PAPAYA & CO?  

Find out more:

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


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