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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Today at Soul of Brooklyn: AfroPolitan Tees and AfricanCity Bags

We had such a great time today at the kick-off festival of Soul of Brooklyn by Mocada. It was the first time ever we sold the AfricanCity bags and the AfroPolitan tees at a festival. The e-store isn't up yet, if you want one of these products please inbox me at

Here are the prices:
  • Crop Top 19.00 USD/GBP/EUR
  • Tees (w&m) 24.00 USD/GBP/EUR
  • Big Bag 19.99 USD/GBP/EUR
  • Small Bag 14.99 USD/GBP/EUR

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lena Hoschek: Austria's answer to Stella Jean?

Graz-based designer Lena Hoschek wowed the audience at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Berlin with her designs inspired by African prints. The collection titled "Hot Mama Africa" - ouch, yes that's what it was really called - combined feminine cuts from the 50ies and 60ies with the colorful and multifaceted prints. 

It wasn't as bold and fashion-forward as the first collection from Stella Jean, but the overall aesthetic and just the fact that Hoschek's whole collection was Africa-inspired and not just some pieces, made me think of the Haitian-Italian designer. But even though I am poking fun at the oh so stereotypical title, I really like the dresses and can see myself wearing one. Worth mentioning: Per sold clothing 2 Euro are being donated to SWAP – Safe Water and AIDS Project.

How do you like the collection?

Find out more:

Monday, July 28, 2014

INYÜ new collection: La Parisienne

The Parisian is the name of the new collection from INYÜ. It comes across fresh, young and sophisticated and is for women who "want to incorporate prints in their everyday wardrobe." The dresses and tops with the white collars look playful and virtuous at the same time and captures the essence of the "Parisian" vibe quite well.

How do you like their new collection? Comment below!

Find out more:

Kibonen NY will show at NYC Fashion Week

Kibonen Nfi, designer of the brand Kibonen NY, just announced that her brand was selected by the Art Institutes of NY to show her collection at the NYC Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Quite an achievement as not many African designers get the opportunity to present their designs at this prestigious event.

The designer from Cameroon keeps on evolving. After presenting her designs at South Africa Fashion Week in the past two years, she joined Art Institutes of NY to obtain a professional degree in Fashion Design. Kibs also started an internship at Donna Karan. Considering all the new influences it will be interesting to see what Kibonen will present on the runway in September. 

Besides continuously striving to improve professionally, Kibonen aims to create fair and sustainable employment opportunities in Cameroon. 

Find out more:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beat of Africa - AltaRoma and ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative

The Beat of Africa fashion show took place on Tuesday the 15th of July in Rome as part of the city's AltaRoma fashion week. Organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) Ethical Fashion Initiative, some of the hottest African designers right now showed off their latest collections: Duaba Serwa (Ghana), Mina Evans (Ghana), Lisa Folawiyo (Nigeria) and as special project Stella Jean (Haiti/Italy).

If the logo of the event looked like something an NGO would produce, the fashion show definitely didn't. The show was super professional and the designs breath taking and fashion forward. My favorite collections were by Duaba Serwa and Lisa Folawiyo - formerly known as Jewel by Lisa. And one gown by Stella Jean who pictured Haitian women was another favorite that many visitors kept on talking about after the show.

Check-out some of the images below. Which designer does your heart beat for?

Duaba Serwa
The brand by designer Nelly Aboagye has been one of my favorites for quite a while due to its chic, trendy elegance.The collection she presented was very wearable. Perfect pieces for office to evening transition outfits! Great news for everyone who wants to get a piece of Duaba Serwa in their closets: Nelly is working on opening a store in Accra (Ghana) this year.

Lisa Folawiyo
Lisa's SS 2015 collection opened the show with a bang. Formerly known as Jewel by Lisa but now moving forward using her own name, the designs continue to be innovative, elegant, stylish and cool. I loved the color combinations and the elegant print and fabric mixture. The silhouettes were body conscious with some playful asymmetric elements. There were at least 2 pieces I would want in my closet asap! Lisa will also be part of New York Fashion Week in September so mark your calendars!

Stella Jean
Protégé from Giorgio Armani and a lot talked about, Stella Jean continues to stick to prints to create fashionable collections. Moving away from Ankara only her designs mix stripes, dots with Africa-inspired prints and other print motives. Definitely the most colorful collection of the day and as I already stated above, I loved the white gown with the imprint of the Haitian women!

Mina Evans
Soft, flowy dresses in bright colors with short or longer capes and wooden statement necklaces introduced the collection from Mina Evans-Anfom. Nice outfits for chic evening events in the Summer. My favorite was the salmon colored coat with the blue inlay and the long pink dress.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"A strong story to tell": Tartan and the African Diaspora

The exhibition "Tartan: Its Journey Through the African Diaspora" starts on the 5th of August at Craft Central in London. APiF talked to Teleica Kirkland, the Creative Director at The Costume Institute of the African Diaspora (CIAD).

APiF: What inspired the exhibition?
Teleica Kirkland: The inspiration for the exhibition came from my research of dress history in the Caribbean. I had visited 13 different islands to find out more about the similarities and differences in folkloric/national dresses, carnival costumes and local fashions. 

I knew some islands used madras fabric in their national dress, but it was only until I visited a few of them that I realized that the commonality actually gave way to marked differences in the pattern styles and colors of the madras fabric.

This makes the madras nationalistic, similarly to the clan tartans in Scotland. Many of the plantation owners were Scottish; so therefore the inspiration for all of this came from knowing that there is a very strong story to tell. Having prior knowledge of the patterns of the shukas worn by the Maasai made me realize: there were threads to this story which spanned wider than the Caribbean.  

APiF: Why Tartan and not Dutch Wax Prints?
Teleica: Madras is such a strong part of Caribbean material culture - Dutch wax print doesn’t hold the same influence or cultural cache. It is only recently that some people on the larger islands have started to adopt wax print into their wardrobe. Wax print seems to be used predominantly within west African material culture as even in Kenya/ Tanzania and South Africa it is not necessarily a popular type of fabric to use.

APiF: What is the objective of this exhibition?

Teleica: The objective of the exhibition is to educate people about this hidden history, to essentially highlight what these different cultures within Africa and the Diaspora have done with the remnants of colonialism and war. How they turned an influence brought to them through destruction into something beautiful and captivating. Similarly, the influence between Africans and the Scottish is not one sided as the band leader for a bagpipe troop will often (well they used to!) have a leopard skin worn across his body. Last time I checked there were no leopards roaming the highlands!    

APiF: What will be one of the things that might surprise visitors of the
Teleica: I think the links between the different cultures will surprise people. This is a classic case of information hidden in plain sight. I think one of the challenges some people will have is accepting the way that different cultures see and use influences. Oftentimes we in the West see things in very linear ways when really the rest of the world doesn’t operate like that at all!     

Find out more:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Right now I love: Jumpsuits & Rompers

Jumpsuits seem to be everywhere this Summer. And they come in so many different styles and prints - it is hard to settle for just one or err two. Great wardrobe add-on I say! Do you own one yet? Which of the styles do you like best?

Seen at Styles Afrik
Tribal Groove
ASOS Africa (out of stock)
Seen on Pinterest
Demestiks NY
Seen on Black Fashion Tumblr
Afrodesiac Worldwide


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