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Copyright ® 2011-2015 African Prints in Fashion LLC

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Designs for a Discount: Fall Fashion from Boxing Kitten

Designer Label Boxing Kitten is offering its FallWinter collection for 20% off. Seems like a great opportunity to secure some cool outfits in vivid prints and colors. Use Promo code: FW11 to receive the discount at checkout. I am just rereading this post and it sounds like a PR note (lol). But as I love Africa inspired designs and textiles and discounts, I just had to share this opportunity to save a couple of bucks on some designs that can help to print-up the season.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"I would like to see more traditional fabric" - Interview with Brooklyn-based Designer Neith Rasuten about her label NitRaSit

APiF: Please introduce your business and designs.
Neith Rasuten: My name is Neith Rasuten. I have been creating unique fashion designs for over fifteen years. My love of the creative process and the art of fashion design has been a driving force in my career. 

APiF: When and why did you start designing with African prints and fabrics?   
Neith: My family is originally from Haiti and spent a number of years in Chad, Central Africa. My grandmother fell in love with the unique ways the women there wore their prints. There is a lot of folding and twisting to bring the beauty out in the fabric. I am proud of my heritage and rich culture, and would like to share its uniqueness with the world.

APiF: How do u feel about the new African Prints / Fabric trend?
Neith: I would like to see more traditional fabric coming from Africa than the Netherlands or other nations producing our fabric. However, I am inspired by the artist and what he sees when designing the textile. This gives me cues on what I will focus on; and I try to bring  that out of the fabric when making a garment or accessory.

APiF: African Prints in the fashion industry - why now?
Neith: African print has always been part of the fashion industry,
but I do not think it was being promoted like it is today. There is 
African cloth that is just embroidered and the color is not vibrant, 
it's more subtle. I have been using this kind of fabric to make dress 
shirts and business suits for clients, who wanted to wear their 
traditional garb in non-traditional styles.

APiF: What inspires u?
Neith: I am inspired by cultures from around the world: Traditional garb given a modern edge then recreated in textiles you might not normally see them created in; architectural design shapes and colors in nature; reviewing what has been done 
 before and making it modern or giving it a twist. It really never gets old for me.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
Neith: I have so many pieces that I absolutely love! If I had to pick one piece it would be my tunic dresses with an obi belt and hand bag to complete the look.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion 
Neith: Network! You will not survive if you do not speak to 
 people and share what you are doing and who you are.  People want 
 to find connection with you and what you are doing. Fortunately, for 
 new designers there is a wealth of internet platforms from which 
 to reach people and find customers. So, you will need to not only 
 be creative, but be able to explain your process as well.

Find out more:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Print-up my Season: Are Africa inspired Prints for Summer only?

Jeans in popping colors are very in right now, which is great, and puts a splash of color on my legs and into my closet. However, when I went autumn-shopping recently, I was surprised to see grayish, brownish, greenish plaids dominating. 
Are African prints and Africa inspired designs for summer, only? I would love to see these patterns and prints reworked in woolly and wintry material! I found some PrintOutfits for the cooler season in Duro Olowu's collection.

What else is out there for the upcoming months? Please post and print-up my season!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Burberry goes African Print

Wow, I am flabbergasted. Burberry, a label with more of a traditional touch and well known for trench coats and parkas, is showcasing African prints in their 2012 Resort Collection. Quite a leap from  Burberry plaids to African prints. The designs look modern, chic, and at the same time, very edgy with a cool touch. I'd love to wear almost every single piece of the collection. 
Hopefully, some of the pieces will find their way to Loehmann's eventually.  

Burberry and African prints: like or dislike? Curious to hear your opinion.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Expression of Historic Memory" - Interview with NY Fashion Designer Hekima Hapa

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Hekima Hapa: HarrietsbyHekima is a moderate price, ready to wear, eco-friendly version of the internationally celebrated Harriet's Alter Ego line.
APiF: When and why did you start designing with African Prints and Fabrics? 
Hekima Hapa: Since the inception of the line in 2002, African fabrics have always been a part of the process. Expression of historic memory - as a member of the African Diaspora its important to express the connection to Africa in the ways we eat, live and create.
APiF: How do u feel about the new African Prints/Fabric trend?
Hekima Hapa: African Prints in mainstream fashion works to my advantage. People who already wear prints are more comfortable in new arenas like the workplace and industry events. And it also introduces African prints & fabrics to a new audience.
APiF: Is African Print in the fashion industry here to stay?
Hekima Hapa: No trends for fashion last forever, it would be impossible to continue to sell clothing.
APiF: What inspires u?
Hekima Hapa: Music, family, traditions, rituals, travel, isolation and vibrant prints.
APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why? 
Circular Wrap Vest
Hekima Hapa: The circular wrap vest, a combination of tradition & contemporary designs.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Hekima Hapa: Stay true to your own vision. Surround yourself with other artists of like and better talent than yourself & start working on your dreams by 4am as often as possible.

Find out more:
HarrietsbyHekima on Twitter

PrintKini: Swimwear in Africa inspired Prints

I found this PrintKini  from La Blanca months ago, when it still looked like I would never have a chance to wear it, due to the awful weather we had in Spring and the beginning of Summer in NYC. 
Luckily, I was mistaken, and I had since several opportunities to rock this 2 piece on the beach. The print is great and really pops. The dark brown bottom is nicely shaped and makes a 'wicked bumper'.

See also: 
Africa inspired swimwear from Mara Hoffman  

African Swimwear Designers - article on CIAAFRIQUE

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    PrintVacation: APiF goes Jamaica

    I am flying to Jamaica today! So there will be less updates in the next days but more new Fashion Finds once I am back end of next week!

    Fashion Finds: PrintMatches

    This is another Africa-inspired clutch that I saw at ALDO yesterday. And again, as was the beaded clutch 2 weeks ago, on sale for 20 Dollars. The colors and prints reminded me of a halter top dress I once had made in Ghana.  
    The shop attendant saw me taking pictures of the bag (oops) and recommended that I have a look at the matching pumps. However, the set was a little too matchy-matchy for my taste. So the clutch and the shoes stayed in the store, but at least they found their way to my blog.

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    UnimPrinted: ASOS Africa

    This was 2010
    I used to love ASOS Africa! I stumbled over this fair trade section of the ASOS online shopping portal one day when reading Essence Magazine. I had to restrain myself from buying every single item on their website. Whenever I am wearing one of my purchases - a one shoulder dress made out of Africa-inspired textiles -  women are approaching me with the question Where did you get that from?!
    Another great look from 2010
       Lately, ASOS Africa hasn't wowed me much. Most of the items appear almost plain
    No prints. The Africa-inspired connection seems to be missing. 

    What happened here? Does anyone know?

    Bang Bang - Bangles!

    I love bangles, especially a lot of them together on one arm. I found these in an African Market style store in BK. Unfortunately, the woman in the store did not want to bargain at all. She insisted to have 10 dollars per bangle! and she gave me a 'no nonsense' attitude. I did not manage to charm the iron lady into giving me all 3 for 20, so I only bought 2. I like the one with the 3 big colors best! Maybe I will go back for another one...


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