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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PrintInnovations: Basso & Brooke

Bruno Basso and Christopher Brooke are among the first designers, who used digital prints for a complete collection. Thus they are quite often referred to as "The pioneers of digital print in fashion". Some of their prints are like art pieces and can be ordered as posters

The house of "Power Prints" mixes new and different patterns together with strong colors. I quite like their designs and the artistic touch.  

Which design from their Summer2012 collection do you like best?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Long or Short: What skirt type are you?

Long or short? What skirt type are you? I actually prefer shorter skirts that end below or just in the middle of the knee. Somehow I feel that my figure gets lost in a long skirt, so I didn't really participate in the floor-long skirt trend last year. But it seems like the long skirts will not go away this Summer. I actually stumbled over the one above from Nicole Miller that I quite like. How about yourself - what skirt type are you?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Interview: "The AsakeOge woman is sophisticated and doesn't follow trends"

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Asake Agoro: AsakeOge is a women's wear brand offering ready to wear and bespoke services for the stylish trendsetter. The AsakeOge woman has a sophisticated style and doesn't follow fashion trends.

APiF: When and why did you start designing with African Prints and Fabrics?
Asake: I grew up in a fashion environment and have been making clothes for myself from a young age on. My passion for bright colors and bold prints drew me to African prints. However, I also use other prints and fabrics.

APiF: How do u feel about the new African Prints/Fabric trend? Is it here to stay? 
Asake: It is fantastic to see African prints embraced by the international fashion scene. It has been here for three years running, but only time will tell as fashion is very fickle and changes all the time. 

APiF: What inspires u?
Asake: I get inspiration from so many places, it is impossible to name them all. My dreams, my visions, everyday people, designers like Kobah, McQueen, people like Grace Jones etc.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why? 
Asake: I have too many favorite pieces and it is hard to choose one as it changes all the time. Presently I am loving the yellow Anike dress from the Timeless Heritage collection as it is playful, feminine and fun. It is also an unusual color for me as I am usually attracted to red. 

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience? 
Asake: AsakeOge is presently available via independent websites online. We also sell from and we also offer a bespoke service and can be contacted via 

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry? 
Asake: Do a lot of research, know your target market, get a mentor. Get ready for a lot of hard work.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Prints of the Week: Stylish in Black & White

I came across this extravagant Tiger-Print clutch from Alexander McQueen and the dress from LAMB online. The prints are strikingly similar and both designs are gorgeous. They showcase beautifully, how stylish one can be in black & white only. Even though I love the dress, I could never wear it. Baby-doll cuts give me a somewhat pregnant look, and that is usually not so desirable.
How do you like these 2 designs?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

SideStep: I Dream in Neon

I never thought I would be into NEON again. I was a teenager the last time I wore a Neon T-Shirt. I never thought I would be excited about the comeback of these eye-hurting colors. But what can I say - I am already snatching Neon pieces here and there and adding them to my wardrobe. Will you be part of the Neon revolution?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I adore: Duro Olowu Autumn/Winter 2012

I know, we are all excited about Spring right now. But the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection from Duro Olowu makes me wanna skip 2 seasons right away. I love the composition, the colors, the print mix and the elegant cuts. The designs look trendy, sophisticated and edgy at the same time. And how cool are the pink socks that he combined with some of these outfits? You can view the complete collection on

Which outfit do you like best?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Power of a Woman: Tanise Francis sends audience on the runway

Instead of sitting on your butt and watching the fashion show while sipping on a glass of white wine, Tanise Francis, designer of Fabric Twinz (F2), asked the audience at her show 'Power of a Woman' to walk around and experience her new collection. 

Very statuesque (pic by Drew Adlam)
Visitors could get a close-up look of the designs from the models who were lined-up like statues along the walls of the venue. The set-up invited the stylish and eclectic crowd to touch the clothes and even talk to the models. They looked like glamorous amazons that only turned their head slightly when cameras approached and questions were asked. Not confirmed, but I wouldn't have been surprised if the most asked question of the night was "How can you ladies stand on those high heels for such a long time?"

The event took place on the last day of Fashion Week on the 4th floor of a building in Chelsea. Fingerfood from Ricardo Steakhouse was served as well as wine, water and energy drinks - Vitamin Water and Monster Energy were sponsors of the event.

"Power of A Woman" - the title of the event, showcased sexy evening and clubbing gear for stylish young women. The label prides itself on creating head-turning designs for women that "demand attention when they  walk into a room with the bold colors and form fitting design concepts". Last Thursday, this concept certainly worked.

Find out more:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

For the confident and stylish woman - Funlayo Deri

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Funmilayo Csilla Deri: The Funlayo Deri label - a luxury women's wear label for the confident, captivating, stylish woman - was established in March 2011. The label signature is the celebration of the female form, emphasizing a woman’s curves while utilizing the most lavish fabrics and the finest cuts and detailing.

APiF: How does your heritage inspire/influence your designs?
Funmilayo: My design aesthetic is influenced by my heritage as this shapes my perspective. It all translates in the designs, be it in the way a garment drapes, the colors used, the richness in texture of the fabrics or the silhouettes.

APiF: How do u feel about the current trend regarding all things "African"?
Funmilayo: I think Africa has always been an inspiration to the world when it comes to fashion, art, music and more. For me all things "African" are not just a trend. It is fantastic that there is greater awareness of African fashion but I think it is important for people to recognize that all things "African" are not just a passing trend, but a lasting force.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
Funmilayo: It is very difficult to pick just one piece from my collections. I love them all! One of the key pieces from the Spring/Summer 2012 collection, however, is this lace halter dress. The style is simple, but the fabric used gives it an unconventional edge. It's a heat pressed lace which feels amazing to touch and wear. This fabric was used in a few other pieces through the collection - for lace pants and as a detail on the maxi cut-out dress.
APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Funmilayo: My designs are mainly marketed through online sources. We will be launching an online store soon and clients worldwide will be able to purchase Funlayo Deri pieces here. 

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Funmilayo: To anyone looking to start their own fashion label, I say first of all you must have talent, be creative and be really passionate about fashion. Having these will keep your drive up when challenges present themselves. It is important to intern with designers who are newly established. This way you see what they go through and it prepares you for what you will need to do when setting up your own label. The fashion industry is not all glamor, contrary to what many believe. It requires a lot of work, commitment and investment - financial and time wise. Besides being creative, you must have business acumen. If you don't have this, find someone you can partner with who does.

APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
Funmilayo: To make the label accessible to clients worldwide - through the online store and a collaboration with an US-based online retailer which we are currently working on. 

Find out more:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sneak Peak: Marni for H&M

I'm sure by now you have all marked your calendars already? On the 8th of March, Marni will hit H&M stores. I don't think there has ever been a collaboration that I have been that excited about! Find below some of the great pieces that will be available. I hope they will allow shoppers to purchase more than just 2 items. I already spotted at least 4 designs that I need to have in my life and closet. 

Which piece of the Marni and H&M collaboration do you absolutely need to have in your closet?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Prints of the Week: Bon Voyage with Pearl 1130

Le Voyage - The Trip/Journey - is the name of the Spring/Summer 2012 collection of the label Pearl 11 30. The collection is a mixture of prints, colors and different textiles. I would like to package the complete collection in my trunk and go on a trip. I would be dressed for all occasions! 

I am especially in love with the three designs above. The yellow and print combination is so trendy and makes a perfect Spring outfit. The batik print skirt and top with the yellow belt and blue collar are elegant and pops at the same time. Just stunning is the black & white dress - it seems to be light and airy and I adore the sexy top. Which design do you like best?

Find out more

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Luxurious Understatements: Designs from Duaba Serwa

Check-out the interview with the designer of the label Duaba Serwa, winner of the Emerging Designer of the Year Award in 2011 at the Ghana Fashion Awards, as well as winner of the Young Creative Entrepreneur Fashion Award.

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Nelly Hagan-Aboagye: Duaba Serwa is a mixture of innovative intricate details, structure, textures and new types of volumes. My story is about bold effortless beauty and I pride myself in the construction of luxurious style lines that caters to the woman who prefers understatements to flamboyant extravagance. 

APiF: How does your heritage inspire/influence your designs?
Nelly: I am inspired by sensibility, I use a lot of beads in my work. In Africa beads symbolize, amongst other things, fertility, hierarchies within communities and wealth. To me the singular eloquence of beading completes and qualifies my garments into ornaments of value.

APiF: How do u feel about the current trend regarding all things "African"?
Nelly: I am pro African. It's encouraging to see our translation of fashion interpreted in so many ways by so many international designers. It  simply shows that we are doing something right, and if we continue in that direction, our  major cities might just earn the title " fashion capital ". 

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your
collection and why?
Nelly: It's a  fully beaded red corset dress made from cheese cloth cotton. It is so comfortable and definitely a dress I'll treasure always.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Nelly: Fortunately I have had the opportunity to participate in a couple of runway shows away from my home country, which has brought about a decent level of exposure. 

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Nelly: God is definitely in charge of everything, but be enthusiastic and passionate about what you do. Work hard at perfecting your craft on the basis of authenticity and originality and you could potentially build a business you can be proud of which will not only earn you a living, but provide you a lifestyle you aspire to.

APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
Nelly: Hopefully more runway shows, a flagship store and select line extensions.

Find out more:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SideStep: Print-Inspirations by Mary Katrantzou hit TopShop

London-based and Athens-born fashion designer Mary Katrantzou is known for her extravagant, bold and colorful prints. The designer, who is only 28 years old, worked on a collaboration with TopShop and her collection will be available this week - from the 17th of February on.

Her clothes look like canvases on which an artist went crazy with his paint brush. Katrantzou herself is usually seen wearing black only. Will you be going to TopShop to get your hands on one of her pieces?

Monday, February 13, 2012

V-Day inspirations - What will u wear?

To be honest, I never celebrated Valentines Day (V-Day), before I moved to the US. For me the 14th of February was nothing more than a great marketing idea, that gives a boost to the chocolate, flower, restaurant, gift, you-name-it industry. But since I am here in NYC, I have started to acknowledge and to celebrate it a little. 

So in case you plan on hanging out with the girls or dine with your hubby/boo, here are some V-Day inspirations. Which outfit would you wear?

Bottega Veneta, Kua Designs, Oacra de la Renta, Aya Morrison, Boxing Kitten, Fashionconscience, Rupert Sanderson, Wambui Mukenyi

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Aya Morrison: "Adding a dash of my heritage into each piece I create"

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs. 
Aya Morrison: Aya Morrison is a trendsetting African-print fabric swimwear line, purses and bespoke fashion accessories design house. We are recognized for striking tribal and vibrant designs, ethnic glamor and a delicate representation of the African culture.

APiF: When and why did you start designing with African Prints and Fabrics?
Aya: At the peak of finalizing my mood board for my first collection, I realized that the African print fabric had become dominant in the international fashion world – something that was almost a dream. The fear of not using the African print until then was the lack of interest and patronage from the potential buyer at the time. And so, at this point, although I had already begun my sample pieces with vintage materials, I felt a strong urge to incorporate these ethnic prints because it had finally generated marvelous exposure and there was nothing else I’d have loved to do, than to add a dash of my heritage into each piece I create.

APiF: How do u feel about the new African Prints/Fabric trend?
Aya: I think it’s fantastic. Coming from an African background, its simply heart-warming knowing a piece of my culture has influenced the fashion industry. The prints are very ethnic, bold, exotic and with meaning. Trust me, this trend is so huge, I won't be shocked if we next see big cars & trucks or even skyscrapers inspired by these bold African prints, lol.
APiF: Is African Print in the fashion industry here to stay?
Aya: I believe it’s going to be around for a long time. If nothing at all, designers would still have hints of it in their collections as it adds some uniqueness and cultural belonging to each piece.
APiF: What inspires u?
Aya: My surroundings, people and music. The humid/cold streets of New York are surprisingly full of inspiration. From the bum on the corner of the street rocking a very dirty multicolored print bed sheet to the many cultures I experience on a daily basis, to the kind and type of fruitful music I hear, to my mother’s amazing fashion sense, to my friends and family, girl, inspiration is all around me!
APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
Aya: My favorite fashion find would have to be my pretty belt from my newest collection of belts. This belt was designed to sit on any waist like a 'micro mini garter skirt' that adds shape to the outfit. It is gathered at the waist with a waist band and is almost a flair cape. It is a fabulous find, very sexy and an easy addition to any fitting outfit, from the little black dress to even jeans pants & a tank, to long fitting solid-colored summer dresses. I think every stylish woman needs a piece in their closet.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Aya: My main marketing approach is having shopping events in various cities, which serves as a great advertising tool because as much as I send out e-fliers about the event, word of mouth brings in more crowd, new faces and exciting customers who all want something different. I also have an online store and stock on other online stores in various countries to extend the global reach.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Aya: There is always something new to learn. Embrace new things, put your heart into it and be determined. The fashion industry isn't a joke though, so come with a strong sense of style and the passion for the real deal and you will be fine. Don't fret when the competition gets tough, just focus and get more creative. It works!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prints of the week: Military Jacket from nyah & ich

Check-out this awesome military jacket as well as the trendy designs below from the German label "nyah und ich" (nyah and I). I am in love with the whole mood of the picture below and I totally dig the military jacket with applications out of African cloth. The label wants to celebrate the collaboration and influences of the African and the European continent. The name of the label is reflecting the friendship of the designers - one of European, one of African descent.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spring forward with the new collection from CJAJ09

Check-out the Spring collection from label CJAJ09. The fashion house offers affordable designs mixed with African prints. All the new outfits will be available in their online store from the 13th of February on. Is it me, or is yellow one of the colors of 2012? I have noticed a strong representation of yellow in several Spring/Summer collections. Let me know how you like the CJAJ09 collection!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

KHETKHUM: Blending 'African' styles with modern, urban looks

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Khetkhum: KHETKHUM clothing is about creating a new experience with every piece made. Blending 'African' styles with modern, urban looks.

APiF: If your label would be a person - what kind of person would it be? 
Khetkhum: A young urban creative, with a freestyle mentality rooted in Africa.

APiF: What inspires you?
Khetkhum: The beauty of different fabrics.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why? 
Khetkhum: This dress from our SS2012 collection.
APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience? 
Khetkhum: We are using Social Media and we are currently relaunching our website.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry? 
Khetkhum: Start something and follow through with it. There will be hard times, but that is part of the experience. And love fashion! 

Find out more:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bags for Women on the Go: Accessory label Fulani

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Souadou Barry: Fulani is a fashion accessory label that specializes in designer bags. The brand launched in 2011 its first collection: the Kesso Satchel. We offer luxury handbags in simple and elegant lines that complement the rich fabric inserts, while the soft leather frame and Italian hardware give it a contemporary feel. Fulani offers timeless elegance with a touch of eclectic sensitivity.

APiF: How does your heritage inspire/influence your designs?
Souadou: As architect and designer, creating beauty has always been a source of comfort and fulfillment. Born and raised in Senegal, West Africa, studying in Europe and now residing in the U.S., I get my inspiration from all the places I have visited but also from the place I come from. The principle element of design in this collection is inspired by a unique and rich handwoven fabric called Rabaal. The artisans who weave the delicate fabric by hand have kept the original patterns and have introduced a rainbow of vibrant and rich colors to the palette. Fulani is taking an traditional fabric and making it contemporary and fashionable.
APiF: How do u feel about the current trend regarding all things "African"?
Souadou: Africa has always been a great source of inspiration for designers all over the world. If African designers are able to make this a permanent trend - by using African patterns, fabrics and prints in a contemporary way, to offer designs that are attainable to a global audience - then this is a great thing! 

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
Souadou: I absolutely love the Kesso Glam. The fabric insert is modern and glittery - an add of glamour to any wardrobe. The metallic green and shiny shades goes perfectly against the black leather frame and the silver hardware. The Kesso is roomy enough to carry all your essentials with ample inside pockets to keep you organized. This is the perfect everyday bag that you can carry from the office through the night! Busy women on the go like myself just love it!

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Souadou: Social media , publications, fashion shows are the major tools we use to reach our audience. Our online store makes it easy to access global markets. 

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Souadou: Starting your fashion brand is an amazing journey with lots of ups and downs. You have to believe in yourself and need a strong point of view, but yet you need to have some humility and learn to take criticisms and grow. Don't make the same mistake twice, don't be afraid to reach out to people with the experience in your industry. But before you knock at the door, do your homework and educate yourself. If you have a vision and a plan, with hard work it will pay off.

Find out more:
f: Become a fan
w: Check out Fulani's website & shop
t: Follow Fulani on twitter

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Be fearless: New collection from ajePomaa Design Gallery

ajePomaa Design Gallery is introducing their Spring/Summer 2012 collection FEARLESS EVOLUTION. According to the press release, the designs are inspired by the Great Gatsby from the period of the 1920s. I really like the combination of vibrant colors, color blocking and prints. 

Find out more

Friday, February 3, 2012

Simple, Sexy and Stylish: Interview with Ariike Alden

The blue walk shirt dress
APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Ariike Alden: Our brand is for Every Woman. It's for the lady who likes to lunch, has to pick up her children from school, is holding down a career and overall is the woman all men admire and need in their life in one way or another and she looks good while doing it.

APiF: When and why did you start designing with African Prints and Fabrics?
Ariike: I started designing from the age of 13, when I started my GCSE in textiles in my high school in London. From a very young age, fashion has always been a part of me. I couldn’t be a model, but I knew what good clothes were. So from that age on I pursued fashion as an interest and hobby; something I did very quietly, because I didn’t know how people would react to my styles. I use African prints and fabric because I am African. Born and raised and I love my culture and I celebrate it through my designs.
APiF: How do u feel about the new African Prints/Fabric trend? Is it here to stay?
Ariike: I love the rise of the African print and fabric trend because it is celebrating something, people were scared to experiment with many years ago. Now, if you are brave to wear African print, it shows how fashionable you are. I believe it is here to stay and that is great. It is in the mainstream and that can only be fabulous for Africa and us as people, because the Western world can experience a piece of our culture through our fashion.

APiF: What inspires you?
Ariike: Inspiration is drawn from everyday activities. It could be from a comment I read, a conversation I had or recall. An image you see as I am riding the train to a meeting. My inspiration is drawn from everywhere and I try to translate that into my designs through print and colour.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favourite piece in your closet or of your
collection and why?
Ariike: My favourite piece would have to be Ariike Alden’s blue walk shirt dress. It is simple, sexy, short and stylish. To wear it with heels and a Louis V bag, big shades and a blazer... just awesome.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Ariike: It is impossible to ignore the global appeal of the Internet so you will find us on the popular on line shopping sites in the UK and Africa but we've also recognised that our brand sells itself. The majority of the ladies who wear our designs get stopped and asked where they got their purchase. I was in a meeting and at the end as I was leaving one of the MEN from the meeting ran up to me and said "my wife would love your dress" and he reeled off a number of shops where he thought I had bought it. I simply smiled and said it is Ariike Alden original. 

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Ariike: Always make your vision a reality. Don’t follow what others are doing and really understand why you design the clothes you do. You will get it right sometimes and sometimes wrong, but you learn by doing. And enjoy what you do!

Find out more:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What I bought: Dip Hem Skirt from Top Shop

I just bought this really cool dip hem skirt from Top Shop. I wasn't sure at the beginning how I feel about this "long at the back and short in the front" design, but it actually looks really good on. It is perfect for the office and for going out, and I am trying not to wear it a second time in the office this week, but I might just have to as it is so fab.

How do you like the skirt?

Fancy Pants - Which one would you wear?

Jewel by Lisa, Nkwo, Boxing Kitten

I am a pants girl. Once I find a great, comfy and stylish pair, I want to wear them all the time. Pants need to fit perfectly, not sag and of course flatter your behind. I probably have more pants than skirts or dresses in my closet. And when I find a really amazing pair, I usually go back and by a second one.
So which of the above pants do you like best? 
I am in love with the bejeweled pants from Jewel by Lisa.


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