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Monday, April 30, 2012

Prints of the Week: ifenkili

Lots of colors and quite a variety of outfits - 10 different categories! - offers the label ifenkili on its etsy page. And all handmade by the UK based designer Nneka Mokwe herself. Personally, I like the clutches and the hoodies best! Especially the print and color combination from the hoodies is quite unique and stylish. Must be the first time I managed to say hoodie and stylish in one sentence! 

How do you guys like it?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Trendsetter: Ghanaian label Poqua Poqu

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Poqua Poqu: Poqua Poqu is a Ghanaian fashion label, an affordable luxury brand that deals in clothing, embroidered African prints and Accessories. OSRAM and NSOROMMA, our embroidered prints, are a fusion of distinctive African prints and varied motifs in delicious colors. OSRAM and NSOROMMA in the Ghanaian language refer to the “Moon” and “Star” respectively.

APiF: When and why did you start designing with African Prints and Fabrics?
Poqua Poqu: I fell in LOVE with African (Ghanaian) prints because of the immense stories behind their origins, the vibrant colors and diverse designs.

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be? 
Poqua Poqu: Bold, classy and a trend setter.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
Poqua Poqu: I love the saffron palazzo trousers. A personal favorite and a definite must have. Paired with a black, white or grey lace or chiffon blouse, you can rock those palazzos by day; throw on a dark jacket for a smart casual look for work and at night slip into a pair of stilettos.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Poqua Poqu: I embrace a host of marketing tools, I participate in international workshops and attend shows, and this gives me the opportunity to network. Facebook and twitter are some very useful and exciting channels I use. Also, word of mouth has been a powerful marketing media for my brand. Our website will soon be a only click away.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Poqua Poqu: Passion, determination and discipline are some basic tools needed in the fashion industry. BUT be on guard, don’t get too emotionally attached to that fabulous piece u created. Think outside the box…..sit on the BOX….that way you can see far beyond. Stay original!

APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
Poqua Poqu: Our year started very exciting, with the introduction of our fabulous Wawa clutches; designed with Osram and Nsoromma prints, patch prints, laces and sequins. Easter was not complete without our all white Alabaster collection. Coming out soon is our summer collection. 

Find out more:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tommy Hilfiger: Launch of Africa-inspired Collection

Impressions from the Africa-inspired "The Promise Collection" by Tommy Hilfiger, that was launched today, Thursday the 26th of April, in their NYC flagship store. 100% of the money from the collection are leveraged for the development of sustainable communities. The Promise is part of the international NGO 'Millennium Promise', an organization that aims to reduce extreme hunger and poverty.

My personal favorite was the blue and red mini skirt as well as the blue "I Promise" T Shirt with a short line of beads at the neckline.

Find out more here:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Convenient & Stylish: AfricanPulse TheShop

Cool outfits by designers from the African continent but no option to purchase them online?  

African Pulse TheShop is covering that niche by promoting "contemporary, stylish and urban artists from the African continent" on their shopping platform. Julie Jais, the founder of African Pulse, also tries to focus on partnerships with designers who "pay attention to the origin of their products". 

TheShop has a lot of nice and affordable clothes. 
I am a pretty regular visitor of this website and can only recommend to check it out!

Find out more:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rock it Girl: Stripes & Prints

CJAJ09, Emua Fashion, Afro Divas
I love the stripes and prints combinations! I have tried it out myself and it totally works. Have you tried it yet? Which of these three designs would you like to rock?

Here is a picture how I rocked prints & stripes recently (skirt is from Boxing Kitten).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stella Jean: "This collection reflects me completely"

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Stella Jean: I am a 32 years old Italian–Haitian woman. I find in fashion the necessary room to maneuver, to make my two opposite identities breathe and finally conciliate. I was born and raised in the Italy of the 80s, even though I grew up in a well situated environment, it hasn't been easy to be the result of a multiracial family.

APiF: What inspired your wax prints collection?
Stella: In my collection I just talk about me and my roots. I am half Italian and half Haitian - Haiti is the First Free Black Republic. That’s why I have decided to melt the European striped shirt (colonialist side) with the wax fabrics - but in a 60s style. This collection reflects me completely.

APiF: How likely is it that you will use wax prints again for a collection? 
Stella: I've start with something that belongs to me and my origins. Now I would like to show how it is possible to melt very different cultures with no limits, but at the same time keep the respect and the consciousness of the traditions. In my video Madeleine I am trying out new combinations such as Hawaiian fabrics and wax prints. And for the F|W 13 collection I've melted Scottish fabrics and wax. I will keep melting….

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Stella: Curious, emancipated, proud, honest, cultivated, charming, eclectic and bold.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why? 
Stella: This (outfit on the right side) is one of the most emblematic ensembles of the collection: Colonialist vis-à-vis colonized.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Stella: We are in the most important Italian boutiques and we will be online, soon.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Stella: Don't copy, speak out for yourself, try not to pretend and just be you.

Find out more:
f: follow Stella on facebook

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Prints of the Week: Kiki Clothing

These two great outfits for a summer night out are from the label Kiki Clothing. I love the sprinkle of pink and yellow in this print. And even though I am usually not into puffy-designs, I do like the arms on the left dress. Kiki Clothing produces all its clothes and shoes in Ghana.

Which dress would you wear for a summer night out?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Touch of Eccentricity: Todun Designs

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Todun Designs: Todun Designs is an Afrocentric-inspired accessory line, mostly focused on the use of African fabrics. 

APiF: What inspires you?
Todun Designs: Having an idea and watching it take form has been one of my biggest inspirations so far. I tend to be a bit of a workaholic, so my brain is almost never on shut down. I keep myself on a constant toil trying to figure out how to make the next product better than the last, and trying to give each item it's uniqueness.

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Todun Designs: Modern, fearless, sophisticated with a slight touch of eccentricity.   

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
Todun Designs: My favorite piece at the moment is the Polar Tote Bag, I carry it everywhere! It is spacious and fashionable, which automatically gives it extra special points in my good books. It is also reversible and I love the combination of colors - orange/green with a little bit of denim.
The Polar Tote Bag

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Todun Designs: Dedication, consistency and creativity. Don’t give up on yourself and don't limit yourself to just one idea because the rest seem too difficult or might take too much time to execute. 

Find out more: 

Monday, April 16, 2012

What I bought: Make-up Bag in Prints & Pink

I bought this make-up bag on Saturday at Urban Outfitters in the city, and I am totally in love with the prints and the pink zipper combination! 

I can always do with a new make-up bag. All the ones that I have don't look that great anymore ore cannot hold all the stuff that I like to cram into them. And what is really awesome about this one is the price - it was only 16 bucks. I would say, go and get it while they still have them in stock.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fashion-Inspirations: African Film Festival NY

Smarteez - Pictures by Chris Saunders
I went to the African Film Festival in NYC yesterday. It is running until end of May, so get out there if you can to support and watch some great movies. It was very inspirational and uplifting to see and hear all the creative young people who are just doing their thing in fashion, music and the arts. I watched the two movies "The Creators" and "Stocktown X: South Africa". In Stocktown the "Smarteez" were introduced - a group of friends, who were recognized as Joburg's most stylish subculture. You can watch some of their interviews here. Super stylish and creative, I now totally want to find out more about them and will start doing some research.

SideStep: Stylish Cookies by Modern Bite

I stumbled over these gorgeous print cookies yesterday, when browsing the web. I am a cookie monster, so the category "too beautiful to eat" doesn't exist for me. However, I do have a category labeled "too expensive to buy", and these sweet designs by the company Modern Bite come at 42 Dollars for a box of 12.
Still beautiful though, and thus I wanted to share them with you guys.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vintage Vibe, Modern Fashion, Afro Twist: Pearl 1130

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Ade Yusuf: Pearl 1130 is a fashion and style label which personifies sophistication, class and timeless elegance – these attributes are what summarizes the Pearl 1130 woman. Our designs are a fusion of vintage vibe and modern fashion design with an Afro twist.

APiF: How does your heritage influence your designs?
Ade: My designs are more or less an interpretation of my style, hence my colorful heritage plays some role in my designs. I am in one way or another inspired by my surroundings, my culture which I tend to present in my own way.

APiF: How do u feel about the current trend regarding all things "African"?
Ade: I feel elated. It is awesome to look around and to see all these Africa-inspired designs. Gone are the days when we were not so proud of what rightly belongs to us. This trend is so here to stay and I am privileged to rock it.

APiF: What inspires u?
Ade: I am inspired by almost everything from my moods to magazines to my surroundings to people to fabrics et al. I can be inspired by what a pepper seller has on, you never can tell what catches your fancy.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?

Ade: I have got loads of favorite pieces, almost every item in my closet/collection has a space in my heart but for the sake of this interview I will pick an item from my first major collection (Belle De Jour). The Krimy lace dress, I absolutely adore this dress because it is simple and brings out the chic appeal in the wearer.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Ade: We make use of online hubs, magazines, our website which we update regularly and other social networks such as twitter and facebook. We have also been lucky with referrals from old customers.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Ade: Knowledge is key and passion for the job is major because fashion is a tough business; passion is the driving force we all need. It can be throat cutting but very beautiful. Understanding the use of social networks and publications to reach out to your target market is very important. To evolve is good, knowing your product is important and having a clear vision is a must.

Find out more:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Prints of the Week: Liz Ogumbo

Model, singer and fashion designer - Liz Ogumbo has it all.
I am a fan of her new collection that she showcased at the South African Fashion Week. Especially of the round bags that look perfect for the beach as well as for going for a coffee in the city.
Find out more: 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Modern Silhouettes and African Prints: Kenyan Label Kooroo

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs. 
Kooroo Designs: Kooroo which means "be proud" in Amharic (Ethiopian language) was founded in 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya, with the aim of creating a ready to wear line for women that is Africa-inspired and globally appealing.

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Kooroo Designs: A confident woman who has her own sense of style and who loves different cultures.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your
collection and why? 
Kooroo Designs: Our aesthetic combines modern, timeless silhouettes with African print; surface embellishment using local craftsmanship and exquisite fabric.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Kooroo Designs: We market our designs by participating in fashion events, both locally and regionally. We have shown our collections at Festival of African Fashion and Art (FAFA) in 2008, 2009, 2010. The event has great media coverage locally and internationally and is a great platform to showcase the creativity that exists on the continent. We have also shown our collection at Swahili Fashion Week and in Scotland at the Edinburgh Mela Festival in 2010. We also use facebook as a marketing tool.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Kooroo Designs: Focus on one area of design (i.e women's wear, or menswear etc) and build that up before branching into other areas.Have a vision and work towards that, believe in yourself and never give up. 

APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
Kooroo Designs: To enter the international fashion market!

Find out more:
f: Like Kooroo on facebook

Monday, April 9, 2012

The new ASOS Africa collection

Finally, ASOS Africa is back with some interesting pieces in their new S/S 2012 collection. I had been complaining for a while, that I am not as imprinted as I used to be by the designs they were offering under the ASOS Africa category. For this line, Kitenge prints were "rescaled, recolored and given some fluorescent highlights". The collection will be available on the 30th of April.

How do you like the collection? I like both skirts, but I am leaning more to the one on the left. Which of the skirts above would you wear?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Afrobikinis by Adama Paris

Photos by Mario Epanya
It is almost that time of year again: beach season! Okay, I admit I am early and it is only April. But in my experience it is never too early to get your swimwear together. By the time Summer rolls around the best items are usually gone or no longer available in my size. 

Afropolitan designer Adama Paris has created diverse swimwear that should appeal to all kind of body types: "I wanted to create something that would appeal to different women and make them feel womanly and sexy too.” And who better to showcase her Afrobikinis than the contestants for Miss Black France - an event that will take place this month in Paris. 

Which of the ladies will manage to get the Miss Black France title? Hard to guess, as they are all gorgeous. However, I have already selected my favorite Afrobikini - the one top left. Which bikini is your top candidate?

Updates: The swimwear range from 65 to 85 Euros (85 to 112 US Dollars). For all buying and general enquiries, please contact

Find out more:
Interview with Adama Paris

"My collections always have a touch of Uganda": Solome Katongole

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs. 
Solome Katongole: Solome Katongole is a line for women’s clothing. It is a fusion of culture and fabrics. 

APiF: How does your heritage inspire/influence your designs?
Solome: I was born in Uganda and raised in the Western part of the world so my designs reflect both parts. Traditional wear in Africa has changed in terms of fabric and shape. African women are more embracing of their traditional outfits, but with a modern twist. My collections always have a touch of Uganda - from the fabrics I use to the silhouettes. I merge western and traditional silhouettes/fabrics to create and construct garments with a modern twist. 

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Solome: My garments are for the fashion forward woman with an exclusive taste, who is not afraid to experiment with unique fabrics and style. 

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why? 
Solome: My red and white vintage jacket. I am all about effortless fashion and that’s exactly what I thought when I bought it. I can wear it by itself without adding anything and still be fashionable. 

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Solome: Work hard and don’t loose your vision. 

APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
Solome: I am getting ready for Hub of Africa Fashion Week 2012 and hopefully I will be part of Cape Town Fashion Week 2012. 

Find out more:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

LOUD and colorful: S/S 2012 collection

Sexy and colorful is the new Spring/Summer 2012 collection from the label LOUD. The colors have a trendy pastel touch and the tops try to distinguish themselves from the average sleeveless shirt with cut outs. With the new collection the design duo remains true to their young and joyful print aesthetic.

How do you like the new collection?

Find out more: Like LOUD on facebook
Prints of the week: LOUD

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back to the 50s with Sika Designs

Okay, don't beat me up that I am calling the new Labyrinth collection from the label Sika Designs "back to the 50s". But doesn't the hairdo and the dresses remind you of that decade a little, too?

Overall I like the collection: The colors are soft and the cuts are simple and elegant. What I adore mostly about Sika Designs is their great shopping portal that makes it very easy to actually purchase their designs. 

Which of the 4 designs do you like best?


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