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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Prints of the Week: Charlene Amankwah

I stumbled over the designs from young (only 22!) Ghanaian designer Charlene Amankwah when searching the web for new inspirations. And what an inspiration her designs are! When scrolling through her collection on the web, it feels like looking at pieces of art. As I am into pink right now, I also appreciate the smaller and bigger patches of pink in her outfits. 

How do you like her designs?

Be What You Wear: KÉVÉ

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Elodie and Olivier Badohoun: KÉVÉ is a brand of clothing with a fine ethnic touch. It stands out by its particular style, mixing European “prêt-a-porter” with traditional African materials. We also aim to expand the Togolese fashion and getting the inspiration from Burkina Faso, Mali or Senegal for example.

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Elodie and Olivier: It would be a simple person indeed. We believe that with a garment, everybody can be what he wears and wears what he is. So ...just a person.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why? 
Elodie and Olivier: Our favorite piece is a man's shirt. This model is called Accra. We love it as it embodies the soul of the brand. It is the mix between Occident and Africa.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Elodie and Olivier: You can find KÉVÉ's clothing already on the web and the online shop will be available on September 2012. We will ship purchases all over the world. You can also buy during our "one shot" events. Keep in touch by following the news at and our facebook page.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Elodie and Olivier: We are new designers, too. Be determined and always believe in your project!


APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
Elodie and Olivier: We are just at the beginning of our project, so we are looking forward to a successful launch as well as meeting a lot of interesting and lovely people. We have planned to develop our project in France and Togo and touch people from other countries.

Find out more:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bestow Elan: Kra Kra Fly Away

Bestow Elan, the label of designer Erzumah Ackerson, takes inspiration from her Ghanaian heritage as well as "classic and vintage influences". The label's "Kra Kra Fly Away Print Top" (what a name!) was just featured in Grazia Magazine. I love the magazine shot and the accessories they paired the top with; the orange make-up is quite impressive, too. The picture in the middle is from the designer's website and the last image is the version that they sell online. 
I like the cut of the top, but I must say I like the print with the orange better.

How do you like the top?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Prints of the Week: Grey, Nigeria

Have a look at some of the designs from Nigerian ready-to-wear label Grey. I am in love with their designs and the overall look. They have a shop located in Lagos and some of their designs, unfortunately not the once below, can be purchased on the shopping platform Malakh & Sco.  

Let me know which outfit you like best - if you are able to choose that is, cause I want them all!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Getting Noticed with Fashion Accessories from Adèle Dejak

APiF: Please introduce your business and your design.
Adèle Dejak: Magik Grace Art and Design Ltd under the Adèle Dejak brand is a jewelery and fashion accessories company. I design pieces which are developed by skilled artisans at my workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. All my designs are made from natural materials and recycled materials. 

APiF: How does your heritage inspire/influence your designs?
Adèle: I am inspired by different African shapes and textures of materials such as cow horn, cow bone, ebony and also textiles such as Bakuba fabric from Congo, Asoke fabric from Nigeria and Kitenge fabric from East Africa. I incorporate these materials with different materials from Europe to give a feel of both traditional and modern influences.

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Adèle: A woman who works hard but also plays hard. A fun loving woman, daring, strong with sensitivity, flexible to change, sexy, savvy chic lady who is not afraid to get noticed.  

APiF: How do you market your designs/accessories and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Adèle: I shall be launching my online shop shortly and this will definitely reach a global audience. Recently, I have engaged the services of marketing specialists from different parts of the globe to visit potential stockists and market the Adèle Dejak brand. I have realized that working with people who have a ‘hands on’ advantage can help push your brand further through people who have accurate and proximity of distance is not a problem.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Adèle: Passion is the driving engine for anything you want to achieve in life. Even when things do not always turn out exactly as you had planned, never give up.

APiF: What are your plans for 2012?
Adèle: I aspire to gain global recognition and plans are in full gear to make sure that this is achieved. Social media is a big part of the strategy, although I rely on many different methods to try and get results of any kind. The online shop will be going live shortly and my team and I are looking forward to the launch and other plans to do more marketing.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sexy Prints: Beachwear by Stella Jean

Stella Jean, Italian-Haitian designer, did it again. After her mind-blowing Spring/Summer collection, she is back with bikinis and swimsuits. The bottom pieces as well as some of the one piece suits remind me of beachwear styles in the 50ies. Aren't these designs just awesome? I could totally see myself in them at the beach!

Check-out the interview I did with Stella Jean earlier this year:

Find out more

Summer Shoes: Maasai Collection from Pikolinos

Spanish shoe label Pikolinos is collaborating with a community
in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. According to the website, all profits generated from the sale of this collection will be re-invested into the community. 

I like leather and beading, but I am not sure if I would really wear theses shoes. They are overall just a little too granola for me. 

What are your thoughts?

Find out more:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Prints of the Week: Achea-Mpong by Mutesi

  I am really into print-pants right now. The Kente trousers above are from the label Achea-Mpong by Mutesi. The designer Suzan Mutesi is of Ugandan heritage and resides in Australia. Would you rock these pants?

Find out more: 

Beautiful Things: Joyjewels

Check-out the online boutique from Lea Kray, where she has an assortment of Africa-inspired jewelry, dresses and interior design items. I am in love with the pink Kente pillow!
Find out more:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Explosion of Color & Prints: Bombe Surprise

Bombe Surprise is a label from London. The collection and designs are inspired by the wax prints that designer Nina Ribena saw at one of London's many markets and the multicultural vibe of the city itself. I saw it first on the blog "Nothing but the Wax" and even though some of the designs might be a little too crazy for myself, I obviously had to share it as the looks and clothes are just so cool.  

Which of the designs would you wear?

Find out more:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fashion that Rocks: Interview with EMUA Fashions

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Cynthia Kio: Emua Fashions is a label that produces contemporary African designs.

APiF: How does your heritage inspire/influence your designs?
Cynthia: My designs are driven by the culture that I grew up around (Nigeria). Most of my products are inspired by traditional fabrics and colors.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your
collection and why?
Cynthia: It is a maxi stripe dress that was part of Emua Afro Urban Collection. I usually wear it with an Emua Ankara jacket. It fits my frame nicely, accentuates my curves and makes me feel more like a woman.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Cynthia: I currently run an online store that accepts any currency from any part of the world and we do ship worldwide.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Cynthia: It might be difficult at the beginning but it is all worth it. Just stay focused.

APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
Cynthia: I have a couple of collections coming out for this summer and people should look out for them, because they promise to be exciting!

Find out more:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Online Platform for Brands from the African Diaspora: Sapellé.com

Find out more:

Sapellé.com is a new online shop that focus on designers from the African Diaspora. The website offers women's wear from brands like Tina Lobondi, Modahnik, Doris&Doris, KikoRomeo and many others. I love it that the amount of these kind of shopping platforms is increasing. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Ariike Alden: New Website & New Collection

Ariike Alden updated their website recently and now customers can purchase designs online - yeah! Dresses from the new collection are also available. 
Which of these outfits above would you wear? I would go for the green print dress.

Find out more: 

Check-out the interview APiF did with Ariike Alden a couple of months ago:


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