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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Diversity: Bags by O'Eclat

All pictures from One Nigerian Boy
Check-out these bags by Nigerian designer Gbemmy Johnson. Her label O'Eclat offers a diverse range of purses, wallets, clutches, shoppers etc. The collection is an exciting mix of different shapes, colors and materials. I like the box-shaped leather bag with the pink button. So cute and stylish. The leather-print clutch would look good on me, too!

Which of these bags would you like to add to your wardrobe?

Find out more:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prints of the Week: Doreen Mashika

I heard the very first time about Doreen Mashika, Designer of Tanzanian heritage, at Africa Fashion Week NY this summer. I am always flabbergasted when I find out about another designer who manages to create something new and exciting with African textiles - in this case with Kitenge fabrics. It is just great to know that I haven't seen it all yet. 

Apparently one of Doreen Mashika's bags was sent to Michelle Obama - I can totally see the Flotus rocking one of these elegant bags.

Find out more:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fearless and a Good Sense of Style: Demestiks NYC by Reuben Reuel

All pictures by Kia Chenelle Photography
APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Reuben Reuel: I am the creative director and founder of Demestiks NYC by Reuben Reuel. I was born in Virginia Beach, moved 2007 to NYC and I launched my first women’s wear label in 2010. I am dedicated to provide contemporary, classic designs with a hint of vintage flair. The aesthetic of the label is finding fabrics that inspire creativity. 

The label’s initiative is to support domestic commerce by using fabrics, trims, notions, and production facilities in New York City in efforts to help preserving the Garment District. Demestiks NYC by Reuben Reuel strongly believes in its motto: "Live to create, create to live".
 


My latest collection is a whimsical, vibrant and colorful collection of flirty baby doll style dresses and magnificent feminine silhouette blouses. It features bold prints on authentic Holland Wax Cotton fabric in assorted hue combinations. A collection that re-introduces the joy of color and celebrates the spirit of African culture with a Western twist.

APiF:  If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Reuben: My label would be a fearless, courageous individual. A person with a colorful character and a good sense of style.

APiF: What inspires you?
Reuben: New York City, fabrics, textiles and colors are my main inspiration for designing. When I wake up in the morning and realize that I'm living my dream - it inspires me to continue to create. When I see women and men with great style, that also inspires me to create.

APiF: Which designer do you absolutely love?
Reuben: Yves Saint Laurent has always been my top favorite designer because he was the founder and creator of a majority of the styles we see today. More recently I have been inspired by and attracted to the works of Miuccia Prada. Her textiles and fabrics are quite amazing and she is never afraid to use color and mix prints.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Reuben: Just two weeks ago I opened a shop through http://www.etsy.com and the response I have received has been unbelievable! I simply just promote through social media sites and through blogs such as this one. I also sell my collection on www.Edressme.com; which is were I sold my first collection in 2010

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Reuben: Be persistent, be decisive and be creative! Talk to people in the industry and network as much as possible. Always be kind to others in the industry and always be willing to help when you can.

APiF: What is next?
Reuben: I am looking to work on a menswear collection...so stay tuned! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Prints of the Week: Tigersushi Furs

I should have probably called this post "Brand name of the Week", as Tigersushi Furs is quite a unique and unusual name. The fashion brand was created in Paris as an extension of a music label. The three founders want their label to be creative, radical and playful. By creating woolly, unisex jumpers and cardigans with African wax patterns, they are definitely living up to their vision. 
How do you like these jumpers?

Find out more here:  http://www.tigersushifurs.com/

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Designer Showcase: Kibonen NY

I wanted to share with you the collection of the designer that I discovered at Africa Fashion Week NY: Kibonen NY. The designer of Cameroon heritage offers a great mix of chic and casual wear. I particularly like the red skirt with the high waist and the dress with the pink and yellow print. Kibonen also designs shoes and accessories like rings and bags. Camer-Couture- something to reckon with!
What is your favorite look from the images above?
 
Find out more:
Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/kibonenNY

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This fall is going to be stellar: The Stella Jean FW collection

Haitian-Italian designer Stella Jean is presenting one collection after the other. Quite impressive for a new and emerging designer. After her Spring/Summer and the extra swimsuits collection, she wows again with her Fall/Winter designs, and proofs that she is one designer to reckon with!

The styling, combination of textiles and the designs are breathtaking - again. I am really blown away by the winter coats and how she worked the African prints into these fury and fluffy materials. I want one of her items in my closet badly. Hopefully, she will offer a proper online-shopping platform soon!

In case you missed it: Read my interview with Stella Jean here: "This collection reflects me completely".


How do you like Stella Jean's Fall/Winter collection?


Friday, August 17, 2012

Off-beat and expressive: Interview with Afro Fanatic

Pic from Africa Fashion Week London
APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Ziki Odotte: My brand is Afro Fanatic (AFFA™). It was established in April 2011 as a fashion blog and made its fashion debut in Nairobi on October 2011. It is fast becoming 'the brand to watch'. AFFA™ designs are predominantly of African-print fabric (Kitenge, Batik, Khanga, etc.). 
 We initially specialized in women's apparel but are now slowly exploring the possibilities of a men's line due to client demands. We are also developing an exciting range of accessories - mostly bags for now. Our designs are extremely edgy, off-beat and expressive. They are created for the hip city dweller who's not afraid to stand out from the crowd, push the envelope and even show a little skin.

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Ziki: It would be like me: full of life, warm, charming, adventurous, bold, quirky and most of all unrestricted!

APiF: How does your heritage inspire you?
Pic from Africa Fashion Week London
Ziki: It is my constant point of reference. I am inspired not only by the traditional cultures in my country, Kenya, and Africa as a whole, but by the sub-cultures that have come up as we become greater players in the global community - exporting and importing culture. Something very interesting is going on and I like the mix of the old and new. This is what inspires me most and opens up endless creative possibilities in my view.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Ziki: I market my designs online through e-newsletters and social media sites - this way I cross borders with ease. I also use a lot of flyer, posters and text messages (locally in Kenya). All of these however are superseded by word of mouth - a good rep out there is key. In addition, I have also begun attending international fashion shows such as the recently concluded Africa Fashion Week London where I showcased my second collection 'Fire and Lace'. 

I think it is important for every artist to breach the global scene; exposure keeps one's outlook fresh and interesting both for oneself and for our fans. Readers can place orders online through our catalogue and by writing to info@afrofanatic.com. This is a stop-gap measure as our online store will be launched soon.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Ziki: Look for a mentor, someone who's been there and done that. It may not necessarily be in the field of fashion as there are aspects of business that cut across all sectors. You will probably find yourself making the same mistakes they did, and if they can guide you away from such snares, you'll get out of the 'start up' phase that much faster. Never stop doing your research and looking for ways to improve. When your starting out and as you grow, always remember that fashion is a service industry and that your client is King or Queen, treat them well, do your best to ensure that they always walk away with a smile.

Find out more:
t: http://www.twitter.com/afrofanatic

WIN a print scarf from OSISI Africa

OSISI Africa is an independent fashion company that sells Africa-inspired designs on their online platform osisiafrica.com. They just relaunched their website and offer women's dresses, tops, pants, you name it, as well as men's shirts. Designers from Nigeria, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Uganda, and the US are selling their clothes via OSISI. So quite a nice selection!

Enter here to win this red and navy scarf from OSISI Africa. It is easy: Just like their facebook fan page to enter. Please note that we can ship to the USA and Canada only! The winner will be selected and notified on the 24th of August. Good luck!

Find out more about OSISI Africa:
OSISI on facebook
OSISI on Pinterest
OSISI on twitter
OSISI online shop








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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Prints of the Week: Modahnik


Modahnik is the label and creation from Kahindo Mateene. Kahindo is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and resides in Chicago. Her designs stand out due to the elegant and trendy cuts, mixed with a very electrifying print. Some of the prints remind me of the psychedelic art of the 60ies. The color combination of her recent collection is right down my alley. Just sprinkle a little bit of green into it and I am happy. Good news: the creations from this designer can be purchased online. They are represented on the online platform Sapellé, that just launched recently.

Are you as smitten with the Modahnik collection as I am? Let me know!

Find out more:
w: http://www.modahnik.com/

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fabric Rings from Triballery

I had to finally share with you my favorite rings from the African Fabric jewellery and accessory label Triballery. These rings add a great pop to unicolored outfits. I have been wearing these print rings with a green dress, a pinkish dress and a purple-brown colored one. It always looked great! But as they are made out of fabric, don't forget to take them off before washing your hands. I actually forgot it once but luckily they survived one wash.


Find out more about the UK brand here:

Friday, August 10, 2012

London Calling: Impressions from Africa Fashion Week

All pictures by Othello De'Souza-Hartley
Sorry, I used this headline once before, but it is just so fitting for the impressions from Africa Fashion Week London. What an eclectic crowd! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend in person due to a lack of holidays and travel funds. However, I was in luck as one of my good friends has a cousin in London who is also a photographer. So shout out to Othello De'Souza-Hartley, who kindly went to the event and snapped these awesome pictures for me. I am already marking my calendar to ensure that I can attend next year. 

I love the scene in the last picture, it looks so high fashion! I also really like the short jumpsuit and the print dress in the first two pics. 

Let me know if you attended AFW in London and how you liked it! 
Which outfit from the impressions above do you like best?

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