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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mixing traditions and modernity: Jacquie Bijoux Creations

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Jacquie Atandji: I was born and still live in Lomé, the capital of Togo, West Africa. I started designing jewellery and fashion accessories in 2002. My creations are inspired by Africa and more precisely by all the countries where I traveled: Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Ghana, Burkina Faso, South Africa and many more. 

I use several materials such as horn, beads, leather, bronze, wax fabrics, bone, etc. I try to present my work abroad as often as I can. I had an exhibition in France and Spain last summer and will go to Mauritania, Senegal and Burkina Faso in October. I’d love to have an opportunity to show my work in the States!

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Jacquie: Angelique Kidjo. She is a great singer from Benin, the country on the eastern border of Togo. She mixes tradition, modernity and various influences from throughout the world. She is deeply inspired by her African origins and culture and was able to represent it abroad. 

She also is a generous and engaged person who steps up in several occasions (she is a Good Will Ambassador for UNESCO). She is a proud African personality, internationally renowned whose music is successful. What else could I wish for my label!!?

APiF: How does your heritage inspire you?
Jacquie: In many African families, the heritage was a made of gold, beads and wax and mine was no exception. I also had relatives who started a business trading wax and Kente. My taste for fashion comes from there. Later on, because of my travels and through art exhibitions, I was attracted to design and art.

APiF: What is your favorite item of your collection and why?
Jacquie: The two main products of my label are the scarf necklace and the wax bags. I was the first Togolese designer to use wax in many of my items.

APiF: Which designer would you like to cooperate with?
Jacquie: I would very much like to cooperate with the American designer from Boxing Kitten - Maya Amina Lake. She highlights the wax like no other in her very contemporary creations.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Jacquie: My creations are available on my website and on my Facebook page.

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry? 
Jacquie: In this job, you have to be persistent and use your failures to bounce back up. 

Find out more:

Friday, September 28, 2012

What I love: Jeans and Prints

via Michelle Chasakwa
At Africa Fashion Week London
via Nana Spio-Garbrah
Me wearing Christie Brown and a jeans shirt from Guess

Combining two trends together - jeans and prints - is just fab in my opinion. Jeans work well to calm down the colorful print fabrics; and in return the prints deliver a great pop of color to the jeans. A win win situation I say. 

Have you combined jeans with African prints yet? Have you seen any other cool combinations that you want to share?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mataano: Chic and trendy with a rebel touch

Just dope, that is what I have to say about the FW 2012 collection from Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim, the twins and creators behind the label Mataano. The styling, the hair, the color combinations - I am loving it. My favorite outfit is the one with the black leather skirt - so chic and trendy with a rebel touch. 

The designers grew up in Somalia and migrated at a very young age to the US. Mataano wants to speak to a global consumer and tell an "African" story in a New York kind of way.

Which design do you like best?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stella Jean: Spring/Summer 2013 - Sticking to Prints

All pictures from Stella Jean
Haitian-Italian designer Stella Jean is sticking to prints in her collection for Spring/Summer 2013. After her widely admired and recognized collections for 2012 I was curious to see, what she will come-up with for next year. But Stella stays true to her elegant print signature. The collection appears very ready-to-wear, stylish and confident. She combines her print creations beautifully with color highlights and stripes. The only thing I am missing are some models of color walking down the runway in her designs. Maybe next time?

I can see myself in all of the pieces, maybe minus the striped jacket. 
What are your favorites?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Combining Art & Fashion: Miss Moss

Via South African blogger Miss Milli B, I came across these great fashion and art creations from Miss Moss. On her blog Miss Moss combined pictures of the Mara Hoffman Spring 2013 collection with paintings of Ukrainian artist Maria Primachenko. They look like they are made for each other! If I hadn't read the blog text, I would have just assumed that these are the campaign pictures from Mara Hoffman. I like the picture with the blue dress, framed by the two fantasy birds, best. 

How do you like the creations from Miss Moss?

Prints of the Week: House of Hadassah

Too blessed to be stressed - that is what pops into my head when I look at the top picture from Kenyan designer House of Hadassah. I love this picture, it exudes happiness, coolness and style - while ironing, now that is a challenge! Some of the pics of HoH are this kind of 'in the moment' shots - nice to look at for a change.

Find out more:

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The Pictures Are By Pir Art Production
T-Shirts with print-applications and small accessories like bow ties: The French label BE WAX by Mathieu Mendy is making bold statements with African fabrics.
I really like the T-Shirts and they look fab on jeans. According to Mathieu, the motto of his label is "BE WAX, NO MATTER WHAT, STILL WAX". Alright then, to wax-up your life, check-out their facebook page. The brand is also planning to have an online shop really soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

African Icons Show at NYFW: Maki-Oh and Tsemaye Bintie

I wanted to share with you two more designers, that presented their creations at the African Icons show at NYFW. Top pictures: Maki-Oh (Nigeria); bottom pics: Tsemaye Bintie (UK/Nigeria). I really liked the re-appearing image of a head with short cropped hair and a long neck on Maki-Oh's tops. Tsemaye, who used to work in the creative team of Stella McCartney, stood out with his clean lines and elegant looks. I would definitely find use for both design esthetics in my wardrobe and life. 

Do you have any favorites from the pictured designs?

Find out more:

Elegant and Timeless: Tina Lobondi

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Tina Lobondi: Tina Lobondi is a Franco-British high-end women's wear brand created in 2010 in London.
The collections are based on exceptional attention to details and finish, classic and chic designs. Elegance with timeless style is the aim we want to achieve. The fabrics are sourced from all around the world, Africa to Europe.  

APiF: How does your cultural heritage inspire your designs?
Tina: I am originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo; my childhood, my mother, places I have been to - all inspires me when I create a collection.

APiF: Which designer do you absolutely love?
Tina: Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and Oscar de la Renta. 

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Tina: My designs are available online with a few retailers but also in boutiques. I am at the moment in the US with and soon with in New York. And of course on my website

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Tina: If this is really your dream, then don't give up. The road is long, but it has to lead somewhere. 

Find out more:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

African Lookbook

Pics by Jonathan Wood
Wow, aren't these pictures amazing?! The post cards were produced by the new platform African Lookbook. I came across these great pics on the blog "Nothing But the Wax". African Lookbook describes itself as a "space for discussion revolving around oral histories and products". In their online shop they offer all different kind of items by African designers, like for example the South African label Babatunde. I just ordered one of their umbrellas and now I am hoping for rain!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Prints of the Week: Chic Accessories

I love these statement pieces from Ghanaian label Chic Accessories. They look fashionable and elegant, or should I better say chic? I can totally see myself rocking all of these accessories, especially the bangles and necklaces - love!
How about you?


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