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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Urban Afro-Pop by Selly Raby Kane

Photos:Eduardo Acevedo, Production: ANNA TOURE | PR. Please see other credits below*
Check-out this SS 2013 collection from Senegalese designer Selly Raby Kane (Seraka). The designs look like a re-union of the 80ies with current trends. Selly aims to create contemporary clothing that "embody a mix of Urban, Afro and Pop." My absolute favorite items are the top denim-print dress and the print jersey tee in the middle. 

"The brand expresses the spirit of a new generation: assertive, rebellious, free spirited and sophisticated." Are you ready to be part of this new generation? Comment below and let me know which outfit you like best!

Styling: Quanasia Graham
Hair: Aretha Covington
Make up: Milan Staples
Model: Angelina Lee

Find out more:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Duro Olowu for Anyone!

Sneak Peak: Duro Olowu at jcp (Picture from InStyle)
Nigerian designer Duro Olowu is going to collaborate with J.C. Penney for a Spring 2013 Collection. Yes, you heard that one right. 

I love Olowu's designs, but they have always been a tad bit too pricey for me. According to an interview on InStyle everything in the Olowu@jcp collection will be under 100 US Dollars.  I am super excited but also astonished that he is partnering with J.C. Penney, a store I usually never go to as it seems way too frumpy. 

The department store is obviously trying to change its image and copying H&M and Target by starting designer collaborations. Great choice that they selected with Duro Olowu an African designer!

Piece from Olowu's latest collection

The collection will hit jcp stores in March. 

In the InStyle interview Olowu explains his motivation for the collaboration: "I’ve always tried to give women a sense of inner beauty with joy, and now it’s just the right time to make that more democratic. When I was thinking about this collection, I wanted to give American classic shapes and ideas a global flair. This collection is for anyone, from 18 to 80. Everything has a flattering element, whether you mix prints or pull out one piece and keep it simple."

I honestly cannot wait! 
Are you as excited as I am?

Find out more:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

APiF is on the lookout for You!

Picture from CurlBo
Whenever I'm out and about, I see so many fashionistos and fashionistas that I would have to quit my day job in order to capture all of their great styles. I'd never make a great street style blogger though, because by the time I have closed my mouth again, the object of my desire is long gone. 

Here is where you guys come in! Send a picture of you rocking something printlicious, wearing clothes or accessories from an African Designer or an 'Africa-inspired' piece. Send your picture to and I will post it to my APiF facebook fanpage.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just Fabulous: Toubab Paris

All pictures: Toubab Paris
Some designs just have this effect on me: I hold my breath, exhale slowly and can just think one thought: I want this! The same happened when I came across the accessories from Toubab Paris. These one of a kind creations are all hand made from fabric scraps that are recovered from clothing workshops in France, Mali and Burkina Faso. I have seen similar accessories before, but never as unique and fabulous.

Which of these designs make your heart skip a beat?

Find out more:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Prints of the Week: Deola Sagoe

I stumbled over Nigerian Designer Deola Sagoe in an article on Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week AFRICA. I immediately fell for her esthetics and use of color. My favorite look is the first one in green and blue: sporty, elegant and stylish. 

On her website Deola explains what kind of woman she designs for: "A woman who uses color to mirror her mood. She is vital – energetic – not the shy, retiring, type, but she also knows the appropriate time to hold her peace."

Which of her designs fit your mood? 

Find out more:

Monday, October 22, 2012

New African Fashion: Busayo NY

Photographer: Brandon Andre
Styling: Jacqueline Lavaun
Michelle Olupona, designer behind the label Busayo NY, will offer items from her new line in seven stores throughout the US next Spring. One of the stores will be Treasure & Bond - a store that donates 100% of profits to charities benefiting children in NY. 

Read the interview I did with with Busayo NY earlier this year here: "Spunky, fun-loving and sophisticated".

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Go See: Mickalene Thomas

I went to the BK Museum to see the exhibition from Mickalene Thomas 'Origin of the Universe'. What can I say, I loved it: It was interesting, inspiring and touching. Her huge canvases, portraying women and sometimes re-interpreting settings from famous pictures, were impressive. Her trademark: rhinestones. She incorporates the sparkly material in most of her work and gives the images some dimension and great texture. Also on exhibition is her work studio: heavily accessorized with prints and kitschy items from the seventies. 

One lady that is portrayed several times is the artist's mother - Mama Bush. Towards the end of the exhibition visitors can watch a very interesting and emotional video portray of Mama Bush. The exhibition will run until the 20th of January. Go see - it's totally worth it!

Find out more: 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Leather, Prints and Stripes

Bag from Cuore & Pelle (similar here from Coach), Oliver Peoples shades, leather jacket thrift find (similar jacket here)
We had a beautiful, sunny day in Brooklyn last Sunday. Originally I had planned to unpack my winter clothes and organize my closet. But instead I went out to have brunch and walk around in Cobble Hill - one of the many beautiful neighborhoods in BK.

My outfit was inspired by a collection from Stella Jean: a striped blouse combined with a high waisted African Prints skirt from designer Kibonen NY.
I really love this look and I have a feeling it will become one of my favorites. 

Booties from Tommy Hilfiger (you can find them here), African Prints Skirt by Kibonen NY, Blouse from H&M (similar here)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Beautiful Curves: Philomena Kwao

Thanks to the blog Fashion Dolls Noir, I came across the breathtaking plus size model Philomena Kwao. And before I continue to rave about her beauty, I just want to say that she is not at all plus size in my opinion! But I guess in the fashion world of size zeros, a US size twelve is considered big. Anyhow, Miss Kwao is of Ghanaian heritage (yeah!) and based in London. I totally love her look, she is just a beauty. Please share your thoughts below!

Find out more:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Distinctive Home Designs: Origins Style by Nasozi

Bogolan Bench
APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Nasozi Kakembo: I am a Ugandan-American living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and I am responsible for everything at OSxN, short for Origins Style by Nasozi. OSxN is a fun and evolving company that specializes in wax print interior decor.

The business was inspired by a trip to Senegal two years ago. I had long-since detoured from my pursuit of becoming an architect, but my love of home design never left me. OSxN is about much more than aesthetics. It is about a legacy and beauty that is often left out of recounts of Africa. It is about normalizing the "ethnic" (I abhor the word) and celebrating its influence on worldwide culture. 

APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Nasozi: A fearless person. One who is not afraid to live and design outside of the box. One who is bold, much like the patterns that I use, and stands up for what they believe in and love. One who has a story and a historical perspective.

APiF: How does your heritage inspire you?
Nasozi: My heritage is 75% the inspiration behind my business. I am half Ugandan and grew up in America, but my home remained a constant reminder of my roots. African artifacts were and are still a key element in the decor of my parents' home, and to an extent, mine too. Wax prints were a regular part of my wardrobe even as a child. So when I wanted to get back into my creative skin again, I called upon my heritage for inspiration!

APiF: What is your favorite or bestselling item in your collection?
Nasozi: The Bogolan bench is by far the favorite item among Etsy shoppers and fans. The best selling item overall are the pillows: Currently the top three prints are SUNSET Flower, NILE Lotus, and LAVA Waves. The Fair Trade aprons from Uganda are also a big hit.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Nasozi: I market my designs mostly on Facebook and Etsy. A much more labor-intense but effective form of marketing is simply vending at street festivals and artists markets. This is how I started my mailing list. You must establish a presence in your communities, and word will spread quickly from there. I find that I make the most connections here and generate the most buzz. Also, all items (except for the furniture for now) ship overseas, and my shop appears in standard internet searches. So with that, my product is available worldwide and has already been shipped as far away as Australia!

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the industry?
Nasozi: Make sure that it is something you're absolutely passionate about. There will be times when you'll second guess your decision to forge out on your own, or to take on yet another job, but if your intentions behind it are pure and genuine, then you'll get over any doubt. 

And don't sell yourself short! If you've created a superior product, that will show in your work and it should be priced accordingly. Anyone who appreciates the detail and craftsmanship of handmade goods especially will pay the price for it.

Find out more:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recap: Brooklyn Street Fair and Fashion Weekend

Last Sunday me and two blogger friends - Candace from The Style Climber (left) and Helene from Bon Vivant and a Budget (middle) - met to hang out the at the Atlantic Antic street fair in Brooklyn as well as to attend the last day of BK Fashion Weekend. It wasn't so easy to find an outfit that was comfy enough for a street fair and also worked for a fashion event in the evening. I ended up wearing sneakers and carrying my heels with me in my hobo. 

After snacking, talking, meeting people and looking at all kinds of accessories, we headed to Industry City for the event. Besides the out of place porter potties, we had a good time. 

Below you can find my personal highlights from the fashion show: Abiose Massaquoi, of Liberian heritage, and Patrick Nwosu, of Nigerian heritage, worked African fabrics into some of their pieces and stood out with their designs from the other collections that came down the runway.

Which collection do you like best?

I like the short hairstyle of designer Abiose Massaquoi
Designs by Patrick Nwosu (pics by Candace Belle/The Style Climber)


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