fbpx

Friday 19th of August 2022

Nairobi, Kenya

The Contemporary Womenswear Brand Asantii

After working in the African design sector for more than 20 years, our founder Maryse Mbonyumutwa set out to establish an international fashion company with roots in the region. This is how the Asantii story began.
a company selling classic items manufactured with integrity. A company with a mission that is leading a revolution in fashion, promoting African designers, artists, and craftspeople, and improving the brand’s employees and their families through the Pink Ubuntu social investment program.

In this uncharted territory, the first step was to establish a manufacturing infrastructure. Currently, nearly 4,000 employees, mostly women, work for Pink Mango and its partner C&D Products in Rwanda.

The second step involved assembling a dream team of African designers, assisted by a group of worldwide specialists in luxury brands and supply. By coming together in the spirit of Ubuntu, they created Asantii, a stunning fashion label that represents Africa to the rest of the world.

Pride
With each collection, we are pleased to add to Africa’s rich cultural history and foster creativity.

The designers in the Asantii team come from 12 different African nations and are passionate about sharing their distinct viewpoints with one another and the rest of the globe. These designers draw new inspiration from their nation’s craft and textile traditions, cultural histories, and natural landscapes each season to help shape the prevailing mood. They are assisted by a London-based team of fashion specialists.

Wisdom
In the field of sustainable fashion, we are employing our industry expertise to have a beneficial social, economic, and environmental impact.

Asantii is committed to bringing about change in the fashion industry by a significant dedication to mindfully sourcing materials from all over Africa and ethically creating our designs at our cutting-edge facilities in Rwanda. Asantii is sustainable by default. We encourage female collectives and craftspeople and place an emphasis on classic, year-round looks that will breathe new life into your wardrobe.

Gratitude
Asantii was established on a strong commitment to uplift everyone who works and collaborates with us, embracing the spirit of Ubuntu, a belief in our shared humanity.

Everything we do is motivated by the principle of ubuntu (giving back), from prioritizing the needs of our employees and their families through corporate social responsibility to promoting the individual brands of our designers through capsule collections. Our ultimate goal is to serve as a catalyst for the growth of Africa’s fashion, apparel, and textile industries.

Asantii expresses gratitude to a continent that has provided so much for all of us.

Content courtesy of Asantii & NFH

 

Lagos Fashion Week And Africa Fashion Week Nigeria Make A Triumphant Return.

As two Nigerian powerhouses, Lagos Fashion Fair Exhibition and Africa Fashion Week Nigeria join forces to host their events together in September at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites on the 7th to the 9th of September, fashion lovers, designers, industry experts, and enthusiasts are in for a special treat.

Ayo Olugbade, CEO of Lagos Fashion Fair, and Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, founder of Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, have joined forces in this historic cooperation to jointly stage their events. This unprecedented collaboration is expected to transform the way that fashion shows are conducted in Nigeria. For their eighth edition, both brands are making a spectacular entrance.

The Lagos Fashion Fair Expo powered by Atlantic Exhibition seeks to provide the ideal platform for fashion enthusiasts to interact with fashion suppliers from throughout the nation.

The Lagos Fashion Fair will bring together fashion suppliers and merchants to develop new avenues of distribution for the industry.

In order to highlight the best of Nigeria’s and Africa’s up-and-coming creative design talent, Africa Fashion Week Nigeria was established as a sister event to Africa Fashion Week London, the largest festival of African fashion in the United Kingdom (UK).

This year’s event promises to be at the forefront of promotion of African indigenous textiles, colors, and design with the sole goal of exposing African creatives on a worldwide platform as African fashion continues to dominate the global fashion landscape.
The LFF and AFWN joint event this year will provide fashion consumers, industry experts, trendsetters, stylists, models, and designers with the opportunity to shop at discounted prices, forge business connections, and build networks with domestic and foreign firms.

Some of Nigeria’s top up-and-coming designers, including AdirestylesNG, Ego by Ego, Fashion by Ashani, HardleySeen,

Nivaldo Thierry from Mozambique, YawsCreations from The Gambia, and Hortense Mbea Afroplan from Ethiopia are among the designers joining us this year on the Pan African catwalk in addition to KaffyKreate, PnJofficial, Dushin Craft, and Max Chidera Official.

Additionally, adire workshops by Adire Oodua Textile Hub and celebrity designer Kunle Afolayan displaying his Kunle Kembe Adire line will be included during the three-day event, which will take place at the Eko Hotel from September 7 to 9.

Exciting attractions that have been thoughtfully packaged for the guests anticipated to congregate in Lagos for this year’s event are lined up to light up the fashion runway and exhibition.

Attendees at this year’s event will enjoy a series of non-stop fashion moments, including a masterclass session by serial entrepreneur Toyin Lawani, who will offer a refreshingly different fashion experience to all fashion lovers and enthusiasts yearning for a breath of fresh air in the Nigerian fashion space. The event also serves as a platform for emerging fashion designers to grow their businesses and connect with a global market.

Content courtesy of Business Day & NFH

Adidas And Thebe Magugu Collaborate For The First Collection Inspired By African Heritage, Inclusivity, And Kinship In Fw22.

The first of two releases with South African luxury designer Thebe Magugu is unveiled by adidas today. The celebratory and happy artwork of a woman dancing, created in collaboration with the artist Phathu Nembilwi and inspired by Thebe’s mother, aunt, and grandmother, and the theme of femininity, is featured in the debut collection for women.

The celebratory and happy artwork of a woman dancing, created in collaboration with the artist Phathu Nembilwi and inspired by Thebe’s mother, aunt, and grandmother, and the theme of femininity, is featured in the debut collection for women.
Each piece of clothing has an abstract pattern made up of vibrant, explosive colors like impact orange and yellow with shock pink accents and pulse lilac as the background.
The range includes clothing for a variety of casual living activities as well as sports like running, swimming, training, tennis, football, and cycling.

A three-piece modest swimsuit set, swimwear in inclusive sizing (XS-4XL), and gender-neutral pieces with UNITEFIT a fit system that was developed with a spectrum of sizes, genders, and forms in mind are all included in the collection, which is brought together by a shared passion for inclusivity and kinship.

The inspirational athletes from adidas, Dana Mathewson, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Felix Auger Aliassime, and Daria Kasatkina, who are passionate about promoting diversity and inclusivity on and off the court, will debut the high-performance tennis pieces during one of the most prestigious hardcourt competitions.
The Purple NY UNITEFIT Tennis Dress from the tennis line combines fashion and usefulness while using some recycled materials.

Along with the performance pieces, the Originals Crop T-shirt in white and semi-pulse lilac, giving traditional streetwear flair, and the Originals 7/8 Leggings, a go-to option for every occasion, are among the statement Originals looks.
The partnership also features updated versions of classic adidas shoe models like the Stan Smith, Nizza Platform, Astir, and Forum shoes, which have design elements derived from Thebe Magugu’s distinctive prints.

Hero designs and pieces have also been manufactured in part with recycled materials, just one of the innovations that illustrate our desire to help stop plastic waste, reflecting adidas’s commitment to mindfully constructing performance materials.

” I’m infinitely inspired by the energy of the women in my life and the heritage of my native land. Bringing together such personal stories through design and blending them with adidas’ iconic performance and lifestyle pieces has been an amazing process. The collection really celebrates all the positive influences around me, and a sense of community that is so important to me. I hope it inspires the same joyful feeling in those who wear it.”

This summer, the most prestigious tennis event will have pieces worn by famous players. I’m glad to have had even a small part in promoting tennis and making it more accessible.

The collection’s performance and Original hero pieces include the following:

The adidas x Thebe Magugu Swim Hijab (HN8167) is constructed of chlorine-resistant fabric that is incredibly flat, light, and chlorine resistant. Additionally, it has a full-coverage outer layer and an adjustable inner cap that keeps hair tucked away.

Adidas x Thebe Magugu Fast Jacket (HI5626): Designed for quick running and racing, the Fast Jacket has bold graphic elements and a smooth woven fabric with a lightweight feel.

Additionally, it includes a water-repellent coating to assist it resist light rain. Parley Ocean Plastic, which is manufactured entirely of recycled materials, is used in part to make the jacket.

The adidas x Thebe Magugu NMD (GX2074) is a perfect example of how fashion and functionality can coexist.
The Originals NMD Trainer combines modern elegance with top-notch athletic technology. The NMD is all about keeping up with the daily grind, fusing street smarts with green credentials, for café lazing, everyday pavement pounding, gym labor, or whatever activity is preferred.

The second release of the season, in October 2022, combines a yoga-inspired design with the resurgence of the button-down jogger and statement shirt, as well as the Thebe Magugu Bird of Paradise plant print, which stands for the idea of unrestricted joy and freedom.

AdiClub members will have early access to the adidas x Thebe Magugu Mainline Drop 1 collection starting on August 1, 2022, and everyone else will be able to purchase it on August 15 via adidas.com/thebe magugu.

Content courtesy of Adidas & NFH

Shop Zetu Powering Fashion Made in Kenya: The Future of Fashion Industry In Kenya is Bright

When Shop Zetu’s “Powering Fashion Made in Kenya” event first began, Wandia Gichuru, CEO and Co-Founder of both Shop Zetu and Vivo Group, who had only been in the business for a little over ten years, said that Kenyans were not only ready and willing to support local brands, but were also more than willing to put in the effort necessary to produce high-quality goods.

Several different groups of interested parties came together at the event on July 18, 2022, to talk about how we may cooperate more effectively in support of “Kenyans wearing Kenyan.” HEVA Fund’s Wakiuru Njuguna, Caroline Mutoko, Anne Mutahi, Connie Aluoch, Patricia Kihoro, Esther Nyawira, the founder of Elsie Glamour, and Sandstorm Kenya’s Mark Stephenson served as the moderators.

“The fashion sector is designated as a priority industry and as one of the pathways to industrialization in Kenya’s Vision 2030 because of its incredible economic potential and its capacity to create large numbers of jobs, generate income, strengthen trade, accelerate technology adoption, attract investment, and foster local entrepreneurship” (with the majority being women and youth entrepreneurs).

However, a recent survey’s findings revealed that only 5% of Kenyans buy any clothing or accessories created in Kenya. In a recent study, the British Council found that “the Kenyan fashion market has been described as complex, and hard to figure out and satisfy.” This is both a significant difficulty and a significant opportunity for the entire value chain.

Instagram stories with the hashtag #MadeinKenya were filled with new Kenyan products to check out as well as insights from the event that individuals in attendance learnt.

“A family, a community, and an enterprise are not built by one person. For this amazing opportunity fashion created in Kenya to flourish, cooperation will be essential. My main takeaway from the discussion on #WeWearKenyan powered by #Shopzetu this morning is that.
I appreciate Wandia Gichuru for developing the platform. Patricia Ithau

Whatever way you choose to describe the Kenyan fashion scene or sector, you can’t deny that things appear to be moving in the right direction.

Content courtesy of Kenyan Vibe & NFH 

 

Nkano Senyolo, A Businesswoman, Is Committed To Assisting South African Fashion Designers Achieve Their International Success.

In addition to foreign designers like Alessandro Michele and Virginie Viard, South African fashion designers have often demonstrated that they belong in international fashion weeks.

Lukhanyo Mdingi, an East London native, debuted his African-inspired Bodyland line at Paris Fashion Week’s Autumn/Winter 2022 exhibition at the start of this year.
At the Autumn/Winter 2021 Paris Fashion Week, Thebe Magugu, winner of the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, debuted his Banyoloyi A Bosigo line.

Therefore, it is evident that our nation has a wealth of creative potential, but the issue is in making the world aware of it more.

Nkano Senyolo, an entrepreneur and the creator of IFW Business, is out to alter that.
IFW Firm is a business that helps up-and-coming and registered South African fashion designers by providing them with tools including educational courses, masterclasses, trade shows, exhibitions, retail, and showcases to help them expand their businesses.

Senyolo, a fashion design graduate from the University of Johannesburg’s college of art, design, and architecture with more than 11 years of experience in the fashion industry, observed that there was an imbalance in the sector. Examples of this imbalance include:

African fashion trends lagged behind, there were many excellent designers with little exposure, many people with extraordinary creativity but little business sense, and the South African fashion industry was greatly underappreciated, to name a few difficulties.

She established IFW Business and IFW Projects (NGO) in 2019 due to her solution-driven, ardent, and charitable nature.
Her company’s goals include connecting designers with manufacturers of clothing, helping designers create a sustainable online presence that will draw more customers and buyers, securing and organizing attendance at international fashion shows and exhibitions, and creating outstanding fashion portfolios so that designers will be given preference in retail selection.

In order to eventually establish itself as the go-to brand for creative people or fashion designers looking to expand their brand, gain access to resources, and have more business opportunities, the company is currently managing a group of ten South African fashion designers and their collections while also working to incrementally expand its portfolio (nationally and internationally).

They were given the chance to participate in other international fashion shows after a successful debut in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in March of this year, where they showcased two talented South African fashion designers, Sandi Mazibuko and House of Fabrosanz.
Two local designers will go to Turkey in August on the company’s behalf to participate in the Cappadocia Fashion Week.

Africa Fashion Week Europe (AFWEU) hosts Cappadocia Fashion Week every year to give designers a venue to display their clothing and to promote various designers between Africa and Europe.

Nguni Brand and House of Fabrosanz will also be making appearances at Cappadocia Fashion Week as South African companies.

Rapule Mathonsi, the label’s creative director, Nandi Mtsokoba, the production director, and Wendy Magafela formed Nguni Brand together (Sales Director). The lovely and vibrant Nguni culture served as the inspiration for Nguni Brand.

They mostly take cues from Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, and Ndebele cultures, with some Sotho culture incorporated to produce distinctive patterns. The objective is to establish this as a global brand in addition to making it known in Durban, South Africa.

“We want the beauty of our cultures to be seen by people all around the world. We are a new, established, and energetic brand,” adds Mathonsi.

Designer Sandisiwe Mazibuko established Fabrosanz (FRS) in 2011. Fabulous Royalty Sanz is the abbreviation for Sandisiwe’s name, and Sanz stands for Fabulous Royalty.
The name of the company reflects Sandi’s desire for her clothing to make the wearer feel regal and wonderful.

The Nguni print, which is the most popular because it is purchased internationally, is one of the FRS’s own culturally inspired prints that it uses to create clothing for both men and women. Since the Zulu culture is a significant part of Fabrosanz’s heritage, it is important that she convert it into wearable clothing.

The Venda, Tsonga, and Sepedi-inspired prints were designed in 2021 as a way to commemorate the brand’s ten years in the business. These prints were influenced by earlier collections.

“The fabrics, colors, and themes found on these civilizations’ traditional clothing served as the inspiration for our collection offers. According to Mazibuko, the prints are created by combining various shapes with vibrant colors that all have cultural significance.

IFW Business intends to invite further regional designers to fashion weeks including Istanbul Fashion Week in December 2022 and Nairobi Fashion Week in November 2022.

Content courtesy of IOL & NFH 

 

A New African Fashion Narrative Is Being Created, And Designers Think It’s About Time.

“African fashion is not a trend,” asserts Aisha Ayensu, the creator and creative director of Christie Brown. Ayensu founded her company in Accra, Ghana in 2008, fusing traditional designs like wax print and batiks with contemporary voluminous sleeve tops and corset dresses. We have been doing this for years; it was never a fad for us.

As part of a new exhibition at Britain’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the influential UK arts and culture institution, Christie Brown is one of 45 brands and designers wanting to help shape and change the narrative surrounding African fashion. From a traditional silk Kente engagement dress created by Ghanaian fashion designer Kofi Ansah to Rwandan brand Moshions

The exhibition looks at African fashion dating back to the 1950s, a period in time when countries across the continent started to break away from colonial rule, and highlights the importance of traditional prints like Kente Cloth as a signifier of wealth and status. These modern interpretations of ceremonial attire, traditionally worn by royalty, were created using wool and viscose.

Thebe Magugu, Rich Mnisi, and Mmusomaxwell, three contemporary South African designers, as well as the West African brands Orange Culture, Lagos Space Programme, and Iamisigo, who participated in the curating of their own displays, are also featured.

With Chanel hosting a fashion show in Dakar, Senegal later this year, Birimian investing $5 million annually in African and diasporic brands, and the rise of designers like Thebe Magugu, a recent guest designer at AZ Factory, and Kenneth Ize, a finalist for the 2019 LVMH Prize, attention is growing on African fashion.

According to experts, African fashion is still underrepresented and poorly understood in the West, with its range frequently being condensed and pigeonholed. Few large multi-brand shops carry African fashion; some, who depend on small-scale production and work directly with ateliers, have found it impossible to scale production to satisfy demand from international retailers, making it difficult for brands to sell outside of local markets.

There are few materials that adequately reflect the development and subtleties of the fashion on the continent, and fashion curricula rarely acknowledge the breadth and history of African designers.

There was internal acknowledgement of a void in the V&A’s holdings, according to Christine Checinska, senior curator of African and African diaspora textiles and apparel, who joined the institution in the summer of 2020.

When she joined, her duties included expanding the institution’s collection of African fashion fabrics and creating the Africa Fashion show. Although we have always gathered artifacts from the continent, Africa and its diaspora were underrepresented in our collections compared to other parts of the world.

As a museum, I believe it was already acknowledged that the fashion scene had such an impact that the museum wanted to address it.
The work that went into curating and putting this exhibition together, according to Ayensu of Christie Brown, was significant because she initially questioned the V&A’s aims. Making ensuring that it stayed true to who we are as African companies, according to her, is really important.
“We weren’t watered down, and looking at African design through a European prism was not the goal. It was about observing the diverse range of our work and the represented brands.

The exhibition featured many of the designers’ voices, and Checinska says it is a special element she was eager to include. A quote from each designer was exhibited next to a description of their product. Adebayo Oke-lawal, the creator of Orange Culture, is quoted as saying, “Clothing should be flowing and have the potential to be worn by any and everyone.”

Omoyemi Akerele, creator and director of Lagos Fashion Week and Style House Files, said of the exhibition, “This exhibition is essential because for the very first time fashion from the continent will be examined from a broad perspective which spans decades.

“African dress is something that has always been here; it is a part of who we are… There is an entire ecosystem of models, make-up artists, photographers, and illustrators in addition to designers.
According to Erica De Greef, co-director of The African Fashion Research Institute, the industry has always disregarded African fashion.

“The two terms ‘Africa’ and ‘fashion’ were not found in a book, let alone on a page together, and much alone in an exhibition title together, 20 years ago when I started teaching fashion in South Africa.”

A move, in her opinion, is an effort to “reverse the coloniality of the museum” and marks a fundamental and important shift in the field.

The need to decolonize the curriculum remains.
The display serves as a reminder that additional research on African dress is required.
According to Frederica Brooksworth, executive director of the Council for International African Fashion Education, “There hasn’t been a lot of knowledge published on African fashion for people to use, and not many people have had the opportunity to learn about African fashion” (CIAFE).
“I do think that a lot of people’s minds will be opened and their perspective of African fashion will alter as a result of this exhibition.

And I believe that many institutions will come to appreciate the value of decolonizing the fashion curriculum.

The next step should be to analyze the subtleties of African dress, according to De Greef. The range of clothing on the continent was not thoroughly investigated. She claims that more depth and nuance are required. “There are still a lot of the cliches, and some of the choices are still pretty vivid and colorful…

But what’s going on in Rwanda is different from what’s going on in Tanzania and from what’s going on in Mozambique.
Greef contends that while fashion varies across the continent, some of these outfits transcend the boundaries of couture and streetwear and are difficult to classify.

The worth of “Made in Africa”
Others still see a chance to expand their internet presence and change the perception of “Made in Africa” by fortifying their online platforms. The founder of the Senegal-based company Tongoro, Sarah Diouf, claims that accessing African fashion for a very long time was extremely difficult.
We solely engage in e-commerce, and because of the difficulty in obtaining African fashion labels for a very long time, this business strategy has allowed us to flourish in the larger fashion arena.

She continues, “Changing the perception of “Made in Africa” is a long-term topic of endeavor.”

For Diouf, whose clothing is entirely sourced and made on the continent, there needs to be work done to refute the myth that “Made in Africa” products are not incredibly important and alluring to domestic and foreign consumers. We are able to create clothing that is equally as good as European or any other fashion.

According to Diouf, this has an impact on Tongoro’s pricing approach. She decided not to price her clothing beyond $230 in an effort to expand her company into international markets and increase African fashion’s appeal outside of the continent. “Anything linked to Africa did not have a favorable image for a very long time,” she claims.

It was extremely important to me to give people the option to shop for African fashion and to encourage them to do so, therefore in certain ways, the clothing had to be reasonably priced.
Merchants on Long (MOL), a South African concept store specializing in African fashion, is the sponsor of the V&A’s Africa Fashion show and says it intends to maintain momentum by presenting a number of pop-ups and events starting in September throughout the UK.

In order to connect foreign buyers with African businesses, the company’s chief executive Hanneli Rupert said it is opening its e-commerce to the UK market.

The retailer is eager to expand its clientele and stock some of the fashion houses represented at the exhibition, including Tongoro.

Along with capital, scaling manufacturing for “Made in Africa” brands can still be difficult for companies looking for new luxury partners. Tongoro began selling on Net-a-Porter this month, which Diouf describes as both an exciting development for the company and a struggle because “everything is handcrafted in Senegal and we haven’t reached industrial level production, so for us it was a barrier.”

The long-term objective, which remains the same after participating in the exhibition, is to “dynamise the local retail manufacturing in West Africa, starting with Senegal.”
Christie Brown’s Ayensu, who has tripled her capacity since 2020 but still feels that it is insufficient, echoes the attitude.

“We want to expand up our operations to be able to satisfy the rising demand,” she says.
“That’s one area and issue we want to conquer.” We did an excellent job of figuring out what the customer wanted… The focus currently is merely on having a sufficient supply of the product and a larger distribution. You need funding to accomplish that, too. According to Ayensu, her company consists of 40% online and 60% brick-and-mortar sales.

International expansion is not the only goal for many aspiring designers, though. The brand is reaching new audiences, according to South African designer Rich Mnisi, thanks to the international attention the exhibition has received. However, the objective is to maintain local market expansion.

Initially, Mnisi explains, “our clothes were made for a worldwide market, but we chose to just concentrate on South Africa, and it was the best decision ever.” “Like most great brands, they first established a strong foothold in the neighborhood; this is what we’ll do.”

There’s still work to be done. The show is undoubtedly a significant accomplishment, but Diouf notes that it is only the beginning. “My daily job in the atelier, teaching the tailors, and attempting to maintain and improve the quality that we have, so that the brand keeps expanding over time, is what matters most to me,” she said.

Content courtesy of Vogue Business & NFH 

The Kenyan Fashion Label Ikeno Clothing Was Inspired By Life On Lamu Island

Variety of menswear in slow fashion Jemima Bornman founded Ikeno in October 2019, and it was inspired by Lamu Island in Kenya.
The equator sun’s glare is reflected by Ikeno clothes. The clothing trend is made of baggy, worn-out materials and is slow and sustainable.

The spirit of Lamu Island, where company founder Jemima Bornman lives, is immediately reflected in the airy cotton and big cuts. It readily captures the winds that pick up off the Indian Ocean, making it ideal for use in the sweltering heat of tropical climates.

Small youngsters pass by and wave in the village of Shela as young Masai men drift by and laugh together. Donkeys wander aimlessly and without attention. You sweat calm there because it moves so slowly that it almost feels hallucinogenic.

When asked what the focus of her menswear clothes is, Bornman responds to OkayAfrica, “I want to keep things extremely simple. She points to the island’s renowned boats and explains, “My last line of suits were constructed from the Dhow boat sails that you see sweeping by, look.”

One of the largest offshore islands, Lamu is only 60 miles from the Somali border. A place with no automobiles or trucks and a predominantly Muslim population who speak Swahili. Donkeys’ sturdy backs carried an enormous load of creating and maintaining the island, which was still being done today.

Bornman moved to Lamu when she was 3 years old after being relocated from Zambia when her parents divorced.
The neighborhood came together to support a young single mother and her daughters. She feels a strong connection to those who, like her, stay and have known Bornman her entire life.

She reclines in the shade. After spending a long night bringing in bass and barracuda, the fisherman tie ropes behind her. “It makes no sense for Ikeno or me to live anywhere other than Lamu. My house,” she declares. Why even leave Kenya, which has always been such a fantastic creative center for fashion, design, and art? For me, it’s a location where creativity’s magic may be found every minute.

Ikeno relies on recycling items that capture the essence of the island because it uses its rhythms and echoes. According to Bornman, who sources the fabrics for her collections from India, “Ikat handwoven cloth from India has always been exported to East Africa and all the way to Lamu.”

It is impossible to avoid being inspired by the Swahili, Arabic, Persian, and Indian influences of the region’s past given the confluence of art and trade that makes up the culture of the region.
Bornman’s eyes brighten up as she talks about the elaborate and florally carved door frames on the island that inspired the block printing of geometric designs on her brand-new shirts.

Bornman has little desire to expand her brand past where it is now. I definitely shouldn’t admit it, but I’m content to keep things modest.
In fact, I believe it to be crucial,” she asserts. “During the rainy season, Sanga, a tailor I work with, returns to his home in Malindi, which is located near the coast. When it comes to stitching, he is discrete, experienced, and thorough. Not just for Ikeno, I just feel so blessed to have him in my life.

All the clothes Ikeno makes are sewn and tailored by Sanga. Bornman is the less reluctant of the two to serve as the spokesperson in their working business relationship.

Together, they are creating something considerate and innately eco-friendly. A company that is content to be virtually alone and pleased there.

When it comes to presenting the story of Ikeno, Bornman is also picky about her collaborators. To create the editorial for the brand’s most recent collection, she teamed up with the contemporary visual art collective 199x.
When Michael Mwangi Maina, an art director, and Fred Odede, a photographer, founded 199x, they were just two friends doing what they liked. Now, 199x is a highly sought-after agency.

Any customer we work with is aware that we need to handle the creative parts, according to Maina.

“We are skilled in subtlety.” In order to prepare for their arrival on Lamu, Bornman and I exchanged ideas. Photos of desirable sites were looked at, but even though Odede had already visited the island, nothing could have prepared Maina for it.

He says, “I can’t even put it into words.” “The sea was too much for me. the local atmosphere of the location, the hues of the sky, and the mangroves. Although almost too much, it was everything we had anticipated.

Along with three other members of their collective who were chosen to model, they spent seven days shooting. Even though the workdays were long, the evenings had a celebratory atmosphere, and as things started to fall into place, the entire experience turned into an adventure.

Being able to work and have fun, as Odede puts it, “felt like everything an artist needs. Although slow fashion is very important to us, we also wanted to let everyone know that Kenya was present. We intended for that to be felt both locally and globally.

When asked if their company was expanding internationally, Maina smiles and leans back. Both culture and fashion are reflected in our work, he claims.
We are the forerunners of full campaign editorial work in East Africa, therefore we know we can never run out of ideas here. With a serious nod, Odede continues, “Africa currently owns the vision, and we have taken up the role.” Across the globe from Lamu Island.

Content courtesy of Okay Africa & NFH 

African Fashion Show: The Focus Is Back On Fashion Presentations, The Upcoming Season Will Look Like This.

Two years ago, when everything came to a halt, it still seems like yesterday. We couldn’t even go out and get refreshments or go to activities since we were confined to our homes.

Although it was difficult, we had to do it for the sake of our own and others around us. We never anticipated this day would come so quickly, yet two years later, we are able to leave the house without a mask.

Due to spending so much time inside starting in March 2020, the majority of people were forced to pack away their fashionable attire in favor of something more comfortable.

It’s time to dust off those fashionable outfits and display your innovative sense of fashion now that events are open.

As a result, prepare ready for some of the country’s hottest fashion shows, which will take place between September and October.

Durban Fashion Fair 
The Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Center will play host to the 10th annual Durban Fashion Fair from September 21–23 as part of eThekwini Metro. Along with the well-known designers, this year’s exhibition will feature student designers who are a part of its mentorship program showcasing their creations on the runway.

Before showcasing their collections to a larger audience of fashion buyers, the media, critics, and the general public at the fashion fair, the student designers are required to critique each other’s work as part of their weekly assignments under the guidance of Fezile Mdletshe, managing director and founder of the Fezile Fashion Skills Academy.

Mxolisi Kaunda, the mayor councilor of Ethekwini, is pleased with the program’s continued growth.

Our goal was to identify new talent and offer the required mentoring to promote self-employment by honing designers’ abilities so they might in turn produce jobs for others.

Free State Fashion Week
After an absence of two years, the Free State Fashion Week is returned. This year, the fashion spectacular will be held at the Naval Hill Planetarium in Bloemfontein thanks to a partnership with All Black Soiree, a high-end lifestyle event founded in 2021.

“As All Black Soiree, we are thrilled and honored that Candy Smith has given us the chance to collaborate with such an incredible company as Free State Fashion Week. one that breaks down historical entrance barriers in an effort to economically, creatively, and socially emancipate young people. According to Rapelang Khati, chief operating officer of All Black Soiree, “We look forward to a long-lasting cooperation that will give rise to various prospects.”

In order to prepare the public for the fashion show, which will take place from September 28 to October 1, the fashion week will organize a Women’s Day Breakfast on August 9.
In order to prepare the public for the fashion show, which will take place from September 28 to October 1, the fashion week will organize a Women’s Day Breakfast on August 9.
According to Candy Smith, CEO of the Free Condition Fashion Week, “The Women’s Day Breakfast will focus on the most important aspect of being a woman and how each and every woman in our midst has weathered the past two difficult years and how they have encountered humanity in its vulnerable state.”

Award-winning TV and radio personality Lerato Kganyago, “Ask A Man” host on Metro FM, “Young Famous & African” star Naked DJ, and world-famous medium and life coach Taz Singh are just a few of the people that are anticipated to attend the event.
Additionally, designers will present collections based on the “Be Human” concept at the fashion show, which was motivated by surviving a global pandemic and moving on after it.

“This year, I want to inspire our fashion business owners to “Be Human,” take a deep breath, and pause for a moment. That is the exact goal of the theme for 2022. Everyone in the world has experienced a great deal in both their personal and professional lives.

We must stop for a moment to breathe, then begin again with renewed vigor. It’s time to recover from the pandemic’s losses and reclaim our rightful positions while still managing to “Be Human.” This year’s designs from various designers will undoubtedly reflect this, according to Smith.

South African Fashion Week

The start of October is typically when South African Fashion Week holds its fashion shows, however, this has not yet been confirmed. The entries for the Scouting Menswear Competition are being processed right now.

The SA Fashion Week Scouting Menswear Competition seeks for the nation’s top up-and-coming menswear designers to showcase them to the media, buyers, and people who helped them break into the retail industry. On July 20, 2022, the competition’s semi-finalists will be revealed.

Content courtesy of IOL & NFH

African Prints: A Celebration Of African Fashion

The late Ghanaian fashion designer Kofi Ansah famously said: “Without clothes, we cannot play our parts.” He first made news in the UK in the 1970s after designing an outfit for Princess Anne.

One of the more than 40 designers showcased in the V&A’s exhibition Africa Fashion, from pioneers like himself to the new generation looking to shake things up, is Ansah, a graduate of the Chelsea School of Art who would go on to launch Ghana onto the international catwalk with his innovative styles.

Most of the names will be obscure to anyone who does not follow the fashion industry, and a few are only well recognized in Africa, so this first UK display is long overdue.

The exhibition’s dazzling collection of clothes, along with the textiles, personal testimonies, photographs, sketches, and film that go with them, highlight the diversity and richness of African fashion as well as the difficulty of defining it across a vast continent with 54 distinct countries, each with their own history, culture, and influences. The exhibition’s prosaic title belies this.

According to lead curator Christine Checinska, “Africa Fashion celebrates the vibrancy and originality of a select group of fashion creatives, investigating the work of the vanguard in the 20th century and the creatives at the center of this multicultural and cosmopolitan scene today.”
“We hope that this exhibition will lead to a rethinking of the geography of fashion and affect the course of the industry.”

She cited the exhibition’s opening piece, a 2019 electric pink outfit made of silk and Cameroonian raffia, as an example of Paris-based designer Imane Ayissi’s work at the exhibition’s opening earlier this month. This piece “sits on the crossroads of fashion systems cementing Africa and its diaspora, blurring the borders between craft-making and couture.”

Beyond this striking display, one enters the first section of the exhibit, which is, in my opinion, the more fascinating part. It tells the tale of African fashion’s ascent to global prominence beginning in the middle of the 20th century through the eyes of several important figures, such as Shade Thomas-Fahm, a graduate of St. Martin’s School of Art, who transformed traditional print fabrics for modern wear and Chris Seydou, who combined Malian bògòlanfini cloth with opulent western

It’s also important to note Naima Bennis, who combined Moroccan and French couture textiles to produce, among other things, the female equivalent of the Maghrebi hooded cape.

In the post-independence era, the pioneers’ work matured to signify the political and cultural revolution that was underway.
A picture of Kwame Nkrumah announcing Ghana’s independence from British domination in 1957 while donning traditional kente robes rather than a Savile Row suit and the stylish youths shot by portrait photographers Seydou Keta, James Barnor, and others serve to highlight this period of pride and promise.

The “modern creatives” take the stage upstairs, where the museum transforms into a sort of store, aware of their background but actively upending expectations and prejudices.

Adebayo Oke-use Lawal’s of organza and pleated chiffon as part of his Orange Culture label questioning hyper-masculinity and Lukhanyo Mdingi’s fluffy white mohair ensemble from the legendary Angora goats of South Africa couldn’t be more dissimilar from our conventional perception of what African fashion is.

I really like the flowing elegance of Rwanda’s Moshions brand and the fitted Ankara prints worn by Lisa Folawiyo.
But the focus is no longer solely on design. Awa Meité’s focus is cotton, both in her clothing and in her attempts to promote Malian cotton workers, while Congolese designer IAMISIGO uses his “wearable artworks” to “decolonize the mind.”

Content courtesy of Camden New Journal & NFH

The largest exhibition of ‘African Fashion’ in the United Kingdom will open in London.

Britain is gearing up to host the world’s first and most comprehensive exhibition on African fashion in London, offering a glimpse into the continent’s cultural heritage and designers.

“Africa Fashion,” which opens Saturday at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, is the country’s first exhibition dedicated to the medium.

The show will provide a “glimpse into the glamour and politics of the fashion scene,” according to project curator Elisabeth Murray.

“Today, we wanted to celebrate the incredible African fashion scene. So, looking at the inspiration behind all of the designers, stylists, and photographers, “According to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Objects, sketches, photos, and film from across the continent are included in the exhibition, ranging from African liberation years in the 1950s to up-and-coming contemporary designers.
Senior Curator Christine Checinska described the exhibition as “part of the V&A’s ongoing commitment to highlighting work by African heritage creatives.”

Global anti-racism movements, such as Black Lives Matter, have compelled the United Kingdom to reconsider its contentious colonial past, from museum collections and public monuments to history education in schools.
The V&A was founded in 1852, as Britain expanded its global empire under Queen Victoria, including in Africa in the decades that followed.

Checinska, on the other hand, claimed that African creativity had been “largely excluded or misrepresented in the museum, owing to the historic division between art and ethnographic museums arising from our colonial roots and embedded racist assumptions.”

Celebration
The scene is set with a section on “African Cultural Renaissance,” which highlights protest posters and literature from independence movements that evolved alongside fashion.

The central attraction is “The Vanguard,” which features iconic works by well-known African designers such as Niger’s Alphadi, Nigeria’s Shade Thomas-Fahm, and Ghana’s Kofi Ansah.

Beadwork and raffia, among other African textiles and styles, are used in innovative designs with cross-cultural influences.
For example, Thomas-designs Fahm’s reinvented traditional African-wear for the “cosmopolitan, working woman.”

Other exhibits, such as “Afrotopia,” “Cutting-Edge,” and “Mixology,” look at fashion alongside issues like sustainability, gender, race, and identity.

The centerpiece, created especially for the exhibition by Moroccan designer Artsi, is a highlight.
It’s a work inspired by the British trenchcoat and Muslim hijab that explores how to “present Africa in England,” he told AFP.

Artsi emphasizes the beauty of African fashion, which “doesn’t come from a source of commercialized clothes,” in her “meditation on our common humanity.”
“It comes from a place of heritage and culture,” he added.

Content courtesy of Daily Sabah & NFH

%d bloggers like this: