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Fashion: Luxurious Fabrics and Intricate Embellishments Defining Luxury African Fashion

Tiffany Amber [Nigeria] [Image credits: Tiffany Amber] Launched in 1998, Tiffany Amber is a womenswear fashion label dedicated to creating feminine and effortlessly stylish pieces that reflect Nigerian designer and founder, Folake Folarin-Coker’s heritage. Luxurious fabrics and intricate embellishments are key elements Folake describes as defining the style of her label, and establishing her as a leading figure in contemporary African fashion. With two stores located in Lagos, Tiffany Amber is all about offering its clientele timeless elegance and I for one especially like the bold jewel tones of the fabrics, colour combinations and the way the clothes float down the runway. […]

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Travel: Cruising Nile with The Oberoi Zahra 

Aswan [Egypt] The Pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo and Luxor, often referred to as the ‘world’s greatest museum’ with its well preserved monuments from great civilisations past, are two well-trodden routes attracting visitors to Egypt drawn by the culture of Ancient Egypt and magnificence and mystery surrounding the pyramids, however taking the time to deviate from the norm uncovers the hidden gems along the way. So, in addition to soaking up the must-sees, take some timeout to discover the historical significance of Aswan situated on the Eastern bank of the Nile and said to be graced with the […]

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Food & Drink: It Started with a Label

Boer & Brit [South Africa] [Image credit: Boer & Brit] I am a sucker for great looking packaging so I guess that makes me a marketeers dream, and whilst doing some research on packaging for a project I stumbled upon LovelyPackage a site that appreciates the very best in packaging design from all over the world – I could spend all day on there! Any hoo, getting to the point, I came across some rather beautiful packaging for a champagne bottle by a South African wine company called Boer & Brit. It wasn’t so much the label that got me daydreaming but a […]

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Accessories: Stylish Hats from Milliner Albertus Swanepoel

Albertus Swanepoel [South Africa] [Image source: Carolina Herrera Fall 2008 collaboration, denverpost.com] “Hats are like sunglasses. They detract and attract attention at the same time” so says fashion designer turned much sought-after milliner, Albertus Swanepoel (on Net-a-Porter.com). Leaving behind a very successful fashion career in his home country Albertus Swanepoel made the move from South Africa to start anew in the United States in the late 1980’s and after working for a few local design houses ended up studying millinery and soon after his label Albertus Quartus was born. [Image credit: Albertus Swanepoel] I must confess to not really being one for […]

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Fashion: Savile Row Tailoring from Ozwald Boateng

Ozwald Boateng [Ghana] [Image credits: Ozwald Boateng] A well-dressed man in a sharply tailored suit is usually a sight to behold and this area is the forte of Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng, who knows all to well the power of sharp tailoring and attention to detail and is widely credited with introducing Savile Row tailoring to a new generation. With Boateng’s designs exuding confidence and individualism, defined by his signature use of colour which brings a contemporary feel to classic tailoring, 2010 sees Ozwald Boateng celebrate 25 years in the fashion business and for a glimpse into the man behind […]

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Accessories: Stylish African Print Clutch Bags by Urbanknit

Urbanknit [Image credit: Urbanknit – etsy] Starting out by making accessories for friends and family, Dolapo James of Urbanknit has gone on to create a much coveted collection of stylish vibrant clutch bags. With, a love of bold colour and pattern evident in her use of much loved African Print textiles. [Image source: theshopfloorproject] With each bag handmade by Dolapo using vintage style snap clasp frames, her style is a combination of prim and proper Englishness brought bang up-to-date with a refreshing funky twist of bold African pRINT fabrics like Adire, Ankara and Aso-oke. The fabrics used are mainly from Nigeria, which […]

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Travel: The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Crater [Tanzania] [Image credit: Tanzania Odyssey] Drift lazily high above the Serengeti plains in a hot air balloon, getting a spectacular birds-eye view of natural breathtaking phenomenon like the must-see wildebeest migration. Then once you land, sit down to a full breakfast set-up under the shade of an Umbrella tree amid the peaceful surroundings of the Serengeti plains. Just one of the many memorable experiences to be enjoyed in the Serengeti National Park within whose eastern border you will find the Ngorongoro Crater, the remains of a massive volcano nearly three million years old and a World Heritage Site.

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Design: Cheick Diallo’s Innovative African Furniture Designs

Diallo Design [Mali] [Image credits: Diallo Design] Cheick Diallo the innovative furniture designer behind Diallo Design studied Architecture in France and whilst there discovered his love for furniture design. One of Africa’s leading furniture and product designers Diallo aims to bring a cosmopolitan view to Africa’s design by creating a bridge between ancient wisdom and modern sensuality.  

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Food & Drink: Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson [Ethiopia] [Image credits: abcnews.com recipes: salad and dessert]  Ethiopian born, Swedish raised and now living in Harlem, top chef Marcus Samuelsson certainly has a lot of influences to bring to his culinary creations and has been praised for introducing innovative interpretations to classic Swedish dishes and quality of flavours and textures his food possesses. Adopted by a Swedish couple at the age of three Marcus grew up in Sweden and learnt his love of cookery there, training to be a chef before moving to France and then America where his career has flourished.

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Jewellery: St-Erasmus Opulent Jewellery Creations

St-Erasmus [South Africa] [Image credit: St-Erasmus] Prior to becoming the jewellery designer name on everyone’s lips when the ever-stylish Michelle Obama was pictured wearing one of his statement necklaces the Begum 2, Pieter Erasmus was well-known within the industry, designing and creating jewellery for leading couture fashion houses such as Givenchy and Alexander McQueen. Pieter Erasmus defines his jewellery as “experimental but ultimately wearable”, creating modern classics that have a very distinctive look. St-Erasmus pieces reflect opulence and majesty and are heirlooms of the future. This is exquisite jewellery not afraid to make a statement; created to make you look and feel fabulous.

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Design: ‘Basket Case’ A showcase of Contemporary Zimbabwean Basketry

The Basket Case Exhibition [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: BBC] I came across a photo-editorial on BBC about an exhibition called ‘The Basket Case’, currently being held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. The National Gallery is a beautiful space and a place I know well having spent many a time there perusing the latest exhibits and completing assignments. I am glad to see that it is still putting on inspiring exhibits. ‘The Basket Case’ exhibition is all about connecting the past and the present, traditional with contemporary and is based on a project by interior accessories designer, Heath Nash and the traditional basket […]

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Fashion: Christie Brown’s Pretty Feminine Style

Christie Brown [Ghana] [Image credits: myasho] Aisha Obuobi’s dresses are so pretty and feminine, combining traditional prints with silks in a ray of gorgeous colours. The dresses below caught my eye whilst browsing myasho an online e-tailer of African designer clothing. For me these gorgeous frocks capture that feeling of impatience and excitement of when I was a child waiting to get dressed up in my party dress and having everyone tell me how pretty I looked. In a flattering style they are perfect for occasions that demand effortless chic and easily take you from day to night with heels or flats, […]

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Travel: Cultural Fusion in Cape Verde

Mindelo [Cape Verde] [Image credits: www.capeverdeexperience] A small chain of islands of the coast of West Africa make up Cape Verde, considered to be one of Africa’s best-kept secrets and are still relatively untouched, combining a rich mix of African, Portuguese and Brazilian cultures. The diversity of the islands offer some stunning scenery from powdery white beaches and clear waters to lush mountainous vistas. Although it would be tempting to chill out and relax by the beach it is to Mindelo, the capital of the island of São Vicente we focus our attention.

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Beauty: Moya Luxurious African Spa Products

Moya [South Africa] [Image credit: Moya] Meaning soul or wind, Moya is a luxurious range of professional African spa products that advocates the natural approach to healthy living. Moya utilises essential oils and botanicals indigenous to South Africa, particularly harnessing the properties of Fynbos, a plant found mostly in the Western Cape region. The products also include the aromatic and therapeutic essences of Buchu, Zinziba, Cape May, Cape Snowbush, Cape Chamomile, Lanyana and Cape Geranium. [Image credit: Moya] Packaged in distinctive amber, silver and cream; Moya’s therapeutic products include haircare, bath oils, body lotions and washes that the company states contain no mineral oils, […]

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Accessories: Mai Lamore’s Exquisite Footwear

Maï Lamore [Central African Republic] [Image credit: Maï Lamore] Seductive showstoppers that wouldn’t look out of place on a red carpet; these are the creations of Paris-based shoe designer Maï Lamore. Being the shoe lover that I am, I was mesmerised the moment I laid eyes on these exquisite beauties. Not just shoes, but gorgeous works of art that take my breath away and definitely not made for walking as I would be perfectly happy to slip on my feet and stare at them all day long. However as a designer, Maï Lamore works to combine luxury and elegance in a wearable way […]

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Accessories: Bags and Clutches in a Rainbow of Colours

Mar Y Sol [Madagascar] [Image credits: Mar y Sol] Formerly Mad Imports, Mar Y Sol’s stylish bags and clutches bring a smile to my face ticking all the right boxes from mouth-watering colour combinations such as apple, mango, berry and punch to cute unashamedly girly styles that invoke images of summer; making them perfect for leisurely days strolling around town, lunch with the girls… actually any occasion that demands a burst of colour to brighten things up. I was hard-pressed to choose which ones to display, so cast your eyes on these and visit Mar Y Sol’s website for the full collection. A socially […]

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Textiles: Anthropologie African Bedding Inspiration

Anthropologie Bedding [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: Yoruba Quilt, Anthropologie] I am a fan of US-based store Anthropologie, loving its quirky bohemian style with a dusting of romance and was thrilled when they finally opened two stores in London, the first one in October 2009 and then the second earlier this year. Browsing their online store I came across a range of African inspired bedding and interior accessories that they state is drawn from Yoruba and Northern Sotho cultures, although I may be wrong in saying, I feel the fabric inspiration relates more to the Dutch Wax cloth popular in West Africa.

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Travel: Luxury Riad Les Bains de Marrakech

Les Bains de Marrakech [Morocco] [Image credits: Les Bains de Marrakech] Inviting you for an hour, a day or a week, Les Bains de Marrakech is the perfect getaway destination for frazzled city folk in much need of rejuvenating their souls. Rated as one of the best riads in Marrakech, just looking at the images on their website is lulling me into a state of soothing relaxation; perfect conditions for daydreaming… so imagine how much more relaxed you would be emerging from the experience.

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Fashion: Fluid Sensual Silhouettes from Liberian American Designer Korto Momolu

Korto Momolu [Liberia] [Image credits/source: fashionologie] Debut collectionWinning a legion of fans during her stint on Season 5 of Bravo TV’s Project Runway, African fashion designer Korto Momolu certainly is not one to shy away from jewel-toned brights, prints and feminine silhouettes, along with her cultural accents all contributing to a look of effortless elegance. What I especially love about Korto Momolu’s designs are the fluid, sensual dreamy structures of her maxi dresses and her use of vibrant colour palettes inspired by her Liberian heritage.

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Accessories: Made Unique Ethical Jewellery Made in Africa

MU (Made Unique) [Kenya] [Image credits: Stone earrings, Jellyfish Pendant and Statement Choker – MADE] The launch of Kenyan-based ethical jewellery label MADE’s new MU collection introduces a vibrant range of limited edition jewellery pieces made in Africa at their Kenyan workshop. Still following MADE’s ethos of recycling locally found materials such as glass and brass this collection now includes 9ct gold to stunning effect. A significant step up from their much sought after existing collections, MU raises the bar on ethical luxury and is simply gorgeous. For those unfamiliar with the company, MADE is a jewellery label with an ethical message at its […]

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