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9 Designers Crafting A Well Made In Africa Aesthetic

Atelier Fifty Five spotlights the work of 9 dynamic designers whose innovative use of Africa’s diverse craft heritages is translated into modern sophisticated products for contemporary living. And in doing so are upholding the banner of Well Made In Africa. Re-imagining techniques and materials these designers are paying homage to the skill of making things by hand thereby recognising how craft is at the heart of true luxury.

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Africa.Now – Exploring Africa’s Creative Community With Design Indaba

Having spent the last seven years bringing you some of the names, designs, and services that have shaped the emergence and development of the creative industries across Africa one cannot help but be inspired by the energy surrounding what is happening; that feeling that anything is possible. Something that can at times be hard to articulate in a post when experiencing it in person can be so much more impactful. And this is the premise of Design Indaba’s Africa.Now initiative and video series, which brings you closer to the action through on-screen interviews with those who are an active part […]

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Africa By Design Inaugural Exhibition Launches In Ghana

  Exhibitions focusing on design from Africa continue to abound, with more countries outside the continent holding dedicated showcases. Whilst this is great to see, it is also important that the African continent also hold its own showcases to highlight the growing value of design to local audiences. One such initiative is Africa by Design in Ghana, which launched its inaugural self-titled exhibition presenting the work of 22 emerging and established African designers representing 6 countries from sub-Saharan Africa – Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal.   [Main Image credit: Master Kente and Ewe Weaver, Bob Gandy – […]

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Jomo Tariku’s Modern African Furniture Design At Dubai Design Week

Dubai Design Week opens today and among the many events and works being showcased is The Birth Chair II, modern African furniture design by Ethiopian/American furniture designer, Jomo Tariku. The Birth Chair II is inspired by African birthing chairs which are still being used in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and are also being incorporated in mainstream design as decorative pieces. The Birth Chair II is crafted from a single bent piece with clean lines for the seat and a sliding backrest with artistic carvings in the front and back. The idea behind Jomo’s design is to allow people to use a similar design of […]

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Design Week Addis Ababa Showcasing Ethiopian Contemporary Design

Design Week Addis Ababa (DWAA) is the latest addition to Africa’s wider creative calendar. The annual event launches this weekend – 12-13 December –  at the Mosaic Hotel near Bole Medhanealem, Addis Ababa. DWAA is the initiative of creative director Metasebia Yoseph who seeks to shine the spotlight on Ethiopia’s contemporary creative talent, from technology, fashion and textiles, food and gastronomy, architecture, industrial design, interiors, graphic design, and art.

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Hand Woven Lighting Inspired By Traditional Ethiopian Basket Weaving

The Abyssinia Lamp is a collection of colourful handwoven lighting inspired by the techniques and visual languages of traditional Ethiopian basket weaving. The collection was designed and produced by PET Lamp in a joint venture with local craft workshop and retailer, Salem’s Ethiopia. Produced by highly skilled artisans in Addis Abba the main feature of the lighting collection are the striking woven lampshades, which draw on a diverse range of local cultural patterns, infused with bold colour palettes rendered in heavy, durable materials.

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Accessories: Stepping Out With SoleRebels

soleRebels [Ethiopia]     [Image credits: soleRebels] Zenabwork, a small village community in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is crafting some seriously funky footwear using 100% locally sourced materials. soleRebels is all about original sustainable footwear, exuding the same coolness that is attached to brands like Nike and Adidas. Pro ‘trade not aid’ the award-winning business is working to break the chains of dependency on aid, instead aiming to get people into work by creating jobs within the local community – which are often scarce. Founded in 2004 by Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, soleRebels has sought to harness the skills of local artisans by creating a […]

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Fashion: African Mosaique Defining African Chic

African Mosaïque      [Image credits: African Mosaïque – ifashion/Simon Deiner] After a fairly dreary and bitterly cold weekend, today has given a glimpse of a potentially beautiful summer’s day complete with clear blue skies, so off course daydreaming just had to turn to perfect summer wardrobes and I can so picture myself in one of African Mosaïque’s timelessly chic ensembles. Created by acclaimed former international Ethiopian model turned fashion designer, entrepreneur and humanitarian; Anna Getaneh, the African Mosaïque label was set up in 2004 and comprises a seasonal collection of contemporary African inspired clothing and accessories. Collaborations with other designers bring […]

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Fashion: Amsale Aberra’s Dreamy Modern Wedding Dresses

Amsale [Ethiopia] [Image credit: Amsale] “Twenty years after the wedding, I want a bride to be able to look at her pictures and be as happy with the way she looked as she was on her wedding day”, the philosophy behind renowned bridal designer Amsale Aberra eponymous label of dreamy wedding dresses. Synonymous with creating the ‘Forever Modern’ wedding dress, Amsale Aberra came about her craft whilst searching for her own wedding dress and finding little in the way of a simple, refined dress amidst overdone creations. Amsale who left Ethiopia to pursue art in New England before studying fashion, has developed […]

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Jewellery: Siki de Somalie’s Regal Jewels

Siki de Somalie [Ethiopia/Somalia] If bold, chunky statement jewellery is your preference look no further than the fabulous creations of Parisian-based jeweller and accessories designer Siki de Somalie who is described by CoutureLab as ‘A woman as regal and fantastic as the pieces she creates’. A Parisienne socialite who is the daughter of an Ethiopian princess, a direct descendant of the Menelik dynasty of Abyssinia and a Somalian diplomat, Siki de Somalie’s upbringing is reflected in her creations, whereby luxurious baroque style and cultural accents are seen combined with textured metal detailing and colourful gems, giving an air regal elegance and bound to get a conversation […]

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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. Crowned Top Chef Master on Season Two […]

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