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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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Pamper Your Skin With 54 Thrones Botanical Skincare Made In Africa

More and more people are shunning chemically formulated on the shelf beauty products in favour of natural, holistic handcrafted formulations, and the beauty industry has witnessed a rise in brands around the world catering to this need by tapping into their own homegrown beauty rituals and bringing them to global attention. And Africa is no exception. Natural skin care ingredients such as cocoa butter and shea that have been used by African women for centuries are being recognised for their benefits, but we are only just scratching the surface. Fruit of the African soil, ingredients such as baobab, marula, and […]

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African Furniture Design At Salone del Mobile 2018

Salone del Mobile, the prestigious Italian furniture fair opens its doors today offering visitors the very best in international furniture design concepts. Salone del Mobile is also home to SaloneSatellite an event that spotlights promising young designers under 35 by giving them a platform to connect with manufacturers, buyers and talent scouts. Noted for launching the careers of designers such as Oki Sato of Nendo, this year’s SaloneSatellite theme is Africa/Latin America: Rising Design – Design Emergente and as such is presenting a group of designers representing both regions. Among those representing African design is Jomo Tariku, founder of Jomo […]

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Zyne Turning Traditional Babouches Into Modern Moroccan Footwear

Babouches are a Moroccan slipper style of footwear. In their traditional form, they can be found in abundance in souks across the country. A favourite of tourists, babouches have now made the transition from colourful travel mementos to high fashion having turned up on the international catwalks in recent years courtesy of local designers such as Zineb Britel and Laura Pujol founders of the luxury footwear brand, ZYNE who are tapping into their heritages to modernise and elevate the Moroccan footwear.  

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Beazley Designs Of The Year 2017

  Sir David Adjaye has been announced as the overall winner of Beazley Design of the Year 2017, for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington designed in collaboration with The Freelon Group, Davis Brody Bond, and SmithGroupJJR. Now in its tenth year Beazley Designs of the Year is an annual award and exhibition of the very best in international design held by The Design Museum, the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design and architecture; and sponsored by specialty insurers Beazley. 

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Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair Presents The 2017 Well Made In Africa Exhibitors

  Earlier this year, I was honoured to have been appointed the guest curator for the prestigious Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair’s Well Made in Africa showcase. 2017 introduces a new, exquisite selection of Well Made in Africa exhibitors from the continent under the curatorship of Tapiwa Matsinde, author of Contemporary Design Africa. Tapiwa presents a selection that is anchored in heritage & modernity. This year Sanlam HmC will host the work of a dynamic group of designers who have been chosen for their innovative use of Africa’s diverse craft heritages to create modern sophisticated products for contemporary living. And with […]

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Accessories: Calling All Emerging Accessory Designers Enter the Abury Design Experience

Abury – Abury Design Experience [ADEx]   [Image credit: Abury Design Experience – Abury] If you are passionate about designing and producing accessories that not only look good but have a positive impact, then it is not too late to enter the Abury Design Experience (ADEx) competition to be in with a chance to create a capsule accessories collection for the sustainable luxury accessory brand, Abury. Abury’s ethos is to combine traditional, old-world crafts with avant-garde design to create a new luxury style that fosters intercultural exchange and helps preserves world crafts.

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Accessories: Abury Ethical Luxury Where Old World Traditions Meet Cutting Edge Design

Abury Collection [Image credit: Berber Collection, Blue and Pink Berber Clutch – Abury] Abury is an ethical luxury fashion accessories brand whose ethos is one of combining old world traditions with cutting edge design to create a new style, one of timeless and authentic luxury. Abury is a response to mass production, inviting people to appreciate the beauty that is around them, to form emotional connections to the products they buy and to take the time to recognise the meaning of true luxury that comes with tradition, time and care in production. Heritage, knowledge and wisdom are turned into timeless high-quality […]

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Decor: Myriam Mourabit Contemporary Moroccan Ceramics

Myriam Mourabit [Morocco] [Image credit: Tagine Ceramics – Myriam Mourabit] Award-winning Moroccan ceramicist Myriam Mourabit creates exquisite ceramic products inspired by Morocco’s rich ceramic heritage. The designer who is based in Rabat, Morocco trained in Paris at the Duperré School of Applied Arts and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. She founded her company in 1998 and from her studio skillfully produces collections that include: bowls, vases, tableware, furniture, and interior fittings.

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Decor: Traditional Moroccan artisanal Skills Meet French Style

Scènes de lin [Morocco] The beauty of traditional Moroccan artisanal skills is combined with French style to create a range of contemporary North African inspired linens, soft furnishings, and interior accessories, under the brand Scènes de lin. Based in Marrakech, Scènes de lin was created by designer, and textile industry veteran Anne-Marie Chaoui, who in 2000 opened the doors to a beautifully appointed showroom in the district of Gueliz.

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Interiors: Swimwear Designer Liza Bruce’s Stylish Moroccan Home

Liza Bruce [Morocco] [Image credit: Liza Bruce Moroccon Home – Elle Decor/Simon Upton] The Moroccan home of UK fashion designer, Liza Bruce and her artist husband Nicholas Alvis Vega, featured in Elle Decor, is a feast for the eyes; a place where pattern, detail, and colour abound. Liza, who made her name designing swimwear in the 1980s, began her travels to Morocco in 2003 sourcing material for her collections, and after several trips to the country sought to establish a base. A trip to the Ourika Valley, a riverside region situated south of Marrakech in the foothills of the Atlas mountains revealed an abandoned, half-built […]

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Textiles: Moroccan Kilim Fabrics

Kilim Cushions [Africa Inspired] Plümo [Image credit: Kelim Cushions – Plümo] Doing some research for a client I keeping spotting beautifully textured cushions made with Moroccan Kilim fabrics. Kilim fabrics are traditionally hand-woven to create carpets and rugs and have now been used to produce smaller items such as cushions and bags. Whether a single continuous design is used or a patchwork of contrasting fabrics; the warm rich colours and plush tactile textures bring and added warmth and cosiness to interiors.

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Interiors: Peacock Pavilions on Elle Decor

Peacock Pavilions [Morocco] [Image credit: Peacock Pavilions Guest Bedroom – Simon Upton/Elle Decor] Maryam Montague is probably best known as My Marrakech, the inspirational blog she established documenting her life in Marrakech, Morocco running the boutique hotel, also her home Peacock Pavilions; which she designed, built and decorated from scratch with her architect husband Chris Redecke. You can take a peek into Peacocks Pavilions as the home is featured in the April issue of Elle Decor, which celebrates beautifully, decorated homes from around the world as part of their international issue.

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Travel: Riad Noir D’Ivoire, Luxurious and Romantic Boutique Hotel 

Riad Noir D’Ivoire [Morocco] [Image credit: Private Terrace Jacuzzi – Riad Noire D’Ivoire/Elan Fleisher] Tucked away down an unassuming alleyway in the Bab Doukkala quarter of the Marrakech Medina you will find Riad Noir D’Ivoire, a luxurious and romantic boutique hotel that will surprise and entice from the moment you arrive, making it the perfect romantic getaway. Leave the hustle and bustle of the souk behind as you enter through a wooden door emerging into the spacious courtyard of an elegantly restored traditional Moroccan riad. Riad Noir D’Ivoire is a haven in the city, a place whose intimate setting exudes romance and […]

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Decor: Beldi Moroccan Handpainted Ceramics

Beldi [Morocco]   I love pretty ceramics; so ideal for adding quick, interchangeable bursts of pattern and colour throughout the home and whilst browsing the beautifully stylish blog, AphroChic I came across a posting featuring a new online store Beldi, which is introducing customers to the authentic, Moroccan way of living. Visiting the website I spotted these gorgeously patterned plates and bowls, hand-painted and hand-glazed by artisans in Safi, a place renowned for its skillful pottery creations. The spirals on the ‘Spiral Safi bowls’ are based on the ancient Berber symbol for eternity, said to be a common symbol throughout Morocco. The intricate patterns, often […]

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Accessories: Cobra Society Blending Western Style Boots with a Moroccan Twist

Cobra Society [Africa Inspired] The latest print issue of Vogue UK has an interesting article on the rise of a new breed of entrepreneur that they’ve called ‘globalists’; trendsetters who combine fair trade principles with business savvy whilst scouring the world for exciting new products that celebrate craft and heritage and marrying them with contemporary styling to create a fresh, modern and exciting product. Amongst the featured profiles was that of Cobra Society’s Alex Davis, whose debut Autumn/Winter 2011 collection of Western-style boots with a North African twist was snapped up by Net-a-Porter.

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