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Textiles: Swoon Edition’s Milly Chair Paired with Delta Sola Textiles by Banke Kuku

Banke Kuku for Swoon Editions [Nigeria] [Image credit: Milly Chair upholstered in Delta Sola Fabric, by Banke Kuku for Swoon Editions] It appears Swoon Editions is having a thing for African inspired textiles this summer. First, there was Eva Sonaike followed a few weeks later by Julie Kouamo, both of whose limited-edition collaborations sold out by the way. And now the latest collaboration sees the evocative Delta Sola textile from London-based designer Banke Kuku paired with Swoon Editions Milly Chair, and the effect is just stunning.

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Textiles: Eva Sonaike, Swoon Editions Marley Footstool Collaboration

Eva Sonaike for Swoon Editions [Nigeria]   Just spotted Swoon Editions’ Marley Footstool collaboration with London-based textile designer Eva Sonaike. The luxury online furniture and interiors retailer has given one of its designs a spring refresh courtesy of Eva Sonaike’s Wewe fabric from her Aburi Collection. The vibrant pattern features a two-tone green banana leaf against a small banana leaf print background and was inspired by a trip to Aburi Botanical Gardens in Ghana. The collaboration is part of Swoon Edition’s Designer Editions feature, which pairs one of their coveted furniture designs with talented textile designers. A new Designer Editions collaboration is unveiled each […]

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Fashion: Buki Akib Defining African Luxury, Interview for Design Indaba

Buki Akib [Nigeria] [Image credit: Buki Akib Menswear] Buki Akib’s luxurious style, influenced by West African textile traditions captures the imagination. I recently caught up with the highly experimental designer to glean further insight into her work and inspirations. The full feature can be read on Design Indaba. Additional details:for further information about Design Indaba visit: www.designindaba.com [Image credits: The images shown belong to: Buki Akib. If downloaded and used elsewhere must be credited accordingly]

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Textiles: Eva Sonaike Eko Eclipse Collection

Eva Sonaike [Nigeria] [Image credit: Eko Eclipse Collection – Eva Sonaike] London-based textile and lifestyle brand Eva Sonaike launches Eko Eclipse, their latest collection of textiles and soft furnishings that are based on vibrant African prints. The brand’s creative director, Eva Sonaike herself drew inspiration from the West African metropolis that is Lagos, which was formerly known as Eko and was imbued with the folklore of the symbiotic relationship between the earth, the moon and the traditional Gods of the universe, who brought rain, wind, and thunder to the planet.

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Textiles: Yemi Awosile’s Textile Soundscapes

Yemi Awosile [Nigeria]   Also on display at Africa Utopia was a new body of work by London-based textile designer Yemi Awosile. Inspired by her Nigerian heritage Yemi set out to explore the relationships between sound, textiles and space. Entitled Lagos, the installation saw Yemi design a collection of printed textiles that give a physical form to sound. Incorporating audio components, the textiles make use of a combination of sound conductive and non-conductive materials to present a sound piece by Nigerian sound and video artist Emeka Ogboh Yemi called ‘UnderBridge’. Available to listen on Yemi’s website, the recording was taken from […]

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Design: Yinka Ilori and Laduma Ngxokolo Creative Collaboration

Yinka Ilori and Laduma Ngxokolo Last week’s Africa Utopia provided the opportunity to catch up with what was happening creatively in terms of design from and inspired by Africa. One design in particular that caught my attention was a chair comprising an upcycled frame in a matt silver finish, and knitted upholstery covered with striking geometric patterns, and a woven backrest also in matt silver.   

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Design: Ifeanyi Oganwu, Beautifully Engineered Craft

Ifeanyi Oganwu [Nigeria] [Image credit: Blue Splice – Expand Design] Ifeanyi Oganwu is a young talented architect and designer whom I had the honour of profiling for Design Indaba’s online platform. Ifeanyi who works in London is the founder of the experimental design studio Expand Design. His furniture designs are attracting attention for their fluid, organic forms. To find out more about Ifeayni and his work please visit Design Indaba to read the full profile.

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Ceramics: Fine Dining, Artfully Designed

Yinka Shonibare [Nigeria] [Image credit: Yinka Shonibare for Tate, Small Plate – Tate] British/Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE has designed an exclusive range of highly collectable fine bone china dinnerware for Tate, one of the UK’s premier art institutions. The limited-edition collection sees a distinctively patterned tea set and dinner plates inspired by, the Tate’s archives, research Yinka carries out at the institution, as well influences from his own work. The illustrations combine historical text and imagery, which is incorporated into several different collage patterns, based on Yinka’s intricate collage drawings. The patterns are created using an array of media, including the Dutch Wax fabrics Yinka […]

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Architecture: Creating Modern Sustainable Design Solutions for Growing African Cities

NLÉ – The Makoko Floating School Project [Nigeria] [Image credit: Makoko Floating School Project – NLÉ] With the world’s attention on the schoolgirl abductions in Chibok, Nigeria, the right for all to education has once again been brought to the forefront of global consciousness. It was therefore quite touching to see the Makoko Floating School Project, designed by Architect, Design, and Urbanism practice, NLÉ, nominated for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Award 2014 in the architecture category. Although it did not win, the Makoko Floating School Project has been heralded as one of the standout projects from the list of nominees, […]

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Accessories: Colourful Clutches

Gidan Nodza [Nigeria]   Spotted on African fashion boutique My Asho a limited edition collection of colourful patchwork clutches, just in time for spring. Handcrafted by the Nigerian accessories label Gidan Nodza, a myriad of mismatched printed and hand-dyed fabric or leather patches are combined to form the bags. All styles are fully lined and a zip closure completes the look. Head designer Amina Adefala scours local markets for the leather, and the fabric is printed locally produced using traditional techniques like resist dyeing. The patchwork nature of the designs means each bag produced is unique. The patchwork collection extends […]

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Interiors: Modern African Style by DO.II Interior Design

DO.II Designs [Nigeria] Creating customised high-end innovative, yet timeless interior design solutions that showcase contemporary African style and design, Ifeyinwa Ighodalo is a Nigerian interior design industry and furniture manufacturing professional with over twenty-five years in the business. Believing ‘that a home should elicit excitement, joy and pleasure as you come home to it and live in it’ Ifeyinwa founded the company DO.II Designs, with aim of bringing her creative expertise to a range of discerning clients within the country. DO.II Designs works in four key areas encompassing interior design, furniture manufacturing, space planning and remodelling.

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Lifestyle: Designer Journals and Notebooks by Clinton Friedman, Eva Sonaike and Urban Africa

Journals and Notebooks [Nigeria / South Africa] [Image credits: Clinton Friedman – Purely African] When I started this blog I never anticipated how much writing I would end up doing; making notes on paper, on the computer as I’ve let all my thoughts flow out. One thing that strikes me is how ideas for posts and perfectly formed snippets of sentences often appear at the most inconvenient of times when there isn’t a paper, pen or pencil to be found within close range and by the time you’ve found one the moment is lost; the thought evaporated like a puff […]

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Accessories: Solomon Appollo Stylish Clutch Bags

Solomon Appollo [Nigeria] Whilst browsing the online fashion accessories site Boticca, I came across a feature on London based luxury handbag and fashion accessories label, Solomon Appollo who have a gorgeous, colourful range of ‘hard to choose one’ clutch bags. Designed by Ozie Amadi, a graphic designer turned fashion accessories designer who was born and raised in East London; Solomon Appollo is all about cute and convenient stylishness. Solomon Appollo combines Ozie’s European upbringing and her Nigerian culture and heritage, factors, which are a major influence on her design aesthetic. [Image credits: Temple Pillar Clutch Bag – Solomon Appollo] Citing her mother and […]

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Design: Upcycled furniture Inspired by Nigerian Parables

Yinka Ilori [Nigeria] [Image credits: Odd One Out chair at D’apostophe – Yinka Ilori] Dismantling discarded pieces of furniture and reassembling to create entirely new designs has resulted in a unique and innovative range of one-off and made to order furniture pieces, created by Yinka Ilori, a London-based furniture designer. Yinka specialises in sustainable design by upcycling discarded and found furniture pieces, and founded his eponymous label in April 2011; fuelled by an interest in finding creative solutions to challenge the unnecessary waste in modern consumer societies in the West, and through the products he recreates works towards helping to affect positive change.

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Textiles: Legendary Textile Artist Nike Davies Okundaye

Nike Davies Okundaye [Nigeria] [Image credit: Reverse Applique Wall Hanging – Nike Centre for Art and Culture] Inspired by her great-grandmother, a weaver and Adire textile maker/dyer, Nike Davies Okundaye is one of Nigeria’s most celebrated textile artists and painters, as well as a social entrepreneur and philanthropist whose passion and dedication towards reviving her country’s artistic and cultural heritage is truly inspiring. Traditions are so often passed down from generation to generation in the form of vocational hands-on-training, and this was the case for Nike who received no formal training, instead taking what she learned from her great-grandmother and developing her […]

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Lifestyle: Bibi Invitations Reader Offer

Bibi Invitations [Nigeria] [Image credits: Ifenkili – Bibi Invitations] Spotting a gap in the market after an unsuccessful search to find modern invitation designs that showcased her vibrant Nigerian heritage prompted designer Ify Ojo to seriously consider creating her own range and led to the founding of Bibi Invitations; an exquisite range of wedding and special occasion invitations designed to capture the vibrant celebratory spirit of Nigerian, and indeed many African special occasions. The company was officially launched in 2012 by three friends; Ify Ojo and Omena Babalola who are based in Canada, and Chinelo Agazie who is based in the UK. […]

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Accessories: Buki Akib The Wives Luxury Bag Collection for Darkroom

Buki Akib [Nigeria] [Image credits: Buki Akib, Fela, The Wives Bag Collection – Darkroom] Continuing to draw inspiration from Fela Kuti, Nigerian knitwear designer Buki Akib has launched a luxury collection of bags inspired by the legendary singer’s 27 wives. Exclusive to London store, Darkroom; Fela, The Wives is a follow up to Buki’s acclaimed menswear collection, previously featured on the site here. 

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Textiles: Banke Kuku Queen of Colour

Banke Kuku [Nigeria] [Image credit: Victorian Chairs – Banke Kuku] Inspired by a fusion of African and western culture Banke Kuku, is a luxury interiors and textiles company that specialises in innovative printed and woven textiles. Nigerian born and London-based; creative director and founder Banke Kuku draws on her culture and heritage to create bespoke patterns and textiles rich with colour and texture. Her textiles have been used in the collections of some of the world’s leading designers including Duro Olowu, Jasmine di Milo, Burberry; and more recently Jewel by Lisa Spring/Summer 2012, which I previously featured here. Following a show in Milan, […]

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Art: Nigerian Artist Toni Okujeni

Toni Okujeni [Nigeria]   En route to Dakar’s airport is Village des Artes; a thriving community of artists, painters, sculptors based in former worker cottages that have been turned into art studio/workshops, with a central gallery holding exhibitions. The set up and atmosphere of the place took me back to my days at the art department at Harare Polytechnic; fresh out of high school and preparing to embark on a creative career but uncertain of what I wanted to be, and seizing the opportunities to dabble in printmaking, life drawing, painting, ceramics and more whilst surrounded by fellow creatives in the […]

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Textiles: Comfort & Samuel Paying Homage to Africa’s Textile Heritage

Comfort & Samuel [Nigeria] [Image credits: left, Ododo; and right, Osun, Samuel, and Alabi Cushions – Comfort & Samuel] Give your bedroom an instant makeover with a refreshing range of colourful bed linens from Comfort & Samuel. Based in the UK, Comfort & Samuel’s elegant collections, which also include cushions and personal accessories, draw inspiration from African designs and prints by tapping into the Continent’s diverse textile heritage. Comfort & Samuel celebrates styles from the homegrown such as a centuries-old Yoruba printing technique called Adire Eleko, Guinea Brocade characteristed by its high thread count and smooth touch, intense Indigo and the loom woven Aso Oke; […]

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