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Architect Ifeanyi Oganwu Branches Out Into Jewellery Design

Ifeanyi Oganwu the Nigerian-born architect known for his organic shaped furniture designs has expanded into jewellery design with his debut collection for Elisabetta Cipriani. A London-based gallery that invites international artists, designers and creative’s to create contemporary jewellery pieces or limited edition series, which are then showcased by, and sold through the gallery.

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LIHA Beauty Inspired By West African Skin Care Traditions

We have gone through a cold snap of late, the icy winter winds contrasted with the drying effects of central heating leaving skin feeling skin a bit distressed. Whether you are in a cold or hot climate, it is important to protect your skin as each season comes with its own set of challenges that can be harmful to exposed skin if you do not care for it properly. And with more of us shunning chemical-laden products in favour of natural skincare ones it can be tricky to find natural products that are what they say they are. So had […]

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Design: Designer Ifeanyi Oganwu and Artist Pheobe Boswell Collaborate with Toghal Textiles

Dotted around the lounge at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair was a collection of colourful, contemporary seating by product designer Ifeanyi Oganwu, African inspired textiles design brand Toghal and jewellery designer Artist Phoebe Boswell. Ifeanyi was approached by Dayo Forster, Toghal’s founder to create a seating structure on which to present their cylindrical bolster cushions.

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Exhibition: Fashion Illustration and Art by Nigerian Artist Ibe Ananaba

Ibe Ananaba [Nigeria] [Image credit: ‘I Beta Pass My Neighbour’ (1) – Ibe Ananaba] A rising name in contemporary African art Nigerian artist and fashion illustrator Ibe Ananaba opened his solo exhibition a few days ago at the Rele Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria. Entitled Sélénsé the exhibition is a body of contemporary works that tell the story of people’s way of expression through fashion. Ananaba took inspiration from the streets, taking the viewer on a visual exploration of everyday fashion. Looking at how fashion is worn, interpreted, and flaunted. Fitting given that the term Sélénsé is a local slang term meaning to ‘flaunt’ […]

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Design: The Aga Concept African Inspired Cooking Utensils And Accessories

The newsletter of textile designer Eva Sonaike introduced me to a stylish range of African inspired cooking utensils by The Aga Concept, a design and lifestyle brand that is inspired by the culture and everyday living in Africa. For a lot of Zimbabweans living abroad, and most likely for a lot of Africans in general, cooking traditional food is simply not the authentic experience we crave without the traditional utensils from home, usually brought back on every trip, because buying and using that wooden spoon or pestle and mortar from your local store is somehow just not the same. Our […]

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Fashion: Ethnik by T.O. Weaves Aso Oke to Combine Tradition & Modernity

Ethink by T.O. [Nigeria] [Image credits: Ethnik by T.O. – Tunde Olowabi Studios] Ethnik by T.O. is a stylish range of footwear and fashion accessories made with beautifully woven Aso Oke, a traditional Yoruba textile. The collection, launched in 2015, is the brainchild of photographer and designer Tunde Olowabi, who by tapping into his heritage is adding to the diverse creative voices shaping contemporary African design

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Textiles: Eva Sonaike Introduces the FALOMO Collection Inspired by Mid-Century African Architecture

Eva Sonaike   [Image credit: FALOMO collection – Eva Sonaike] ​London- based textile design studio, Eva Sonaike unveiled FALOMO, their latest textile collection at Maison & Object. Featuring a soft spring-fresh colour palette of lilacs, pinks and greys accentuated with bold purple and green hues, the Falomo collection is inspired by mid-century African architecture from the late 1940’s. Also referred to as ‘Tropical Modernism’, the architectural style combined western building styles with local building traditions.

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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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