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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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PPC Imaginarium Awards Supporting South African Art and Design

The PPC Imaginarium Awards is an ambitious South African art and design competition aimed at providing emerging artists and designers with the opportunity to showcase their talents through the medium of concrete. Launched several years ago as a project of the innovation department of South African cement production company, PPC Ltd, the awards have since grown in stature with this years Awards attracting 869 registered entries, from which 55 finalists have been chosen. The PPC Imaginarium Awards features five categories: Film, Industrial Design, Sculpture, Fashion and Jewellery all presenting an array of exciting and imaginative works that demonstrate the versatility and unexpected beauty of concrete. An overall winner will be […]

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Interview: Illustrator Michelle Njeri Cuthbert On Working With Footwear Designers

Working on Fashion Illustration Africa provided a behind the scenes look into the work, inspirations, experiences, and styles of the illustrators we were privileged enough to feature. It was so interesting to see the differing interpretations, and in particular, the contributions these illustrators are making towards growing a commercial African fashion illustration industry by connecting with African fashion brands both on the continent and internationally. Therefore when we caught a first look at the collaboration between textile designer and one of our featured fashion illustrators Michelle Njeri Cuthbert and the luxury footwear brand MO SAÏQUE we caught up with Michelle to find […]

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Fashion Illustration Africa Art Book Introducing A New Generation

  Fashion Illustration is a creative discipline that in recent years has captured the imagination of fashion lovers everywhere, and is by no means a recent phenomenon. The discipline has a rich history of documenting fashion, style and cultural trends long before the advent of cameras and photography led to its decline. Rising and falling in popularity over the decades but never quite reaching the dizzy heights of the past, in recent years Fashion Illustration has witnessed a renaissance on the back of the growing share culture that has been fostered by social media. This has allowed for an abundance […]

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Fashion Illustration And Art By Nigerian Artist Ibe Ananaba

A rising name in contemporary African art and fashion illustration, Nigerian artist 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’ or to ‘show off’. Sélénsé captures the growing interest in African fashion. [Main image credit: ‘I […]

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African Catwalk Captures Africa's Fast Growing Fashion Industry

African Catwalk is a new book by award-winning photographer Per-Anders Pettersson, that takes the viewer on a journey behind the scenes of Africa’s flourishing fashion industry. African Catwalk brings together images shot in 16 countries over a 7  year period, and captures a side to the fashion industry rarely seen by the audience. From the birds-eye view of models parading down a sleek catwalk under the glare of bright lights to the unguarded moments of models waiting their turn African Catwalk documents the details that are making the Africa’s diverse fashion industry one of the most exciting around.  

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Creative Africa Art And Design Comes To Philadelphia

Africa’s creativity is certainly capturing global attention, with seemingly every major city around the world holding or is planning to hold an exhibition dedicated to exploring and showcasing African creativity. In May, Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, saw the opening of  Creative Africa, a new major exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that celebrates African art and design, and runs from May 14, 2016 – September 25, 2016. Creative Africa presents the work of visionary artists throughout Africa and is made up of a series of five individual exhibitions each exploring a distinct theme ranging from contemporary photography, fashion, and […]

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Traditional Nigerian Textiles Meet Contemporary African Design

Ethnik by T.O. is a stylish range of contemporary African design 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. [Main image credits: Ethnik by T.O. – Tunde Olowabi Studios]

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Le Dessein Empowering Young Girls Through Educated Fashion

I love hearing about brands that seek innovative ways to make a difference in the world and was immediately captivated by the story behind Le Dessein, no ordinary fashion brand. Based in the US, Le Dessein uses fashion to educate and empower young girls in developing countries and has a goal of educating 10,000 girls in ten years. And, what is different about the business model is that rather than simply creating a collection and selling the clothes, they have chosen to make the girls they support an active part of the brand. This is achieved by embroidering art sketches […]

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LONDRÉ TAN Fashion Accessories Made in Africa for the Modern Woman

  LONDRÉ TAN is a luxury South African brand of fashion accessories that caters to the modern woman. Based in Johannesburg the brand was launched in 2014 by Lilian Muhammed, a fashion industry entrepreneur. Style, exceptional craftsmanship and luxury epitomizes Londré Tan’s collections which include handbags, belts, and jewellery. Named after a major South African city, each design pays homage to the diversity, rich culture and beauty of the country.

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Picture Africa Exhibition Celebrating African Creativity

“Picture Africa” is an exciting new exhibition that celebrates African creativity, the relationship between photography, textiles, and fashion as seen through a pan-African lens. The exhibition will feature a host of leading African design and creative talent, as well as contributors from bloggers, image-makers, artisans and fashion leaders. Curated by Cathy O’Clery “Picture Africa” is a feature of two 100% Design South Africa events, first taking place at Decorex Cape Town, which runs from 29 April – 2 May 2016, before travelling to Gauteng, where it will be on show at 100% Design South Africa from 5 – 10 August 2016.

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Calling All Emerging Accessory Designers Enter The ABURY Design Experience

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. And, now in its second year, ADEx is an international design competition- held in partnership with Harper’s Bazaar Germany -that builds on […]

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Hermès Collaborates with Ardmore Artisans for The La Marche Du Zambèze Scarf

The luxury French fashion house, Hermès recently launched La Marche du Zambeze, a stunning silk twill scarf that was the result of a collaboration with South African ceramic studio, Ardmore. Celebrating African art and creativity the scarf was designed by Ardmore’s artisans. La Marche du Zambeze is set in the great river lands of the Zambezi tracing its course from the savannah to the delta marshes and features a majestic elephant at its centre, symbolising family and power. Gathered around the elephant are the creatures of his kingdom, giraffe, zebra, leopard, and crocodile. The river’s flora is silhouetted all around […]

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NeoBantu Vibrant Modern African Print Clothing Pays Homage to Africa

Bold patterns, vibrant colours, and contemporary classic silhouettes tailored to fit each wearer are the hallmarks of NeoBantu, a Dallas-based fashion label that was co-founded by pharmacist Tendai Tawonezvi. Hailing from Zimbabwe, NeoBantu is a celebration of Tendai’s heritage; embracing modern African print clothing and pays homage to the wider African continent. The company name is derived from ‘Neo’ meaning new and ‘Bantu’, the peoples, culture and languages of sub-Saharan Africa. [Image credit: Alba Tuxedo Pants and Blazer – NeoBantu]

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Monaa Luxury African Inspired Shoes Made In Ghana

Nothing says summer more than a pair of comfortable, yet chic sandals. And, with the summer holidays having officially started in this part of the world, many a pair will have been tucked away into luggage bound for sun soaked destinations. And, whether or not you are going away for the holidays, every wardrobe needs a pair or two, or three… So just in time for summer, July has seen the launch of Monaa, a stylish collection of luxury African inspired shoes comprising leather sandals and slippers made in Ghana. [Main image credit: Princess Slipper in blue – Monaa]

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Maki & Mpho Modern Luxury African Design Where Asia Meets Africa

With Father’s Day on the horizon, Sunday 21st June for those who need reminding, I thought it would be apt to introduce a brand that focuses its creative attentions on our menfolk. Maki & Mpho, is a US-based textile brand that ‘celebrates the African renaissance’, by working with African designers to develop modern sophisticated prints for menswear accessories. Defining modern luxury African design the collections include elegant ties, pocket squares and bow ties made from silk twill. [Main image credit: SEVEN – Self-tie Diamond Tip Double-sided Bow Tie – Maki & Mpho]

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Luxury South African Accessories Brand Okapi Launches in London

Luxury South African accessories brand Okapi, celebrated the launch of its first shop in London with a stylish summer soiree. Name after the elusive antelope, Okapi, was founded in 2008 by South African painter Hanneli Rupert and offers a stylish array of luxury artisanal handbags and accessories.  [Main image credit: Okapi London Shop – Okapi]

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A A K S Luxury Hand Woven Made In Africa Bags At Anthropologie

Made in Africa Luxury accessories label, A A K S was founded in 2014 by colour-obsessed designer, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, whose passion for all things bright led to the creation of a chic range of handbags handcrafted in Bolgatanga, a region in northern Ghana famed for its longstanding basket weaving traditions. Through A A K S Akosua intended to capture the spirit and durability of this heritage, showcasing the hand weaving techniques to a global audience and in the process help support the artisans and communities the company works with by creating local jobs. A A K S works closely with […]

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Ikire Jones African Inspired Menswear For The Adventurous

Ikire Jones is a visionary African inspired menswear label that celebrates the individual, those not afraid to go against the norm. The Ikire Jones style sees old world tradition combined with contemporary aesthetics in the form of vibrant flamboyant West African textiles and inspiration married with the sophistication of sharp Neapolitan tailoring to create garments that are expertly hand cut and sewn in Philadelphia, USA where the company is based. [Image credit: Escape to New Lagos Collection – Ikire Jones]

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