Africa Athleisure: Culturally inspired Sportswear

There is no better time to get into shape than the summer! With the many tempting foods and grand adventures you will be consuming this summer your health must not be compromised, so that you can eat more and enjoy more ofcourse. Here are some of our favorite culturally inspired sportswear brands that will encourage you to stay fit for all of your summer fun. 

Koko Celeste brings the vibrancy of Nigeria into its sports wear. Boost your confidence and stand out in this ankara print inspired Razor training ensemble. 

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Lornah Sports is quite an intricately designed sportswear brand. It’s new “Maraa” collection is inspired by the unique traditions of the Masai. The Masai’s authentic way of life is translated throughout the color variations and symbolisms used in the collection. The brand promotes stylish and functional clothing that celebrates a healthy lifestyle. 

 

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Tigerlily Gym Wear is a great gym wear brand giving you everything from performance wear leggings to running jackets. Launched by Nigerian celebrity stylist Lilian Unachukwu TigerLily Gym Wear prides itself in being the go to place for sports gear in Africa and abroad.  

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Osei Duro has collaborated with lululemon to give you the perfect pieces for your sportswear essentials. The brand exercised their signature Ghanaian batik textile throughout sports bra tops and matching leggings, shorts and tanks, and even swimwear. 

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SoTribal  creates ankara print sweatshirts. Both stylish and comfortable, they are perfect for your cool morning runs or cool summer nights. 

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An example of true possibilities: Nigerian Label Remay Couture showcases in Sweden

Nigerian based fashion label Remay Couture is expanding its global influence into Sweden. This past June, Remay Couture recently unveiled its 2016 collection at the Gavle Moter Afrika, an even hosted by the Rapatac Organization in Gavle. Sweden. Many designers from Africa showcased and Remay Couture  stood as one of representatives of Nigeria.  

The collection received quite the applause for its unique juxtaposition of African textiles with lace, chiffon, and taffeta. When asked about the growth of the African fashion industry Remay Couture Creative Director, Ose Amusa-Eke responded that Africa has become a melting pot for several young and talented designer. She claimed that the future of African fashion lies in its ability to continuously innovate designs and processes in order to produce excellent quality fashion that will be acceptable across the world. 

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Amusa-Eke truly believes that the more Nigerian fashion houses are seen and celebrated on various international platforms, the more opportunities they will be exposed to. This will in turn create a positive ripple effect on Nigerian economy. She believes that young Nigerians with dreams of starting their own fashion business need to be able to see and believe that anything is possible. We thank you Amusa-Eke for being an example to those young designers who need to see what can be possible in Africa. 

Shop Remay Couture at www.remaycouture.com

Instagram: www.instaram.com/remaycouture.com

Order Line: +234 7087167795

A new generation envisioned by Senegalese Label Selly Raby Kane

The spirit of a new generation is being born that is assertive, rebellious, free spirited, and sophisticated. This is the generation of Selly Raby Kane, a contemporary clothing line created in 2008 by Senegalese designer Selly Raby. These characteristics are vibrantly shown throughout the brand with a strong influence of worldly details. However, the strength of the brand comes from reconceptualizing the recognizable into something quite refreshingly new. Selly Raby’s creations portray a deconstruction of traditional and contemporary fabrics and the result of fusing the two. Patches of ankara print are reapplied as embroidered trims on a skirt or as panel print on the back of a bomber jacket. It is a mix of influences and trends for a unique and uninhibited style with attention to detail and a passion for accessories. 
 
In this F/W 16-17 collection, called “Sahel Under Waves”,  Selly Raby Kane reconnects a woman with her dreams, and reimagines her interactions with the world through bright colors, high contrasts and surreal embroidery. This collection is an ode to taking a step within and reconnecting with one’s inner architecture which involves childhood, playfulness, and constant motion. From Jacquards and wool to ankara trims and leather fringe the collection is truly a modern rendering of urban afro pop soul ties; strong, colorful, and free. Check out the Look book below
 
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Your not too late! Our top 5 favorite Father’s Day gifts

I know we’re late but it seems like that is the deal with father’s day in general. The chaos for father’s day is completely the opposite, if not non-existent,  compared to the chaos of mother’s day. Sometimes that effects how we elevate the celebration of the male figures in our life. Well wether you missed it on the actual day or not celebrate the man in your life with gifts that express his uniqueness. Here are our top 5 favorite father’s day gifts that are sure to get the job done right!

1. Post Imperial 

A tie is the first thing we think of for Father’s Day. Make your gift less cliche with a tie from Nigerian based menswear label Post-Imperial. Post Imperial puts a new spin on the traditional menswear by using lighter weight breathable fabrics in bold colors and details. Choose from a range of ties and pocket squares. Give your father figure accessories that express his personality.
 
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Adriaan Kuiters is definitely not for the conservative father type! This Captetown meanswear brand provides refreshing interpretations on traditional menswear by fusing it with a unique African perspective. Adriaan Kuiters Graphic Tees are perfect for the risky and the playful. Fit, cut, and detail are still underlining foundation to this menswear brand but so is attitude! 
 
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With the rolled hem trend still very previlant in menswear fashion every detail down to the sock must be just right. South African based knitwear brand Maxhosa by Laduma has some very unique and funky styles  that will play up any look. 
 
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Knowing that the second go to cliche Father’s day gift are button up shirts,  make your choice more thoughtful with button ups from Laurence Airline. The Haitian inspired brand is infused with great prints and color all wrapped up in classic silhouettes that fit well exude great sophistication. 
 
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The Nigerian based label collaborated with Kene Rapu in making the Fisherman Sandal. Each sandal is handcrafted by local craftsmen in Nigeria. The fisherman sandal is great for a casual weekend look. Hey, dad needs a break from his work shoes too! And while you are at it, give him a great weekend bag as well!
 
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Grey Velvet presents official campaign “Chateau Grey Velvet”

Grey Velvet, Nigeria’s leading fashion retail chain, unveils “Chateau Grey Velvet”, a campaign featuring modern and chic clothing that epitomizes all the company has to offer. Grey Velvet provides the very best of premium Nigerian fashion hosting brands of the best  aesthetic  and quality. Brands featured in the campaign include Grey, Ejiro, Amos Tafiri, Bland2Glam, Orange Culture, Ituen Basi, Fia Factory, Kamokini, Aimas and Grey Velvet in-house labels- Isi brown and Frankie & Co. All featured pieces are available in Grey Velvet Stores

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CREDITS

STYLING & CREATIVE DIRECTION

Adebayo Okelawal-@theorangener

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Emmanuel Oyeleke- @emmanueloyeleke 

 

MAKEUP

 Akhetuamen Eseose-@eseosebrownie

 

HAIR STYLING

 Fabulouse-@fabulousking1

 

MODELS

Chinny – Catch22

Mimi- Zaharra

Temi- Few Models

African Fashion Swimwear: Dip Into Print

Our temperature is rising. We’ve delved into a sea of designer catalogues, whose swimwear designs raise our temperature and have us aching for a dip into any body of water. Here are a few designs that are inspired by Africa or designed by African designers. Listen,  you may want to add these items to your pool of “must-haves” for the summer.

 

 Andrea Iyamah is a clothing line strongly inspired by color and ethnic culture. Enriched with a very sexy retro-boho vibe, Nigerian designer Dumebi Iyamah creates collections that will definitely stop the show. 

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Okun is a London based brand made for the vibrant ones, who love life and celebrate adventure and discovery.  

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Lalesso is an exclusively summer lifestyle label made in Kenya and South Africa. The unique silhouettes and print savvy designs are effortless and a fresh take on classic swimwear.

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Nakimuli is quite the sassy brand! Made for the bold and daring forward thinking woman, Nakimuli aims to go beyond the traditions of womenswear. Embrace love of self at any size with these vivacious designs.

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Bantu is a socially conscious brand created and produced in Africa. The brand seeks to spread the joy of African beach culture globally through funky wax prints and some seriously good vibes. 

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Cameroonian-American brand NYORH AGWE promotes individuality

As a Cameroonian- American nomad, Nyorh Agwe knows a thing or two about losing self and why it is so important to find it. She states, ” Way too many people try to tell you who you are or ought to be and often that definition starts with appearance.”

Nyorh Agwe has been manipulating fashion as a way to explore herself and the environments that feed her identity. From her explorations her creations become very personable and much more than just materialistic. With a core vision in multi-functionality, her designs give her wearer a chance to create themselves. Take for example a bonded Linen Wrappa from the NA15 “M’ba M’etta- We the Metta People” Collection. The wrappa can be worn in four different styles; as a wrap skirt, an empire skirt, a strapless dress, as well as a cape. The diversity of the collection allows one to not only be their own trend setter, but the ultimate composer of their identity.

“A culture is its People and a People are their culture. If you can alter one you will alter the other. Dress is a part of culture. Who knows, maybe fashion can be an outlet to liberate us all.” – Nyorh Agwe 

Check out more of her work on www.nyorhagwe.us 

Prints that do good and look good: Meet fashion’s best friends

 

Prints can be tricky! And not all of us are slim and tall. But that does not mean you can’t pull off  wearing prints effortlessly! Here are some style guidelines when you’re thinking of adding prints to your looks. 

Stripes

Stripes are a timeless print and a must-have-closet-essential. You only need to remember this; horizontal stripes will make things bigger, vertical stripes make things smaller, and diagonal stripes will do either or. With stripes you are playing with direction to illustrate your desired shape. Wear horizontal stripes on the areas where you would like to look bigger and wear vertical stripes on areas you would like to slim down. Expand into combination stripe patterns to really convey your desired silhouette. As in this pin-striped DKNY dress, add diagonal stripes into your combo to illustrate a curvier silhouette.

DKNY, Studio 189, Electric Feathers, Ports, LemLem, Duro Olowu

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Block Repeat

 Block repeats are great for every shape and size. Because the motif lays in an organized left to right direction equivalent both in distance and in size the work is already done for you. Remember, however, that in wearing block repeats the scale of the motif is very important. The larger the motif the larger those areas will appear. Use this to your advantage as well, as in Nyorh Agwe’s Raffia print combo, using small scale repeats to decrease and larger scale repeats to increase.

Lisa Folawiyo, Nyorh Agwe, Stella Jean, Maki Oh

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Grand Scale

Panel Prints are a very fresh alternative to all-over print repeat. Because a panel print is simply a single enlarge image with no grid repeat, this means you must be smart with color and placement. Like in ChiChia London dress where a panel print that places brighter colors an areas you wish to accent and draw attention to and darker colors on areas you wish to appear more slimming. 

Daniela Gregis, ChiChia London, Landre de Silva Ajayi, Sindiso Khumal

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Opacity

If you are not into the print craze at all there is still a place for you! Try a print in a low opacity like this Mille Colline’s Cardigan in a subtle grey motif on white chiffon. Because opacity prints will always be in close coordination to the background color it will make it super easy to add into your closet without you having to re-adjust too much.

Sindiso Khumalo, Mille Collines, Sophie Zinga

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Asos Africa : Fashion Must Haves

Tis the season for maxi dresses, jumpsuits, and wide leg pants. And we’re bringing you a list of must-have  trends and styles from Africa, compliments of our partnership with Asos! From the runways of Asos into our closets, here are pieces you need (em em, aka you may want to wear to New York Fashion Week Africa 2016 in September). 

 

THE WIDE LEG PANT

The high waisted wide leg pant is made out of woven fabric, in a multi color tile print. The cut of the pant allows some friendly with the cool summer breeze yet is quite a hot look for the summer wouldn’t you say?

The pants are part of the Eco Edit, by ASOS Africa Made in Africa Collaboration with Chichia and their partner SOKO Kenya. 

The stretch pant is unlined, 100% Viscose, and has a straight fit- cut with a straight leg. The gorgeous model wears a UK 8/EU 36/US 4 and is 180cm/5’11” tall . Click on the image below to purchase. 

 


THE JUMPSUIT

Sold Out.  The news is quite painful. I won’t torture you further with details.  But keep scrolling. We have other jumpsuits for you. However, just incase you think we’re keeping secrets….. Click on the image below, but it’s SOLD OUT.  

 

Asos Africa Fashion Week 2

 Here is another jumpsuit (not sold out), but with straps. Click on the image below to purchase. 

 

 

THE MAXI DRESS |

This long sleeve maxi dress, is made from a soft woven fabric, with a fun flirty slit. It’s zip back fastening allows for the dress to fall softly at curves, making it fit true to size.  This dress (again) is brought to you by ASOS Africa Made in Africa collaboration with Chichia and their partner SOKO Kenya.  . Click on the image below to purchase. 

 

THE SHIRT DRESS |

Borrowing style tips from a man’s dress shirt, never looked better. The midi shirt dress’s intricate fan print details etched into woven fabrics, with soft blue hues is quite the chill piece for the summer.  . Click on the image below to purchase. 

 

Who Decides Inspiration From Africa: Revisiting Junya Watanabe Spring 2016 Menswear

Junya Watanabe, a well-known Japanese designer who works under the auspice of Comme des Garçons, presented his mens’ collection in Paris on June 26. The inspiration of his collection? Africa. 

The casting of models were ‘unblemished’ by black models. Models were shackled with artifacts, however, then lambasted with vibrant prints and patterns–all in attempt to give ode to mother Africa. 

Whether one is satisfied or not about the state of fashion from Africa, nevertheless it remains that Africa is, and will always remain, a source of inspiration for the global fashion industry. Junya Watanabe Spring 2016 Menswear collection is an example of a new form of inspiration that requires interrogation, not only because it displayed no black models, but because inspiration from Africa was relegated (as described by Tim Blanks of Style.com) to accessories—beads, bones, fetish objects— collected from a couple of Parisian stores that specialize in African artifacts.

A study of Junya’s new collection inevitably finds one asking the question: “Who decides inspiration from Africa?” How, for example, can a collection personify Africa with artifacts from Paris? This fragile connection between Africa and the global fashion industry is exemplified further in Now Fashion’s description of the collection as a cross between “preppy and native African culture.” The site goes on to suggest that the collection is “very much like the African man in his traditional outfit looking down onto an apparently preserved landscape.” Nothing about this collection provides any understanding about Africa or even the African man, but the “knee-jerk negativism” Tim Blanks alluded to, as well as the white male models with dreadlock wigs, Masai necklaces, wooden masks, and metal spears, all highlight the need to better understand who decides what inspiration from Africa entails. The need to also rethink the relationship between Africa and the global fashion industry is also now more expedient than ever. So we ask, “Who decides inspiration from Africa?” Please leave us your thoughts and opinions below.

“A” Team –  Adiree

African Fashion Discussion Junya Watanabes Africa Themed Fashion Show