Aimee Song of Song of Style described bloggers as people who “represent the masses because we’re real people, not supermodels or celebrities, so consumers can relate to us”. Don’t you agree that sometimes the ladies in the magazine are somewhat “distant” from us? and in all honesty relate to a certain demographic?
Olufemi has just started a blog which according to her bio, she is using to shift the discourse about women, especially black women. The fashion darling is not sharing chic outfits – wait for it – she uses illustrations! How amazing is that (excuse the excitement but we love illustrations!).
We caught up Olufemi to get to know her and understand why she chose to use these buzz-worthy and fashionable illustrations to share outfits.
Something tells us that you would be keeping up with Femi’s blog. Read on and Enjoy!
We want to get to know you. Could you tell us. Who is Olufemi?
Femi is diverse, adventurous, fashion forward.
Your bio says you’re a blogger, traveler and unapologetic. How brilliant! How did you decide to present your posts through illustrations – I mean gorgeous illustrations?
well thank you! I think I just decided to make the illustrations as realistic as possible. I really just wanted to make it very..ME. It’s just a reflection of who I am.
Your characters are interesting and unique with strong references towards women and aesthetic. Could you possibly tell us about it? What inspired your art?
I think that showing the world that women can multifaceted is what inspires my art. I’m also in love with seeing other women of color that are into minimalism as well.
When did you begin your journey as a blogger and could you walk us through the process of deciding to start a personal blog and perhaps using illustrations to present your posts / outfits.
Well I’ve always been into fashion. People always ask me where did I get certain items from or how do I get makeup on my avatar. I just thought it was a good idea to start something where I could help other women with their fashion and makeup looks as well. My process with deciding on outfits is pretty much whatever mood I’m in.
Do you have any design and artistic influences?
YES! one of my favorite youtubers/model Nikki Perkins, Patricia Bright and Solange
Are there specific artists, movements, books, or online resources that have been pivotal in your development and daily work?
Definitely I think this whole “loving your melanin” movement inspires a lot of my work. I love having darker skin and I love that black girls are starting to become carefree. It feels like a whole sisterhood.
I must admit I quickly fell in love with each post as I absolutely love illustrations. Which illustrators have inspired you and in what way?
For me it would probably be the ones where I travel. I just love showing and creating different vacations. It just inspires me to travel more and enjoy life.
What’s your favourite art work / illustration so far? Could you share? And why?
I don’t think I have a favorite. I believe all of them speak to me and other women in a different way.
How has your diverse background influenced your work and your outlook in life?
Well I am Senegalese and Cambodian, and those are just two totally different cultures in itself. I think both have taught me that even though the cultures are different the morals are still the same. It helps me relate to people of different cultural backgrounds.
From your bio, you’ve done a lot of travelling, which destinations are your top 3?
Why should we visit. Thailand, Senegal anddd I would have to say Paris. Thailand because it’s breath taking and just super peaceful. Senegal for me was just like visiting home. Paris just gave me the opportunity to dress up and show out lol
What is your “Must Have” when travelling?
My must have is a camera! I love keeping track of all of my memories
You mentioned you want to essentially debunk the stereotypes about black women in the fashion industry. What do you think should happen in terms of fostering conversations around stereotypes in fashion?
I think that black women are so diverse! We can be avante garde and soft as well. We aren’t only baby oil and swimsuits, I think that once we stop sexualizing black women we can get to a place where the content isn’t all about the body.
Do you have any particular projects that you are excited about? Would you like to share.
Right now I don’t have anything lined up, but I am excited about my journey as a blogger in general!
What’s next for you and your blog?
I really would like to be able to partner with other companies! Hopefully that happens for me.
What: Receive up to 50% off online when you post a picture of you and a friend wearing Pichulik from 9th -12th August
Instruction: Just use the tag #pichulikcelebrateswomen
Formerly known as Totally Ethnik, let’s welcome the rebranded version Nadrey Laurent.
The press release to announce the new brand name, Nadrey Laurent, tells us that this a story of evolution – “A More Personal Meaning, A Stronger Identity”.
Nadrey in Bété (a language in Cote D’Ivoire) means My heart, My love while Laurent is means My Father, My Strength, and My Pride. The new branding is inspired by a much more authentic and personal element. The designer claims it’s by the bold, serene and always elegant, father, “Nadrey Laurent”.
What are we expecting then from Nadrey Laurent?
The brand claims it is propelled to dream bigger, push further, achieve greater. Nadrey Laurent is therefore an invitation to an effortlessly chic yet undeniably refined lifestyle.
Take a seat…
For Nadrey Laurent’s latest collection, Colors of the Earth, the brands heads towards a more unique personality.
“Colors of the Earth” collection revolutionizes Nadrey Laurent’s mission to create apparels with appealing inspiration that convey Elegance, Luxury and Essence” says Marie Kipre, the CEO.
The Spring Summer 2017 collection shows warmth and beauty through colorful prints, orchid appliqués, sequins and other embellishments.
Colors of the Earth resonates from a background of rich and saturated earthy colors of brown, orange, mustard and desert sand expressed in original African fabrics such as batik, faso dan fani mixed with crepe, lace, satin and knit fabric.
Let’s have a look at the full collection below:
What do you think of this collection? We think it’s brilliant.
We would like to know your thoughts below.
The brand currently stocks shops in Paris, Geneva, Accra, Lagos, Abidjan, and Kigali and have participated in key fashion shows in Belgium, France, Ghana and Nigeria.
Facebook: Nadrey Laurent
Shop: 24 Jungle Avenue, East Legon-Accra
Designer: Marie Kipre
Models : Naadei, Kenza & Nii Otoo
MUA: Makeup by Asare
Stylist: Sarah Ferdjani
Accessories: Odara, Muggs Jewellery
Directed by: Mareep Production
The global trend authority in fashion and creative industries, WGSN, presented its first major press event in Cape Town. They partnered with some of Africa’s leading creatives, designers and up-and coming trailblazers. WGSN’s Chief Content Officer, Carla Buzasi presented 4 key African trends in the forefront of African design for 2017 and 2018.
Photographers and creatives Trevor Stuurman, Ed Suter, Gabrielle Kannemeyer and Travys Owen and fashion designers Chu Suwannapha and Nicholas Coutts and Cleo Droomer contributed in putting the trends together.
‘The African retail value chain has been significantly disrupted over the past few years and retailers and suppliers need to have a clear point of differentiation and confidence in their design execution,’ says Hannari Slabbert, WGSN regional director for Africa. ‘Added to that is a complex consumer mix who are increasingly influenced by international media and expect a contemporary offering in-store.’
In order to further expand their trend content across Africa in 2017, WGSN will feature reports covering:
- African trends in womenswear, colour, materials, accessories and beauty
- Consumer insights, influencers, lifestyle & interiors, and menswear trends in South, East and Western Africa
The Key African Trends in Decor, Design, Fashion and Culture:
The event uncovered 4 key African trends identified in Decor, Design, Fashion and Culture for 2017 and 2018.
Winter always brings with it a darker mood and sense of melancholy. WGSN calls the 2017 winter season that of “bittersweet beauty” with a blurring of the boundaries between night and day. This particular trend will extend into autumn/winter 2018. To illustrate how this will play out, WGSN chose Cape Town label Droomer alongside H&M’s 2017 Conscious Exclusive collection.
Droomer’s loungewear suit and oversized gold sports-inspired garments give an unexpectedly understated cold-weather sense of luxury. To show that fashion can be sustainable and sensual, the event had a model decked in H&M’s black organic silk suit teamed with fitted trousers with flamenco-inspired frills on the legs with a fluid draped jacket.
We must admit that disruption and discomfort are central to this trend, which embraces the darkness that comes before light. Xandre Kriel’s Samosa Table and Night Chair/Nagstoel from the Southern Guild translated this blurring of night and day into décor.
An artwork by photographer Krisjan Rossouw provided an equally opulent backdrop as did a video loop of bright New York nights and the bustling streets of Cape Town set to Max Richter’s gentle music to bring home the juxtaposition.
Together with an ever-increasing tendency to turn to screens for everything, our instincts are kicking in and prompting an urge to reconnect with nature. This will play out in a variety of micro- and macroscopic designs and a preference for colours that can ground us.
Most notably this trend encompasses the intense colours of the skies just before dawn or dusk as well as gold ochre, saffron, blue flame and dark berry.
“As the name ‘Earthed’ suggests, there is a strong link to the farm-to-table movement that now extends to fitting rooms too as fashion becomes increasingly ‘home-grown’ and incorporates more and more local materials,” says Carla Buzasi. This mood was made tangible by an installation by Kraak that allowed guests to feel the soil beneath their feet in addition to the natural bacteria and yeast used in Slippery Spoon’s laboratory installation.
Come summer and renewed youthful vigour always sets in. Summer 2018 will remind us that youth is a state of mind. As the world population ages and Gen Z, Gen X and Boomers live longer than previous generations; we will see eras blending in new ways. Different generations will break the rules of what applies to them and remix styles and lifestyles. It’s about the random, about striking out and finding what fits you. That’s already happening!
Everyone wants to be forever young. We will learn to embrace the random and the unfinished, reaching out to untapped areas of influence. We will be exploring beyond social-media feeds as discovery becomes the new exclusivity in spring/summer 2018.
Electric colours and neon pops are matched and clashed but beneath the surface zing there are complementary tones such as blues that work in harmony with their poppy counterparts. An installation of fake flowers and kitsch furnishings brought the trend into the home by embracing the unfinished and random to emphasise that art is the new fashion.
WGSN believes that Kinship overlaps with all three of the previous trends. It is characterised by an increased sense of community where art and design crosses borders around the globe. Just like the disappearing generation gap, cultures and histories will meld as people continue to move around the world, whether physically or virtually.
Kinship is about cultures and collectives that forge an increased sense of community. The curves of the East will increasingly enhance the lines of the West. Storytelling will play an ever more important role in connecting people around products and projects through vivid tales of places, histories and cultures.
The works of photographers Trevor Stuurman, Ed Suter, Travys Owen and Gabrielle Kannemeyer brought this concept home by placing strongly traditional elements such as Basutho blankets and ochre-covered Himba in non-cultural settings.
Three fashion designers who are known for spanning cultures showed how they interpret this trend, Chu Suwannapha of Chulaap who has been celebrating the prints and colours of Africa since the label’s inception, mille collines who straddles Africa with contemporary, cosmopolitan fashions made in Africa for African women, and Nicholas Coutts, who combines fabrics such as South African mohair and acid denim to take menswear in a welcome new direction.
“The end result is an upbeat palette that goes easy on the darks. Earthy reds ranging from Red Mulberry and Dark Orchid to more traditional summery hues like Baked Coral and Rose Madder are a defining feature. Dark Ginger and Golden Spice lend intensity to the palette, while Blue Sage, Washed Indigo and Horizon Blue offer a calming balance,” says Carla Buzasi.
As Carla Buzasi said, “Craft is a key influence in décor but it isn’t about a folksy take on interiors. Instead we will see a blending of textiles and design that shows an appreciation of global culture.”
Credit: Jenna McArthur PR
Calling all the cool kids in the building to come and check this out. Mr Garbe’s is bringing the Lagos’ good vibes spirit in this lookbook. We love us some T-shirts for Spring-Summer! The limited edition collection was inspired by music, culture, free spirit and style that the average Lagos youth exudes.
This pizzaz is undetermined by likes but impressions and reach uninfluenced by peer pressure or the will to fit in.
The collection is made up of 2 tees and a relaxed basketball-inspired Jersey design in black and white.
The collection is available for purchase now at www.mrgarbe.com and will be available at the festival via the Pop up shop.
Creative direction: Bella Adeleke (@bellaadeleke)
Photography: Jerrie Rotimi (@jerrie_rotimi)
Make up: Olubunmi Williams (@bfsartistry)
Oluwatoyin Jolapamo: @thesohosister
Timini Egbuson: @_timini
Aisha Bello: @xieshaaieshax
Model : @nafeesa_butu for @gimodels
Nigerian fashion design brand Cynthia and Angel Studios debuts first collection for Spring Summer 2017. We’re told the brand is an Abuja-based upscale womenswear brand that caters to the sartorial needs of today’s woman.
Launching a brand requires a minimum level of focus. To a certain degree the process can be tedious, business and creative-wise. While we would like to provide our honest view on first timers, we have to acknowledge the effort of the creative director for putting this collection together. The collection is inspired by everyday women according to the press report. Similarly, many other collections we have profiled bring the same rhetoric.
Women like all of us: The weak and the strong; the dependent and the independent; the powerful and the powerless, because just like clothes, there’s no one type of a woman, and it’s these different women that inspired this collection.
Can we perhaps advise that African designers ought to be more precise in the description of who their target clients are? The inspiration though is seen in the white dress but to be frank not in the other outfits. What does an every day woman look like? What does she wear? Where does she work? How old is she? What does she like? The reflection of every type of woman can not be easily mirrored through just one collection. Is it wrong to assume?
Agreed that the inspiration may be vague, we see the casual side of the everyday woman perhaps in the choice of footwear (Sliders are in vogue!). The model seems carefree as she duns her beautiful afro cut which seems to fit every look from the Cynthia and Angel Studios collection. The collection mixes different textiles. We see velvet, lace and cotton dominating the looks. Though, velvet pairs quite well with lace, the collection could have been more striking with statement pieces. We definitely like the first piece without a doubt!
However, this may not seem to be on our top list of favourite collections, but we’re looking forward to more collections from Cynthia and Angel Studios that recognises the competition in Africa’s fashion market.
Tip: Make sure you stand out!
Please support the designer by checking out their instagram page and clicking the contact button for enquiries! 😉
Have a look at the gallery below for the full collection. Let us know your thoughts.
Our instagram family love it!
In times where diversity remains a topic of discussion most especially in fashion, South African brand Mille Collines takes a stand with their new AW17 Collection: We Become One.
Shown at Salt River Studios, Cape Town, on 7 April 2017 as part of African Fashion International (AFI) – Official Page MercedesBenz Fashion Week Cape Town, the collection is a proof that diverse cultures and creative expression can produce a harmonious whole. A good example comes from the founders – Ines Mille and cofounder and creative director Marc Collines moved from Spain to set up shop in Kigali, Rwanda, before relocating to Cape Town and joining forces with Kenyan designer Namnyak Odupoy.
“In a world where differences are increasingly emphasised and where people are divided and separated, it seemed fitting to celebrate the rich beauty that comes from combining many different influences. We wanted to celebrate the fact that, despite parochial thinking in some quarters, the world is becoming more of a mélange every day,” says founder and director of mille collines, Inés Mille. “Therefore the theme for this collection is ‘we become one’.”
With social, political and economic imbalances we see in the world, the collection comes at such a great moment as a reminder that we do become one.
“This collection takes its inspiration from the Swahili that live along Africa’s east coast. We were especially drawn to the fact that the Swahili culture is made up of African, Persian and Arab influences expressed in the wood carvings in their architecture, the colourful kanga they wear and their natural woven hats and carpets,” says Collines. “It is an example of how the world is coming together and how new interpretations of culture are coming alive today.”
Milles Collines collection is essentially simple from the outset. Yellow, blue and grey play key roles in the presentation bringing everyday comfort and harmony with a strong African influence. The collection is relaxed and flowy but not careless. Inspired by coastal breeze, the fabrics are predominantly crepes, matt satins and cottons contrasted with layers of heavier cotton knit jacquard. Taking their cue from the vibrant kanga designs, the tunic and shirt dresses, knitted jackets and relaxed trousers are more colourful than previous ranges. Lively prints offset neutral fabrics like the intricate wood carvings that adorn the Lamu architecture and touches of bold banana yellow and turquoise evoke the colours of the sea and beach.
Mille collines fans will be happy to know that their typical monochrome and neutral shades of grey and sand are there too and live alongside the new vibrant blue and green designs with bold prints. The prints were done in collaboration with Japanese designer Tomoko Kotsuji who has been working on the continent and particularly in Kenya and Senegal. Her Japanese influence has brought a whole new element and restrained character to traditional Swahili kanga designs.
The new range of extra-large Maxi straw hats were conceived and created by Crystal Birch, designer, stylist and milliner extraordinaire. “We love her creativity and how she is pushing the limits of headgear with innovative shapes, proportions and materials,” says Mille. The show opened with a range of flowy, printed dresses in very fresh colours accessorised with Birch’s hats. In a further nod to East Africa, the hats appeared styled together with draped fabrics as head coverings, evoking the Islamic dress and culture of the region.
All models wore sneakers from spree.co.za, which brought a street feel to the collection and is in line with mille collines’ urban character and the designers’ commitment to creating wearable, practical ready-towear fashion.
The garments, accessories and jewellery will be released in a series of capsule collections with the first becoming available immediately after the show and the last in May 2017. The collection will be available at mille collines’ stores in Nairobi, Kenya as well as online at millecollinesafrica.com
Facebook: mille collines
Instagram: mille collines
Photography credits: Jonx Pillemar
Show producer: Deon Redman Creative Production
In times where women empowerment and sisterhood celebration is at their peak, Aku+Vi brand launches a brand that brings it all into perspective.
The press release states that Aku+Vi stands for “the vivacious and empowered young sister and friend every modern woman needs.” Launched on Tuesday at the very quirky Untamed Empire Concept Store in Ridge, Accra, which houses 1981, Ann Milinery, Bello Edu, Caven Etomi, Totally Ethink to name a few. The fashion label derived its name “Aku” from a girl born on Wednesday, originated from the “ewe” tribe in Ghana, and Vi to mean Vibrant; thus Aku+Vi comes to reveal a true reflection of our own uniqueness and self-awareness.
The founder Nana K. Brenu, happens to be the designer behind luxury brand 1981. The new sister brand Aku+Vi has been launched to celebrate sisterhood and contemporary life. The ideal client is a girl that is woke i.e conscious of her surroundings and in touch with her heritage through her silhouettes, sense of style and enthusiasm. Nana K. Brenu comments that “Aku+Vi garments are youthful, on trend and have feminine silhouettes that are not too girly at affordable prices”. He adds that the rationale behind the new brand is “Every woman needs a sister and Aku+Vi is that sister who is in to celebrate and share in the beautiful experiences of life”.
The Aku+Vi debut collection channels Modern Renaissance. Modern Renaissance collection was inspired by the need to see the “Aku+Vi” girl rediscovering who she is and proud of what she discovers while taking on the world
The launch sees a presentation of 9 models, each dunning a piece of the collection. They are seen through the “Imagination TV” concept from the Beast of No Nation Movie, playing with the imagination of the viewers who can only wish to wear the beautiful pieces.
Aku+Vi is a fun, trendy and easy to wear brand with bold, graphic and batik prints, but with fine details, to match the taste of the vivacious modern girl.
Have a look at our fave shots from the event and don’t forget to place your orders. The brand contact is below.
For further information, kindly contact +233 208530011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.