An abundance of Pinterest inspiration awaits you ,with all things Afri-fabulous and much much more. Here are some of my favourite Pinners and a few images to give you a taste of what to expect from their boards …
I came across beaded jewellery by Sidai Designs at a Shake the Dust stall during the Open the Gate African market at Old Spitalfields. I loved the different spin on Maasai-inspired jewellery and the quality finishing.
Sidai Designs collaborates with Maasai women in Tanzania who use recycled materials to create the handmade
Gurunsi ethnic group consists of different sub-groups in northern Ghana and southern Burkina Faso who do not speak the same language but, share similar socio-economic organisation and are known for their fortified houses. Characteristic of Gurunsi architecture are the ornate patterns that adorn the houses.
Exclusively stocking design produced in Africa, Merchants on Long is very high on my list for when I eventually visit Cape Town. It’s really exciting to see how the brand has expanded to now include…
Lupita fever has been such a colourful ride and I’m sure has challenged a lot of us to up our style game! I’ve loved her red carpet dresss (that yellow figure-hugging number with the super V-neck is a particular favourite – you know how I love yellow) but, I’ve found studio shoots such as the ones here, much more interesting. The colours, the shapes, the patterns!
Last week I had the pleasure of finally meeting Annegret Affolderbach, the founder of London-based womenswear label, Choolips, in person.
Having featured Choolips designs on the blog before, it was great to meet the amazing woman behind the brand. Annegret's passion for what she's doing – championing high quality craftsmanship; reviving ancient textile traditions; empowering the local artisans and entrepreneurs behind them; operating with small water and carbon footprints – is infectious. She is a rebel, in the best sense of the word, on a mission to make the world a better place. With exquisite style and beautiful stories. Yes, we can have all this!
Online store, Soko, sells handcrafted jewellery made by artisans in emerging economies, using natural and upcycled materials. They "fashion a better world" through craft, technology and trade. I'm loving the technological angle – leveraging the fact that online sales overtook retail sales years ago and leveraging how empowering mobile money has been in Africa. An apparent win-win for everybody.
I'm also enjoying the bold geometric nature of the accessories above from Soko's 'Kenyan collection'.
Watch the animation below for the Soko model. I'm looking forward to checking them out at PURE London today.
I'm delighted to share this interview with Dayo Forster, Co-Founder of Toghal, a new textile-based homeware brand. Inspired by an appreciation of the legacy of Africa's textile heritage in the world and a love of technology, Toghal is about reimagining traditional textiles to create something iconic and fresh.
The Asilia team and I have had the great pleasure of working with Dayo to bring the brand to life. It's been a fantastic project and the kind of challenge that we thrive on: how to create a brand that is contemporary and global, while at the same time, rooted in or inspired by a particular culture. I am also pleased to welcome Dayo as a sponsor of Afri-love!
Dayo's story indeed exemplifies the beauty of collaboration and also, the crucial importance of preparation – research, learning, planning, and partnership. It's a great example of how, by setting off to solve a problem you've experienced in your own life, you can create an enterprise that serves others.
Enjoy and make sure to check out the 'Free Bag Friday' give-away details, below the interview.