Photos from The African Market at Old Spitalfields, London

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I spent Monday hanging out with Lusungu at the Creativity and Noise and Merkato stall at The African Market Bank Holiday Festival, presented by Open the Gate at Old Spitalfields Market. There was entertainment, food and a variety of African and African-inspired art, design and crafts. I got to chat to some of the designer-makers and creative entrepreneurs – it’s always inspiring to be around other creative people!

Enjoy the photos and do check out these great brands and makers. Prepare your senses for a print and colour explosion! 

(Photo above: recycled textile pouches by BURST. Contact: burstlondon [at] gmail [dot] com)

 

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Lusungu with his screenprinted Creativity and Noise t-shirts and Merkato baskets and toys

 

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Happy customer Winkate, rocking her brand new Africrown tank from Creativity and Noise

 

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Woven plastic bags from Senegal, available from Serenity Bags: senebagz [at] gmail [dot] com

 

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Hoodies by Open the Gate

 

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Shoe laces by Open the Gate

 

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Trying on a fabulous corset by Evie Nix (don't ask about the face!)

 

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More ankara/wax print goodies from Evie Nix, including bangles, cuffs and earrings

 

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Wishlist: this green weekend bag  and the yellow Choolips dress, available from Sapellé

 

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Textile recylcing – lavender pouches made from wax print off-cuts. By BURST: burstlondon [at] gmail [dot] com

 

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Beaded bracelets from Sapellé

 

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Loved these shirts, shorts and t-shirts by TYMO

 

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After years of communicating virtually, I finally got to meet fashion designer Fée Uhssi in the flesh! 

 

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Dolls by Verona.C

 

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And the lady Verona herself!

 

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Bibs and booties from the House of Loulee

 

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Lucy of House of Loulee. Last Christmas she custom made some beautiful boots for my friend's 18 month old and a funky sweater for Lusungu.

 

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Story time!

 

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I didn't catch the name of the last band that performed. Let me know if you did!

 

All photos by Lulu Kitololo (except the one of Lulu, taken by Yvonne of Evie Nix), with a little love from VSCOcam.

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Buy African: Beaded Jewellery from Sidai Designs

Sidai Designs Beaded Jewellery Bracelets African Maasai

 

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

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Buy African: Merchants on Long – Africa’s First Concept Store

 

Merchants on Long Interior 2

Merchants on Long Shop Window

 

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…

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Buy African: Eva Sonaike Furniture, Home Decor & Fashion Accessories

African Furniture Decor Eva Sonaike

 

As much as I like prints in vibrant colours – I find Eva Sonaike’s latest collection of prints very refreshing. An almost pastel colour palette but far from dainty; these designs pack enough punch and there’s no mistaking the African inspiration behind them!

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Interview with Sustainable Fashion Entrepreneur, Annegret Affolderbach of Choolips

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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!

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Buy African: Geometrical Accessories from Soko

Soko-Geometric-African-Jewellery

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.

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13 of your Favourite Afri-love Posts in 2013

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I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading these posts and engaging with me. I’m so happy that this blog has given me a platform to meet so many incredible people; to be continuously inspired and; to share the sometimes tough, but always enlightening, lessons that business and life in general throw my way. I look forward to more great discoveries and learning, new relationships and further exchange in 2014!

For this year’s round-up, I’ve decided to do things a little bit different and feature the posts that were most popular each month. Enjoy.

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Inspired: Adele Dejak Clothing and Interiors

Adele-Dejak-Interiors-Hanging-Chandelier

 

Adele Dejak is one of my favourite entrepreneurs because the woman is constantly innovating. Whether it's perfecting or incorporating new craftsmanship techniques; creating new fashion accessory collections; branching out into clothing and interiors; collaborating with all manner of artists, designers, photographers and; the list goes on and on and on. 

Her vision, energy and determination are extremely inspiring. 

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Buy African: My Miry Shoes

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My Miry is a footwear and accessories brand and brainchild of designer Sara Coulibaly (My Miry translates as 'my thoughts' in the Malinké dialect of Ivory Coast). The brand recently relaunched with the "Precious" collection, featuring 13 unique shoe designs incorporating premium leather, Ankara fabrics. My mum and I picked our favourites to showcase today. From top: Crystal, Amber, Moonstone, Emerald and Onyx.

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Buy African: Wild, Exotic and Opulent Accessories by Pichulik

Pichulik-Black-Gold-Necklace-Rope

The Pichulik brand consists of exciting, "wild neckpieces" and other exotic jewellery and accessories. They are made by self-described cook, creator and jewel maker, Katherine-Mary Pichulik, in Cape Town.

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