Buy African: Last-minute Christmas Gift Ideas

It’s less than a week to go until Christmas so, ordering your gifts online is now pretty much a gamble. If the thought of braving the madness shops this weekend makes you want to crawl into a dark hole, fear not – I’ve got some ideas that will hopefully keep you in the festive spirit.

The gifts here are all things that you can buy, right up until Christmas Day. They are organised by interest so, hopefully you’ll be able to find something appropriate for all the people on your list – whatever they fancy!

Continue reading “Buy African: Last-minute Christmas Gift Ideas”

In Pictures: the Monochrome Hues of Winter

As the weather turns, I find that my usually vibrant colour palette gets subverted by an inclination towards the monochrome. It’s clearest when it comes to my wardrobe but, I realised it happening with the photos I was taking too! Here are a few …

 

Sandile Zulu African Art

[Above: sculpture by Sandile Zulu, titled ‘Spinal Diagnoses: A Histopathological Case II’. Seen at the 1:54 Art Fair. Top image: Beaded jewellery from Sidai Designs, at the ‘Africa Calling’ pop-up curated by Shake the Dust which, returns soon]

Continue reading “In Pictures: the Monochrome Hues of Winter”

Interview with Daphne Kasambala, CEO of Online Ethical Fashion Store, Sapellé

Today I’m pleased to bring you an interview with Daphne Kasambala, CEO of UK-based, online ethical fashion and accessories store, Sapellé.

Sapellé is setting a new standard in curating and presenting elegant, high quality contemporary African fashion. Working with suppliers in the UK, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda, Malawi, Congo, Mozambique, Mali and Swaziland, Sapellé only features work by artisans, design labels and social enterprises that work to ethical production principles.

After an extensive and successful career in banking, Daphne decided to return to her original passion – fashion.

Her story demonstrates that you can return to your oldest dreams and use your new skills to facilitate their pursuit! In the end, nothing is lost and instead, a world of valuable experience is gained.

Continue reading “Interview with Daphne Kasambala, CEO of Online Ethical Fashion Store, Sapellé”

Cotton Global Threads exhibition: on the heritage of wax print and the exploitative nature of cotton production

Cotton-Global-Threads-exhibition-Whitworth-Art-Gallery-Manchester-UK

A recent visit to the Cotton: Global Threads exhibition raised 2 issues that I thought were particularly relevant for the Afri-love context: the heritage of wax print and the problems with cotton (and our complicity!). 

The exhibition at Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery gives a global history of the production, consumption and trade in cotton and features art by contemporary artists including Yinka Shonibare MBE, Malian artists Abdoulaye Konaté and Aboubakar Fofana and Grace Ndiritu. As well as presenting some truly beautiful textile-related installations and pieces of art, you're in for an informative experience. 

Continue reading “Cotton Global Threads exhibition: on the heritage of wax print and the exploitative nature of cotton production”

Dispatches from WOW 2012: On fashion and being who we want to be

Maggie-Semple-Folake-Kuye-Huntoon-StylePantry


It's easy to be distracted from the fact that fashion is about creative expression the joy of dressing up. The industry – as represented in glossy magazines and billboards – often intimidates rather than liberates women to be adventurous and have fun with their appearance. 

Fashion for all

Continue reading “Dispatches from WOW 2012: On fashion and being who we want to be”

Fashion Africa illustrations by Antonia Makes

 

Antonia-Parker-ONE-MANGO-TREE

 

Antonia-Parker-EKI-ORLEANS

These illustrations from Fashion Africa by Africa Fashion Guide founder, Jacqueline Shaw, have me wanting to see more! They were made by 'handmade' illustrator', Antonia Parker, who has a passion for creating vibrant fashion illustrations and collages satirising current events, with a keen interest in ethical trading and sustainability.

You can purchase print and electonic versions of the book here.

View more of Antonia's fashion illustration, illustration and photography on her Antonia Makes website or Antonia Makes blog and follow her activities via Twitter

Images courtesy of Antonia Parker. They feature designs by One Mango Tree (top) and Eki Orleans.

ASOS Africa

Asos-Africa

I'm digging these pieces from the Africa collection at online fashion boutique, ASOS. ASOS Africa uses hand-woven fabric produced in Mombasa, Kenya, incorporating vibrant Kitenge prints from Tanzania and accessories from jewellery brand MADE. In collaboration with SOKO, Bedi and the Crochet Sisters, the collection provides employment to underprivileged communities in Kenya.

ASOS donates £5 from every collection item sold and matches each purchase with an additional £5 – all to help SOKO to build a new workshop.