Inspired: Prints by Jamilla Okubo

Jamilla-Okubo-Art-Prints

 

I love the colour, pattern and personality in these prints from Jamilla Okubo’s series, ‘We The People of the Diaspora – Black Culture Exploration’. African-American/Kenyan native Jamilla is an Integrated Fashion Design student and a self-declared painter, textile artist, designer and graphic artist. 

Regarding her prints, her site reads: 

"The prints, fun as they may be, acknowledge a deeper struggle which is rooted in black culture. She acknowledges the history, but similar to an upbeat song about heartbreak decides to shine a different light on the situation by claiming the story back for herself.”

 

Jamilla Okubo Art Print finalp3_905

Jamilla Okubo Art Print finalp2_905

 

I’m really impressed by Jamilla’s entrepreneurialism. Her prints are on sale online and she’s already received some great press mentions and interviews for her work. In my own experience, the hustling I did before graduation (including spending most of my holidays interning) definitely made a difference when I entered the so-called real world.

Find out more about Jamilla and her diverse work.

 

Images via Jamilla Okubo's website 

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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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Inspired: Bestow Elan’s Ayawa Kente Weave

African-Fashion-Bestow-Elan-Ayawa-Kente-Weave

African-Fashion-Bestow-Elan-Ayawa-Kente-Weave-2

I saw Erzumah Ackerson,  the designer behind fashion label Bestow Elan, in her amazing Ayawa Kente coat, at the launch for Jacqueline Shaw’s Fashion Africa book. I haven’t gotten it out of my mind since! Elegant, striking, memorable.

I had to share it with you, along with other pieces from the Bestow Elan ‘Glamour Dear!!!' collection.

Visit the Bestow Elan online shop here.
Images via the Bestow Elan Website.

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Inspired: Lupita, Creative Muse

Lupita-nyongo-dazed-confused-february-2014-2

 

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!

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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

Choolips-Dress-Sustainable-Fashion-Africa

 

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

13-Most-Popular-Afri-love-Posts-of-2013

 

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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