Hope you've had a great holiday season so far. I thought I'd take these few days before 2012, to put together a recap of some favourite Afri-love posts (yours and mine) from the past year. Today – it's all about design.
Fashion designer Naana B is back with a vibrant new collection for Spring/Summer 2012 and I'm loving the dresses!
Naana B works with the Rural Communities Empowerment Center (RCEC) in Ghana to produce her label. The charity is competing to be a recipient of the annual Star 100 New York Fundraiser and you can support them by casting your vote here by the 29th of November
If you missed Naana B's Afri-love interview from earlier this year, check it out here.
During this blog's first year, I endeavored to celebrate the independence days of African countries through creating a dedicated post (you can browse them via this link). I'm not doing that this year but, as several of those celebrations take place in July and August, I thought I'd do a round-up of highlights. I hope you enjoy it. Stay tuned for part 2 – August celebrations – next week.
Ghana – 1st July
Something for the pundits and technology geeks, something for the music-lovers and something for the fashionistas:
5 Reasons why Ghana is the next African App Powerhouse
Interview with lyrical genius M3NSA
Interview with Fashion Designer Naana B
It's reached that point of the year where the beginning is blurring out of sight, along with all the resolutions to do things differently. After an incredibly busy week, on the verge of being out of comfortable control, I find myself needing to pause and reaffirm my mantra for the year. Making time for myself. Thanks to an insightful gift from a friend, daily doses from the book, The Artist's Way Every Day, are helping to remind me of the importance of giving my creativity play time and, giving myself quiet, solitary time. This coming week, I'll be making more of a conscious effort to put myself first.
How are your good intentions for 2011 panning out?
On the lookout
This week I treated myself to the current issue of Arise, Africa's Global Style and Culture Magazine. I can't wait to sit down, undisturbed, and soak it all in. There's loads in there, including an article on one of my role models, artist Wangechi Mutu, and Gordon Brown talking about Nigeria's future … hmmm, should be interesting …
Last week on the blog
Here is a quick recap, in case you missed anything:
- Quote of the week – reaffirming that it all starts with the self (yes, yet again)
- An Afri-love selection of goodies from online marketplace, Etsy. This month's theme – all things wax print!
- Inspired by L.A.M.B. – the current collection from Gwen Stefani's clothing line draws from Africa
- An interview with fashion designer, dream chaser and globe trotter, Naana B.
- Inspired by the Adidas barbershop sign campaign
- TGIF! with Thandiswa Mazwai – a woman with great style and loads of substance!
Thanks as always for taking the time to read and to share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get blog updates as well as extra links, ideas, news and info via facebook (afriloveblog) and twitter (@afrilove).
Have a great week everybody, be proud and be inspired!
Image above: Adidas ad
Today I'm happy to bring you an interview with artist and designer, Naana B. With a solid fine art background, the "self-confessed dream chaser and globetrotter" embarked on a journey to create clothing and accessories inspired by art and adventure. She's making a splash all over the press and here Naana talks to us about her passion and her journey.
What's your passion?
Fashion and art! I'm an artist first and foremost and a designer, inspired by the arts. I think the way every woman chooses to dress says alot about her and how she views herself in the world.
What inspired you to go into fashion?
I studied sculpture and painting at Columbia University in NYC as an undergrad. I created installation art using fabrics. I taught myself how to sew and took supplemental classes at FIT and Parsons. Shortly thereafter, I starting designing clothes and handbags.
What has been your greatest obstacle/challenge?
In this business you meet a lot of people with different intentions. On a business level it's hard to find people who "truly" believe in what you're doing. I think my greatest challenge has been learning to trust people and take risks with business relationships.
How have you dealt with/overcome it?
I've had a lot of fantastic collaborations recently and that's because I went with my gut and jumped right in.
What has your greatest achievement been?
I think my greatest achievement has been this project. The Naana B line is produced by an NGO that my mother started in Ghana, the Rural Communities Empowerment Center. It's wonderful that I've been able to work with my mother on this project. Proceeds from the line go to the women artisans that produce the collection.
Where will you be in 10 years?
I hope to have returned to Ghana, be living there full-time and designing. I am currently based in New York but have always had my sights on moving back.
How does Africa inspire you?
Africa is such a motivating force. Having been raised in Zambia as a young child, I have so many positive things to say about where we are now, where we were as a continent, but above all, where we need to be!
Anything else you'd like to share?
For all those young designers out there, always remember to believe in yourself and what you are setting out to accomplish. Anything is possible!
Anything we should look out for in the coming weeks/months/year?
Naana B's Spring 2011 collection! Coming soon …
Images courtesy of Naana B.