Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Africa Imports, the American giant in African products

If you're interested in a reliable supplier of African products, and particularly if you are living in the USA, a few options should be more suitable than checking what Africa Imports has to offer, by far with the largest catalog of original African items, including for sure clothing, accessories and beauty among its best sellers.
African Clothing African Fashion African Style
Whether if you are needing some men, women or children clothing, the collection is just amazing, and right there you're going to find almost any African item you might want to have. Seriously, if you don't get it there, you'll probably have to take a plane and order it sur place. We can't help but feeling impressed by such a great effort: soaps, incense, jewelry, home decoration, artwork, musical instruments... even a whole lot of beautiful African fabrics and prints for you to try and design your own African print dresses, and then go to your local tailor just the way it's still being done in Africa.

But we think you're just going to love one particular section in their store, the African wedding attire collection: as difficult as it is to try and synthesize a whole continent by presenting some of its fashion highlights, they surely have done a great job trying to get a little bit of each corner to satisfy most of their clients, and that's not an easy affair when you're talking about 1.1 billion citizens coming from such diverse lands and cultures. Fantastic.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Africa Fashion Week Los Angeles

We love Los Angeles, and last week was one of the best to be around there and enjoy the scene. This year's Africa Fashion Week was as exciting as expected, combining elegant fashion shows and press conferences to showcase the most fresh and trendy African fashion for this season. Top designers and top models were obviously there, and a very interesting conference hosting a handful of talented female entrepreneurs was one of the highlights for visitors from all over California.

African Fashion African Design African Print Dresses

The Africa Fashion Week Los Angeles has become a major event for talented designers, hard working retailers and eager fashion victims in the US, and since its inception back in 2011, it has given an opportunity to unite and join the African fashion community in Southern California, initially as a response to the most popular New York's edition of the event. Los Angeles has demanded its right to be put on the map of America's African fashion road map.

Listening to such talented female figures in the industry as Claire Sulmers, Ayanna James, Tina Tangalakis or Seju Mike could be inspiring for a lot of fashion newcomers, and bringing out initiatives like this clearly shows how fashion is much more than just getting fancy clothes, it should be taken as a way for struggling female creators around the globe to find their own places and show what women are made of.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Ankara Fabric: Origins of African Design

Following the idea introduced in one of our latest articles, as we were talking about the European origins of wax print fabrics in African fashion, we couldn't go on forgetting about probably the most popular of these fabrics since the beginning, and it is of course the Ankara fabric, sometimes considered as the real and only African wax fabric itself, but with a particular history lesson that is interesting to learn.

African Clothing African Dress African Design


Whether if you call it Dutch Wax Print, Ankara Print or just African Print, we find it amazing to discover how a Made in Europe product conceived, designed, marketed and delivered for the Asian market (specially to be sold in Indonesia), and a design which was actually getting inspiration in the then trendy Asian patterns, ended up becoming a best seller fabric in West and Central Africa, not despising the genius vision of those producers to adapt and shift their market target, becoming a design reference for the African continent.

Even if new competitors have since the beginning of this trend entered the African clothing market, and therefore the authority in fabric production has clearly shifted from Europe to China, the Ankara fabric has become and remained a hallmark for African design and fashion, being assimilated and integrated by many African cultures to be remembered as it always was a pure African creation. Maybe that's the way any art form has ever been born.


African Clothes African Print Dress African Print Dresses


Friday, October 21, 2016

African fashion for everybody: D'iyanu

Let's check out another interesting online store for some African inspired fashion, okay? This time you should give D'iyanu a try, because we're talking about a Philadelphia based shop dedicated to some chic and elegant African clothing, presenting you some really nice print dresses designed with care and the way we like them, choosing a lot of fancy and colorful patterns.


African Dresses African Clothing African Print Dresses


From sexy skirts to classy pants and shorts, from colorful tops to a nice selection of menswear, including sweaters, shirts... they even have bow-ties! Don't miss those beautiful dashiki t-shirts driving everybody crazy out there right now. Kids have their place as well, specially our little girls. And of course, how could we talk about African fashion without a selection of wonderful African print dresses: you are going to find an attractive handful of them right there.

But if there's something you should just love about D'iyanu, it has to be their open and unprejudiced vision of African fashion, truly believing that any woman has a chance to dress and feel the way she wants, not caring about the typical fashion standards. You will find the right dress for you even if you can't match Rihanna's clothing size: maxi dresses have never been that fashionable, so maybe our celebrity designers should start thinking more about the real women out there, and not only about their perfect looking top models, don't you think?


D'iyanu: Bold, chic and modern African print

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Vlisco: A History of African Fashion

What a wonderful exhibition. We're talking about the one showcased since April at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage, is an exhibition which explores the influential textile brand and the way it changed and shaped the face of fashion and design in Africa during decades, being actually the origin of wax printed textiles in this continent.

African Fashion African Clothing African Dresses


It's really significant to understand how a Dutch textile company could discover a new market for its products, thinking Africa as a potential client for what would become the biggest supply of wax prints around the world. To see the beginning of this outstanding trend, we should move back to the 19th century, and involve not only this European company but also providers in China and India, which would eventually take over the supply to become nowadays major producers.

What you may surely learn about this history lesson, teaching us that even such an African cultural and traditional property today as it is wax print clothing, had its origins out of the Black continent, where this particular trend became little by little assimilated by the African people, specially in Central and West Africa, finally acquiring a social meaning, representing status, value and identity for many African societies during the past century, and arriving today as a cornerstone in African fashion.

If you have the opportunity, just don't miss this exhibition. Closing on January 22, 2017.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

African inspired fashion in London: Ohema Ohene

It's been a while since we started our adventure, so let's continue with our tour discovering some of the best African fashion stores worldwide. This time we want to introduce you a London based retailer specialized in African inspired clothing and accessories, and as they like to say, all of it "with a British twist": Ohema Ohene.

African Dress African Clothing African Print Dress


Whether if you are looking for some Men's African print shirt-Geox, a nice pair of African print trousers, or even an absolutely fresh brand new African print cardigan, their variety of pieces and the quality of their production makes it worth paying them a visit. Ladies, you're having your place here as well, with a wonderful collection of African print dresses, maxi dresses and cape dresses, jackets and blazers, crop tops, African print skirts and even patterned two pieces... you'll surely take your time if you want to check out the whole catalog.

Since years, London has been a sort of hometown for many expatriates from all over the world in Europe, including of course a huge and diverse African community, with people coming from countries like Ghana, Nigeria or Kenya, which has settled down and changed the color and lifestyle of many of its corners, and we can say fashion could not be an exception again. This one is another good example of what happens when African culture and European tradition mix up together to create some trendy, vivid and lively clothing. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

African fashion in Europe: Inspiration or Rip Off?

It's always nice to see how a new wave of African fashion is becoming more and more popular even out of the Black continent, as it opens many doors to emerging and talented designers, artists, producers and stores, but to see African fashion as a single and only trend for all African cultures wouldn't be accurate enough, as we know for sure that Africa has a lot of faces and sides to show.

African Dresses African Clothing African Print Dresses


An amazing article published months ago on The Guardian has surely brought out an interesting approach about this idea, explaining the possibility of African fashion being reduced to tribalism and folk tradition, perhaps in a way to easily market a certainly profitable new fashion product to be consumed in Western countries. From Valentino to Louis Vuitton, from Yves Saint Laurent to Dior, many mainstream major designers in Europe and North America have somehow tried to take advantage of this trend by adopting African clich├ęs into their creations, sometimes even forgetting about the essence of the most basic African identity, for example by not showing a single black skinned model on their fashion shows.

Anyhow, who should know more about African fashion than the African designers themselves? Let's listen to the ones actually breathing and feeling Africa, the artists and creators in touch with their communities, walking down the streets of Nairobi, Lagos or Douala everyday, getting a real inspiration out of the people, and not only to the copy-and-paste mainstream stars whose inspiration often comes from past colonial ages and safari movies.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Konga: African fashion and clothing online

Online stores around the globe are finally offering clothing, accessories and fashion in general as market products to be reckoned with, and in this case African fashion is not an exception. As one of the most interesting examples in the African scene today there's Konga, a nigerian online retailer brand offering a huge variety of consumer products, including African fashion at popular prices as a kind of commercial cornerstone.

African Dresses African Dress African Clothes


Even if consumer trends may absolutely vary from one country to another, with a lot of factors playing a role in defining the kind of market a population is demanding, emerging African economies are also ready to take advantage of what new technologies can offer in online shopping, and obviously a country like Nigeria, with such economic and cultural potentials, not forgetting its 180 million citizens, was waiting for an online platform like this, easily purchasing online what might be difficult and harder to find on the streets.

African clothes and designs are little by little becoming a big player in today's international fashion market, and this fact is not only being showed through major fashion weeks and magazines, regular people are embracing this tendency as well, now that better technological gadgets and networks are increasingly being made available all across the African continent. 


Konga, African clothing retailer 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Style, Fashion and Clothing "Made in Africa"

Even though there's still a long way to run in order to put "Brand Africa" right where it deserves and belongs in the international fashion scene, its power and growth has become an interest for many experts and observers around the globe. It's clear and undeniable that African fashion today is reaching popularity levels not quite similar to anything happened in the past, and as prominent nigerian designer Oke-Lawal recently said for African Business Magazine, "The fashion industry in Africa (...) is literally unstoppable, fresh and highly profitable".

African Dresses African Style African Clothing

Key elements to create a real worldwide trend out of a local or continental habit are already there: talented designers, hard working producers and retailers, and of course proud clients ready to wear their African colors. But it's also evident that, without proper supply, infrastructures, distribution, promotion and partners, any emerging industry shall be forced to face endless difficulties. African people know how to face difficulties though, and that might be the reason for the power, freshness and liveliness of its fashion.

The role played by online stores and shops could be the most important in the equation, as it is actually allowing almost any retailer to make authentic and quality "Made in Africa" products available for clients internationally, fighting back traditional distribution barriers and gaining a spot in today's fashion market, where African fashion is still representing a small piece of the whole cake: let's say this piece is going to get bigger very soon, hopefully.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Top 10 African Fashion Designers

Everybody is talking about it, African fashion is really getting more attention than ever nowadays, and the reason why seems to be part of a worldwide trend of African style, not only about clothing but lifestyle in general, and together with a new wave of talented artists and designers, is clearly putting African fashion back on the map.

African Dresses African Clothing African Designers

Africa.com has recently published an interesting article about some of the most popular and most talented African designers in today's market, focusing on the effort these creative minds are putting in adding some freshness to this planet's otherwise saturated fashion scene. People like Solome Katongole, Nelly and Nelsa Guambe or Modupe Omonze are among our favorites.

Let's say African fashion is not only about taking traditional designs with wax fabrics and mixing them up together with western styles, it might actually be a complete new trend born out of the intercultural heritage of today's African people around the world. Maybe that's the reason of its success and popularity these days.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

African dresses online at Etsy

And again another online store for you to find some fancy African clothes at very fair prices. This one is not only a place to look for African dresses and fashion, in fact it is a complete online shop where you will be able to purchase as well as clothing and accessories, jewelry, wedding items, vintage stuff and home decoration elements.

African Print Dresses African Clothing African Fashion





The idea around Etsy was to offer a peer-to-peer (P2P) online e-commerce website, in order to allow small shops and suppliers around the world to publish and easily market their handmade or vintage items in a safe and reliable platform, and it seems like they had a point there, as the Etsy community has been continuously growing since the foundation of the website 11 years ago, in 2005.

 




Just give it a chance and check it out, they might have that something you were looking for, and even if they are not just specialized in African fashion, they surely offer a nice collection of African clothes, including African print dresses, African accessories and African men's fashion. It's never too late to give yourself a little treat!


Friday, October 7, 2016

African fashion is trendy again

Well, it looks like African fashion is becoming trendy again, but not only in some Western countries where African communities have settled down during the last decades, also in Africa as well, and even if it may sound weird for many outsiders, maybe believing that it was the way it has always been, the populations in many African countries were (and still are) choosing Western clothes as their first choice to get dressed everyday. We found this really interesting article in Global Press Journal

African Print Dress African Print Dresses

 
Something is changing today though, as many African women and men are moving closer to the African style of clothing again, probably after feeling how Africa is cool and fashionable again: if Europe and North America are enriching their popular cultures by introducing African designs in their people's wardrobes, why should Africa remain wearing low quality Western clothes?

Maybe that's another point we should add to the equation: not everybody in Africa can still afford to get these nice African print dresses the way the would, as demand and business competition have increased retail prices as well. Let's see if the market evolves in a positive way so that the real owners of this modern African style could enjoy it equally as they do somewhere far way from Africa.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fresh and modern African dresses: Zabba Designs

And here is another good place to look for your African dresses, where variety and quality doesn't mean expensive. Zabba Designs is a must visit if you are interested in adding some African taste to your life: from African print dresses to African print bags, their collection is large enough to make you keep their website among your bookmarks. Enjoy!

African Fashion African Clothing African dress


 Zabba Designs, African Print Dresses

Glam Africa Mag, African fashion at its best

What can we say, this magazine has actually been an inspiration for us to do what we are doing, African fashion at its best. If you want to find out what's going on about African clothing and African lifestyle today, just check Glam Africa Mag out, okay? Love.

African Dresses African Fashion African Clothing Bokwango


Glam Africa Mag

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

African print dresses on Kisua

Now you can shop online and find a wonderful collection of African print dresses on Kisua, an African clothing retailer with stores in South Africa, North America and Europe. We have just discovered them, and we love their selection of African fashion!


African print dress African print dresses



African print dresses on Kisua 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Some good online African clothing: Zuvaa

You just have to try this online store. On Zuvaa you will find some nice African dresses from designers all over the world, and at affordable prices. Different styles and different fabrics for a same cool African taste. Don't miss it!

African clothing and African dresses online on Zuvaa.com


African dresses on Zuvaa