Duro Oluwo's Spring 2012 line. Composite by New York Times
As Helen Jennings’ new tome “New African Fashion” hits shelves, the New York Times talked to designers and style experts such as Duro Oluwo and Mimi Plange about cues from the continent popping up throughout contemporary fashion. Plange broke it down like this:
“I want to prove to people that African fashion can’t be pigeonholed,” she said. “I can compete globally.”
Check out the whole interview here
So Nivea has released this ad of a dude hurling an afro’d version of himself with the caption “Re-civilize Yourself.” And so, the blogosphere is going all “WTF” about the ad’s racist undertones. Personally, I think it’s a grave marketing misstep that completely ignores its customer. I mean, how do you plan to sell lotion if you piss off black people? Aren’t we like a bajillion percent of the market?
Sole Rebels' Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
South African media mogul Khanyi Ndhlomo, Sole Rebels founder Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Ushahidi’s Ory Okolloh and author Chimamanda Adichie are among the lady game-changers named to Forbes‘ 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list. Check out all the movers and shakers here.
Inditex, the company that owns High Street juggernaut Zara, has responded to the discovery of sweatshop-like conditions in Brazil. BBC says:
A raid in Sao Paulo found people working in cramped, unsanitary conditions, for long hours. Electrical wires dangled dangerously from the walls above piles of fabric, says the BBC’s Paulo Cabral, who accompanied officials on their raid. The people were being paid between 12 and 20 cents a piece – the equivalent of 7-12 US cents (4p-7p), Brazilian media reported.
Read the full story here.
Africa Fashion Week London 2011 went down this weekend, and, as expected, our people went all out. The BBC has a look at the event in pictures, and FAB magazine went behind the scenes to interview some of the designers and vendors.
Photographer Nonso Obi scored pictures of several runway shows, including J by Jak’s collection…
Photo: Nonso Obi
And some street style shots. Check out more info here.
Natasha Ndlovu of the Snowblack blog is getting her Oprah on in her new video interview with the owners of London boutique The Box. Natasha has more videos here.
Malawi-based Mayamiko Trust is an organization that seeks to empower its community through producing clothing made from local textiles.
Africa Fashion Guide spotted Choolips, this dope range championing techniques found in Ghana and sustainable business practices. AFG says:
CHOOLIPS’ Designer Annegret Affolderbach is often referred to as a ‘fashion entrepreneur’ with an interesting background, great achievements and an inspiring vision. Annegret grew up in East Germany, but moved to London in the mid 90’s. Her interest in textiles and fabric techniques left her to look into bringing back to life ancient techniques such as Batik and to then create beautiful dresses aswell as jackets, playsuits, skirts and accessories. CHOOLIPS garments are made following strict Fairtrade principles and is produced by a local skilled workforce in the home country of those techniques, most notoriously in Ghana. The focus is to empower developing communities and flourishes on the concept of ‘Trade not Aid’.
ReelAfrican.com is a new Web streaming service where users can check out their favorite shows and movies from Nollywood, Ghallywood and beyond, like “The XYZ Show” and “Shuga.” Variety says:
ReelAfrican.com, a new streaming video service now beta-testing ahead of a planned fall launch, will offer original African films and series using a model similar to Hulu’s.
Content will be free for all viewers, with revenue initially generated by selling a 10-second advertising spot for every 8-10 minutes of content. The company will split ad revenues 50-50 with content owners.
The site’s target audience, says Victor Mallet, one of the four co-founders, is the large number of Africans living outside the continent with no reliable way to watch movies and series from home.
“The market that wants to watch these films is in the U.S.,” he says. “We would like to see good content coming out of Africa, (but) there’s no way to watch it.”
The site plans to target the U.S. first, before expanding to the U.K. and the Caribbean
Check out the full article here, and sign up for the beta launch here.
The Fader’s style expert Mobolaji Dawodu shares some of his picks from the Capsule Trade Show, including some Ankara-like menswear prints from California-based brand Monitaly, when the event his New York. Check out more here