AFRICAN FASHION FILMS

The universe of African fashion films is diverse and under-investigated. Most of the times they are left out of discussions of African fashion in spite of an uptick in their production and the positive reception on the continent. Given fashion’s heavy reliance and emphasis on storytelling for branding and marketing purposes, this lack of attention is hard to explain. In my …

DURO OLOWU’S INSTAGRAM EDUCATES FOLLOWERS ON BLACK EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS

Duro Olowu is known chiefly for two things: a style that mixes prints and textures (dubbed “Prints Charming” by Helen Jennings) and his endorsement by former First Lady Michelle Obama, who also had him decorate the Vermeil Room of the White House for Christmas. Since establishing his brand in 2004 following an experience with his former wife and winning New Designer of …

YAGAZIE EMEZIE IMAGES IGBO CULTURE FOR VLISCO

Last month Vlisco&Co unveiled a multimedia project on Igbo culture that includes a collaboration with artist Yagazie Emezi and designers Fruche and Gozel Green. In “Present and Forgotten – An amalgamation of Igbo culture ” Yagazie revisits a topic that is dear to her heart: preserving Nigeria’s ethnic memory and knowledge. For Vlisco she created a series of shots of culture-sensitive styles …

VISUALS: STEPHEN TAYO DOCUMENTS NIGERIAN STREET STYLES

Stephen Tayo is a documentary photographer whose street shots capture everyday life in Lagos. Many of such pictures reflect self-styling practices and dress cultures in urban and rural contexts. They are therefore a great source of research and learning if you are interested in Nigerian street fashion. Tayo’s work has been featured in Vogue,  It’s Nice That, and Coeval Magazine. …

TALENTS – AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL OBASI

Daniel Obasi (Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram) is a 23 year old stylist, photographer, and art director from Abia and now based in Lagos, who is being hailed as one a prolific representative of the New African Aesthetics movement. Daniel has shot and styled a number of iconic fashion campaigns and collaborated with national and international brands, most notably Vlisco on the …

FOCUS MONTH: NIGERIA

I have meant to do reports on individual African countries for some time. Referring to African fashion in the singular doesn’t capture the market’s diversity and it doesn’t take into account the different speeds at which the industry is evolving in each country. It also reproduces assumptions that the styles from the continent fall into an homogeneous category, overlooking, among …

DRESSED IN NIGERIANNESS: MAKI OH’S FASHION & CULTURAL STATEMENT

After a long hiatus, I wrote a little something on the Nigerian designer Maki Oh. The piece appeared on IAM Magazine. Maki Oh is the Nigerian womenswear label run by Amaka Osakwe. A fixed presence on global runways since her debut in 2010, Osakwe appeared at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and has since been invited to the White House …

TALENTS: DIANA EJAITA

“Talents” is a space to showcase and learn about the work of emerging creatives in the fields of black fashion, photography, and fine art. *** My Name is Diana Ejaita, Berlin-Based textile designer and fine artist. All of my work is definitely influenced by both my Nigerian and European origins. I like to play with the geometrical, ancient african simbologies and organic forms which …

MUKHTARA YUSUF: INDIGENOUS EPISTEMOLOGIES AND ‘BAD DESIGN’

As anticipated, here is my second post about Mukhtara Yusuf, penned and published in Blacks to the Future. Stay on the blog to read it, or head to BsttF to enjoy a bonus audio track by Mukhtara’s mother! *** Mukhtara Yusuf is a cultural activist of Nigerian Yoruba origin who explores identity making in a post-colonial context through Afrofuturist art. …

WEARING TRAUMA: MUKHTARA YUSUF’S YORUBA-INSPIRED DESIGNS

Mukhtara Yusuf is a cultural activist of Nigerian Yoruba origin based in the US, who explores identity making in the context of the black diaspora. Her media of choice include printwork and collage, but she is especially committed to fashion and jewelry design. To her, dress articulates the unfinished business of self-making as a “3rdculture kid” of the diaspora. In …