AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

FASHION

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Friday, October 24th, 2014

Pan-African fashion that rejects “social entrepreneurship”

‘Kushn’ is a chic, afro-futurist fashion and design store based in Cape Town. Owners Greer Valley and her husband, Themba Mntambo, started the company three years ago using leather and colourful woven cloth sourced from textile co-ops in Ethiopia and Ghana. The store’s name is a play on the kingdom of Kush – which was

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Vogue Italia’s editor wants to help Africa like itself

Remember Vogue Italia’s Rebranding Africa issue? (Elliot Ross got jealous and denigrated Ban Ki Moon’s cover model shot in an epic post.) Seriously, though, it looks like the editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, who came up with that brainchild,...

Monday, April 14th, 2014

The #BullshitFiles: This rich New York designer couple have never been to Africa, but can smell it

The stuff rich white people say sometimes. The New York Times’ Style section is more often than not full of arse-kissing puff pieces that do little besides illustrating the genealogies of privilege stretching between New York, Hollywood,...

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Louis Vuitton’s ‘Out of Africa’ fantasy

Using locations in Africa as backdrops to sell clothes and bags is nothing new – especially bags and clothes that certain class of travellers and outdoorsy people like to call “gear”. As in “stuff necessary to show...

Monday, February 17th, 2014

‘The Post-Imperial’

I recently shot the short interview, below, with Niyi Okuboyejo, creative director of New York City men’s accessories brand, Post-Imperial (for a short documentary graduate class at The New School). Okuboyejo, the son of Nigerian immigrants, describes what he does...

Monday, October 7th, 2013

A Hot Mess

In the latest episode of “Black Fascination”, fashion designer Rick Owens brought a thick-boned crew of black (mostly) steppers from the US to Paris Fashion Week to stomp down the runway wearing his latest collection. Fashion critics raved, calling...

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Presidents for Life

African print fabrics are a hot commodity in mainstream fashion these days. This is polarizing since their use by Western designers eclipses the use by African brands which are rarely in the mainstream spotlight because of such forceful cultural...

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

My Favorite Photographs N°17: Thina Zibi

The “My favorite photographs” series is back with South African photographer/art director Thina Zibi. Born in Cape Town and now residing in Johannesburg, Thina Zibi is at the vanguard of visual artists documenting creative youth culture in...

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

My 5 Favorite Designs: Olalekan Jeyifous

True, true, that title sounds familiar. Consider it a variation on a successful theme. After coming across the work Olalekan Jeyifous did for “menswear brand” creator Ikiré Jones, we wanted to know more and asked Olalekan to share...

Monday, February 4th, 2013

I Dreamed of Kenya

It interesting that the title of the video (embedded below)–shot recently by filmmaker Cary Fukunaga and commissioned by fashion brand Maiyet*–is “Sleepwalking in the Rift.” Not just alluding to dreaming, but also, because we are in the realm...

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

The best death metal band in Botswana

Botswana’s heavy metal scene has been covered before on photography blogs (mostly posts on the work of South African photographer Frank Marshall) and there’s a few music videos (like this one) floating around on Youtube. But there’s little actual video reports/profiles of...

Friday, December 7th, 2012

“This is not Pantsula”

I got a treat when I was in Johannesburg recently. I was about to jump into a cab when this van pulls up and out piled these colorfully clad kids. With their exit came the loud blasting...

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Zulu Metrosexuals

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about “Black Dandies” and the presence of new academic identities in US institutions. But anyone hear about Zulu Metrosexuals, and the ways in which the Zulu—men in particular—have similarly used dress...

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

The Sartorialist goes to Johannesburg, and likes what he sees

Scott Schuman, better known for his blog The Sartorialist and as a street style photographer, took some heat after accepting an invitation to Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg and being underwhelmed by what he saw. Instead he...

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Hassan Hajjaj’s Rockstars

Hassan Hajjaj’s first memories of photography are from his childhood in Morocco. His mother would occasionally dress him in clothes sent from his father in England, cover him in perfume and take the whole family to the...

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

When W magazine went to Johannesburg

Praise be to W magazine for its vanguardism! They have finally and single-handedly put the rest of the world on to how hip, cosmopolitan, and modern the city of Johannesburg truly is! At long last someone has...

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Interrupting Paris Fashion Week

I wasn’t given very much information. Stumbling into the secretive meeting I’d been invited to, an all female brigade greeted me quickly as they pored over a hand drawn map of targets. Drawing on an apparently endless...

Friday, October 5th, 2012

When Solange filmed a music video in a Cape Town township

We had forgotten about American singer Solange Knowles until The Fader shared her new music video for ‘Losing You’ this week, calling it “a killer single.” The music video comes two weeks after another video by Swedish...

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Project Runway’s Southern belle vision of Africa

The 10th season of the American ‘Project Runway’ fashion show closed with its usual grand catwalk finale. Gunnar Deatherage, one of the budding candidates, said that for his collection he “was inspired by aborigines and exotic tribes”....

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Guinean-Swiss photographer Namsa Leuba “merging” aesthetic traditions

Namsa Leuba is a Guinean-Swiss photographer who is occupied with merging two aesthetic traditions in her artwork. Leuba’s photographs for NY Magazine’s recent (and annual) “Fashion Issue” (also featured on the magazine’s new fashion blog The Cut), are...

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Dakar Fashion Week

Guest Post by Tanya Bindra Last May, Vogue Italia devoted their entire issue to Africa and called it “Rebranding Africa”. Naturally, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was on the cover. The issue details the Vogue expedition into Africa,...

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Vogue Italia’s “Rebranding Africa” disaster

Everybody’s trying to rebrand Africa, and it isn’t going so well. Vogue Italia’s latest issue — boosted by great billowing gusts of editorial hot air from both the New York Times and the Guardian — is called...

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Livetweet Recap: NYT (and Vogue Italia) “Rebrands Africa” (again)

From a series of tweets I did on the New York Times story “Rebranding Africa” which you can read here.

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Arise Fashion Week

Pillbox hats are back! What else, besides a nouvelle variation of the old-school “Turkish” headgear, is in style at Arise Magazine’s 2012 fashion week in Lagos? After a drive through Victoria Island to get there, passing massive...

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Nigeria Fashion Week

Probably to coincide with New York Fashion Week, Vice released the Nigerian installment of its “Fashion International” series. It’s not bad considering how Vice usually treats Africa (reference: Congo, Liberia and Ghana) and it definitely captures some...

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Michael Kors’s Safari: Part 2

Lord, these fashion designers and their obsession with the safari motif.

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The excitement about ‘African fabric’

The Dutch fabrics manufacturing company Vlisco–the image is from the company’s new line “Delicate Shades“–says its “strategy is aimed at enabling well-to-do African women to experience the brand in all her facets … Developments take place at neck-breaking...

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Vivienne Westwood in Kibera

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Safari Suits

Hoping to dress people who want to reference themselves as elites who’ve had the leisure to “do good” after having spent as much on their wardrobe as they did on their fave charity? Michael Kors did, apparently. I...

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Louboutin’s Emancipated Breast

Christian Louboutin is known for the same impossible stiletto heels as Jimmy Choo, but with an added attraction: a strip of carmine-red leather, sewn to cover the underside of each shoe. As a woman walks (or totters)...

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