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Siki de Somalie Regal African Inspired Jewellery

If bold, chunky statement African inspired jewellery is your preference look no further than the fabulous creations of Parisian-based jeweller and accessories designer Siki de Somalie who is described by CoutureLab as ‘A woman as regal and fantastic as the pieces she creates’. A Parisienne socialite who is the daughter of an Ethiopian princess, a direct descendant of the Menelik dynasty of Abyssinia and a Somalian diplomat, Siki de Somalie’s upbringing is reflected in her creations, whereby luxurious baroque style and cultural accents are seen combined with textured metal detailing and colourful gems, giving an air regal elegance and bound to get a conversation started.

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Wax Cloth African Print Dinnerware

Bring some colour to your place settings with African style homeware in the form of wax cloth African print inspired dinnerware offerings. Firstly from American-based French Bull, whose kitchen and lifestyle products are wonderfully bright and funky. With products sold globally, the Isis range of dinnerware and platters caught my eye whilst browsing their website. Described as being inspired by Africa, the Isis range has an air of vibrant wax cloth African print fabric design about it. Made from melamine making the products durable and resistant to high heat, these plates are perfect for adults and children alike making them ideal for picnics.

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Organic Shea Butter Out of Africa Skin Care Products

I suffer from sensitive skin due to eczema, brought about by additives and nasty chemicals in products and as a result I am always on the look out for organic and natural skin care products to make life bearable, and from the ever-increasing rise in awareness of what goes into products I do realise that I am not the only one. As my family can attest, my scrutinising of labels on food and skin care products to weed out the unsavory ingredients is legendary. This is because in my case it is usually not enough to simply state words like […]

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Tiffany Amber Luxurious Fabrics And Intricate Embellishments

[Image credits: Tiffany Amber] Launched in 1998, Tiffany Amber is a luxury African fashion womenswear fashion label dedicated to creating feminine and effortlessly stylish pieces that reflect Nigerian designer and founder, Folake Folarin-Coker’s heritage. Luxurious fabrics and intricate embellishments are key elements Folake describes as defining the style of her label, and establishing her as a leading figure in contemporary African fashion.

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Luxury Africa Travel Cruising Nile With The Oberoi Zahra 

The Pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo and Luxor, often referred to as the ‘world’s greatest museum’ with its well preserved monuments from great civilisations past, are two well-trodden routes attracting visitors in search of adventure and luxury Africa travel to Egypt drawn by the culture of Ancient Egypt and magnificence and mystery surrounding the pyramids, however taking the time to deviate from the norm uncovers the hidden gems along the way.

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Beautiful Packaging From South African Wine Company

[Image credit: Boer & Brit] I am a sucker for great looking packaging so I guess that makes me a marketeers dream, and whilst doing some research on packaging for a project I stumbled upon LovelyPackage a site that appreciates the very best in packaging design from all over the world – I could spend all day on there! Any hoo, getting to the point, I came across some rather beautiful packaging for a champagne bottle by a South African wine company called Boer & Brit.

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Stylish Hats from South African Born Designer And Milliner Albertus Swanepoel

[Image source: Carolina Herrera Fall 2008 collaboration, denverpost.com] “Hats are like sunglasses. They detract and attract attention at the same time” so says fashion designer turned much sought-after South African born designer and milliner, Albertus Swanepoel (on Net-a-Porter.com). Leaving behind a very successful fashion career in his home country Albertus Swanepoel made the move from South Africa to start anew in the United States in the late 1980’s and after working for a few local design houses ended up studying millinery and soon after his label Albertus Quartus was born.

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Ozwald Boateng Savile Row Tailoring

[Image credits: Ozwald Boateng] A well-dressed man in a sharply tailored suit is usually a sight to behold and this area is the forte of Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng, who knows all to well the power of sharp tailoring and attention to detail and is widely credited with introducing Savile Row tailoring to a new generation.

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Stylish African Print Fashion Clutches By UrbanKnit

[Image credit: Urbanknit – etsy] Starting out by making accessories for friends and family, Dolapo James of Urbanknit has gone on to create a much coveted collection of stylish African print fashion accessories in the form of vibrant clutch bags. With, a love of bold colour and pattern evident in her use of much loved African Print textiles.

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Luxury Africa Travel To The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Tanzania

[Image credit: Tanzania Odyssey] Drift lazily high above the Serengeti plains in a hot air balloon, getting a spectacular birds-eye view of natural breathtaking phenomenon like the must-see wildebeest migration. Then once you land, sit down to a full breakfast set-up under the shade of an Umbrella tree amid the peaceful surroundings of the Serengeti plains. Just one of the many memorable experiences to be enjoyed in the Serengeti National Park within whose eastern border you will find the Ngorongoro Crater, the remains of a massive volcano nearly three million years old and a World Heritage Site.

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Cheick Diallo’s Elegant Innovative African Furniture Designs

[Image credits: Diallo Design] Cheick Diallo the innovative furniture designer behind Diallo Design studied Architecture in France and whilst there discovered his love for furniture design. One of Africa’s leaders in innovate product and furniture design Diallo aims to bring a cosmopolitan view to contemporary African furniture design by creating a bridge between ancient wisdom and modern sensuality.

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Modern African Cuisine From Top Chef Marcus Samuelsson

[Image credits: abcnews.com recipes: salad and dessert] Ethiopian born, Swedish raised and now living in Harlem, top chef Marcus Samuelsson certainly has a lot of influences to bring to his culinary creations and has been praised for his development of modern African cuisine and introducing innovative interpretations to classic Swedish dishes and quality of flavours and textures his food possesses.

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St-Erasmus Opulent Jewellery Deeply Rooted In Africa

[Image credit: St-Erasmus] Prior to becoming the jewellery designer name on everyone’s lips when the ever-stylish Michelle Obama was pictured wearing one of his statement necklaces the Begum 2, Pieter Erasmus was well-known within the industry, designing and creating jewellery for leading couture fashion houses such as Givenchy and Alexander McQueen.

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Basket Case a showcase of Contemporary Zimbabwean Basketry

 [Image credit: BBC] I came across a photo-editorial on BBC about an exhibition of contemporary Zimbabwean basketry called ‘The Basket Case’, currently being held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. The National Gallery is beautiful space and a place I know well having spent many a time there perusing the latest exhibits and completing assignments. I am glad to see that it is still putting on inspiring exhibits.  ‘The Basket Case’ exhibition is all about connecting the past and the present, traditional with contemporary and is based on a project by interior accessories designer, Heath Nash and the traditional basket weavers based […]

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Christie Brown Modern African Dress Designs

[Image credits: myasho] Christie Brown designer, Aisha Obuobi’s modern African dress designs are so pretty and feminine, combining traditional prints with silks in a ray of gorgeous colours. The dresses below caught my eye whilst browsing myasho an online e-tailer of African designer clothing. For me these gorgeous frocks capture that feeling of impatience and excitement of when I was a child waiting to get dressed up in my party dress and having everyone tell me how pretty I looked. In a flattering style these modern African dress designs are perfect for occasions that demand effortless chic and easily take you from day […]

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Africa Travel Experience Cultural Fusion In The Islands of Cape Verde

[Image credits: www.capeverdeexperience] Experience and Africa travel getaway to the small chain of islands of the coast of West Africa that make up Cape Verde, considered to be one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. Still relatively untouched, the Cape Verde islands combine a rich mix of African, Portuguese and Brazilian cultures. The diversity of the islands offer some stunning scenery from powdery white beaches and clear waters to lush mountainous vistas. Although it would be tempting to chill out and relax by the beach it is to Mindelo, the capital of the island of São Vicente we focus our attention.

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Moya Luxurious South African Spa Products

[Image credit: Moya] Meaning soul or wind, Moya is a luxurious range of professional South African spa products that advocates the natural approach to healthy living. Moya utilises essential oils and botanicals indigenous to South Africa, particularly harnessing the properties of Fynbos, a plant found mostly in the Western Cape region. The products also include the aromatic and therapeutic essences of Buchu, Zinziba, Cape May, Cape Snowbush, Cape Chamomile, Lanyana and Cape Geranium. [Image credit: Moya] Packaged in distinctive amber, silver and cream; Moya’s therapeutic African spa products include haircare, bath oils, body lotions and washes that the company states contain no mineral oils, […]

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Mai Lamore Exquisite Couture Shoes

[Image credit: Maï Lamore] Seductive showstoppers that wouldn’t look out of place on a red carpet; these are the couture shoe creations of Paris-based shoe designer Maï Lamore. Being the shoe lover that I am, I was mesmerised the moment I laid eyes on these exquisite beauties. Not just shoes, but gorgeous works of art that take my breath away and definitely not made for walking as I would be perfectly happy to slip on my feet and stare at them all day long. However as a designer, Maï Lamore works to combine luxury and elegance in a wearable way and prior to […]

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Mar Y Sol’s Madagascan Made Bags And Clutches In A Rainbow Of Colours

[Image credits: Mar y Sol] Formerly Mad Imports, Mar Y Sol’s made in Africa stylish bags and clutches bring a smile to my face ticking all the right boxes from mouth-watering colour combinations such as apple, mango, berry and punch to cute unashamedly girly styles that invoke images of summer; making them perfect for leisurely days strolling around town, lunch with the girls… actually any occasion that demands a burst of colour to brighten things up. I was hard-pressed to choose which ones to display, so cast your eyes on these and visit Mar Y Sol’s website for the full collection.

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Anthropologie African Inspired Textiles Bedding Collection

[Image credits: Yoruba Quilt, Anthropologie] I am a fan of US-based store Anthropologie, loving its quirky bohemian style with a dusting of romance and was thrilled when they finally opened two stores in London, the first one in October 2009 and then the second earlier this year. Browsing their online store I came across their African inspired textiles bedding collection and interior accessories that they state is drawn from Yoruba and Northern Sotho cultures, although I may be wrong in saying, I feel that some of the fabric inspiration relates more to the Dutch Wax cloth popular in West Africa.

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  • This popular Africanisim beautifully illustrates the pioneering spirit of togethernes. It highlights how working and collaborating with others can propel you to new heights. Building a business rarely happens in isolation. Atelier Fifty Five seeks to to shine the light on African brands, and this includes extending a hand by sharing our knowledge and expertise to help African brands become the best they can be. So let us go together. Sign up to the Atelier Fifty Five Academy mailing list and join a community of ambitious creative business owners dedicated to creating brands that make their audiences sit up and take notice.⁣
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.  #quotes #inspirationalquotes #motivationalquotes #africanproverb #brandstrategy #creativeentrepreneur  #entrepreneur #mycreativebiz  #brandbuilding #africanstartup #africanbusiness #makeithappen
  • Preserving traditional skills the Kayla cushion by Frida 54 highlights the art of Tritik, a process of knotting and sewing that results in a variety of symmetric patterns. Handwoven with 100% cotton from the cotton mills of northern Cameroon the textiles are dyed with handmade dyes using ancestral techniques. [📷 credit: @frida_54 ]
  • Values . Respecting the design [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Infuse your interior style with the colourful elegance of African beaded necklaces courtesy of The African Woven Necklace light shade by @moderngesture. The design features graduating circular hoops each hand wrapped with colourful woven thread bands. Handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa by designer Candice Lawrence, the lighting is available in the  Atelier Fifty Five shop. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive