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Koffi & Diabaté Defining Contemporary African Architecture

I don’t know whose houses these are but they are fine examples of contemporary African architecture and design from Koffi & Diabaté; a leading architectural firm based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Koffi & Diabaté Architect Agency is primarily a partnership between founder and manager, Guillaume Koffi and Issa Diabaté who initially started at the firm as an intern, then became an employee before eventually being made partner. The partners work alongside a team of 18, all sharing ideas to bring the concepts to life. Koffi & Diabaté’s portfolio consists of mainly commercial architecture following the ethos of applying modern architectural methods […]

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Beautiful Clinton Friedman, Eva Sonaike, Urban Africa Notebooks

When I started this blog I never anticipated how much writing I would end up doing; making notes on paper, on the computer as I’ve let all my thoughts flow out. One thing that strikes me is how ideas for posts and perfectly formed snippets of sentences often appear at the most inconvenient of times, when there isn’t a paper, pen or pencil to be found within close range and by the time you’ve found one the moment is lost; the thought evaporated like a puff of smoke. [Image credits: Clinton Friedman – Purely African]

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Kitengela Glass Lighting and Interior Accessories Made in Kenya

Picture heavy wooden doors inlaid with bejeweled glass panels that greet your guests each time they visit; that’s just one of the images that comes to mind when I see the imaginative glass products made in Kenya by, Kitengela Hot Glass. Glass blowing is a fascinating craft; just watching the molten glass take shape at the end of the pipe I am always amazed at the end results. Bordering the Nairobi National Park, Kitengela Hot Glass was established in 1991 by Anslem Croze who studied his craft in France and Holland under the tutelage of leading Master glass-blowers. Anslem and the craftsmen […]

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Exquisite Gems Nehita Fine Jewellery Design And Accessories

I’m not a fan of huge oversize earrings that overshadow the face and in the process stretch earlobes to the limit, but do love flirty dangly earrings; especially ones with colourful little stones that sparkle, catching the light with every flick and turn of the head, so when I came across some exquisite little gems from Los Angeles based Nehita fine jewellery design I was hooked. [Image credit: Nehita Earrings – MaxandChloe]

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Kubu Zambia Contemporary Solid Wood Furniture Design

[Image credit: Kubu – Design Africa] Kubu is a proudly Zambian business whose aim is to ‘bring timber to life’. The beauty and craftsmanship of woodwork skills in Zambia is celebrated through Kubu’s solid wood furniture design, a furniture manufacturing company based in Livingstone, Zambia that seeks to reinterpret the artistry of traditional wood furniture through the use of contemporary design aesthetics and modern techniques. I just love the look of the sleek, polished lines.

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cctreats A Delectable Range Of Freshly Baked Cakes

Today has been a day of celebration; the culmination of an intense, but thoroughly rewarding year of study as I attended my graduation in the company of my family and was formally awarded my Master of Arts degree. I enjoyed my MA; so involved was I in the areas I was exploring that I wasn’t ready to let go when it ended and this was one of the reasons I started African Daydreams; I’m still learning! For me a celebration is incomplete without some form of delicious goodies from CocktailCouture, a London based events company that recently launched cctreats; a delectable range […]

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Akawelle Turning Bullets Into Exquisite Handmade Jewellery

Lovetta Conto is a gifted young woman on a mission; smart, determined to succeed and affect positive change. A few years ago at just seventeen years of age Lovetta set about turning bullets into exquisite handmade jewellery with a story; traded under the name ‘Akawelle’ which translates as ‘also known as love’. [Image credit: Akawelle necklace] 

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Africology Luxurious Eco-Friendly South African Skin Care

The healing soothing fruits of mother earth are blended in a range of luxurious products developed by eco-friendly South African skin care brand Africology. Utilising the healing essences of some of South Africa’s indigenous plants to revitalise the skin and help prevent the damage caused by stress, free-radicals and harsh dry climates, Africology aims to help you re-connect to self, in harmony with nature and the world around. [Image credit: Africology]

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Buntu Chic Colourful African Print Swimwear Made In Africa

It was so cold last night one would think we were in the middle of winter! I had rather high hopes for the British summer given the glorious start we had; however lately it’s been a bit hit and miss leaving me to look forward to a holiday in the sun instead. This brings the dilemma of what to wear and trying to pack light, something I’m still trying to master, especially when the ‘just in case I need it’ thought reigns supreme. When it comes to swimwear, Bantu’s chic and colourful African print swimwear made in Africa would definitely make their way […]

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Papercake Afro Baroque Mosaic South African Interior Accessories

Afro Baroque- what a gorgeous sounding name for some, equally gorgeous looking mirrors, South African interior accessories inspired by the rich sights and sounds of Africa; that I came across featured on Cape Town stylist Kim Gray’s blog. Bold, bright and very colourful these mosaic mirrors come from Papercake a company based in Greenside, Johannesburg that specialises in handmade mosaic and ceramic tiles. Papercake’s exclusive South African interior accessories ranges bring a touch of stylish character to the living space and the sumptuously decorated Afro baroque mirrors are ideal for creating a focal point in which to build your décor around, taking cues from the colours […]

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Casely-Hayford A Mens Fashion Design Legacy In Motion

A few weeks ago I engaged in a lively debate with some family members; we were discussing Zimbabwean businesses and what it takes to establish lasting legacies known all over the world for quality, service and craftsmanship; that not only the business but the country as a whole could be proud of; a debate that can easily extend to African businesses across the continent. Lasting legacies are something you see all the time with British heritage brands like Burberry and Mulberry, the former dating back over a hundred years, and the French couture houses. I’m not saying legacies in Africa […]

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Fashion.love, Africa Turning Discarded Plastic Into Stylish Accessories

Africa is a continent of great paradoxes; unimaginable beauty sits alongside areas of unimaginable poverty both providing emotive images that have served to brand the continent to the outside world. Whilst the battle to improve the continent’s image goes on, so to does the need for the continued establishment of successful, sustainable businesses in Africa that can offer decent employment opportunities and a means to improve livelihoods within disadvantaged communities, ensuring that everyone can join in the prosperity, well-being and sense of achievement. This need becomes ever more clear when confronted with some of the indescribable situations people are forced […]

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Snob Unique African Furniture and Interior Accessories

I stumbled upon the Green Tea Design’s blog arriving on a page that displayed some stunning bulbous Egyptian pendant lights adorned with intricate patterns, and followed the link through to Toronto based interiors boutique, Snob who have a whole range of gorgeous unique African furniture and interior accessories to covet. Sourced from across the African continent Snob’s products are personally selected by owner Denise Zidel who brings away with her the story each craftsman and designer has to tell in the form of a beautifully crafted object. The philosophy of Snob is to convey one of life’s simple pleasures; the one that comes from being […]

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Eva Sonaike Luxury African Interior Accessories And Textiles

Since launching her eponymous line of luxury African interior accessories, furnishings and lifestyle accessories in 2007, fashion journalist and editor Eva Sonaike‘s products have enticed those looking to bring contemporary African interior design chic into their homes. London-based, Eva Sonaike specialises in taking traditional African and African inspired textiles mixing them with premium fabrics such as velvet and leather, turning them into stylish cushions, bags and notebooks. Eva draws inspiration from her South German and Nigerian upbringing, fusing the elegance of West African attire with the styles of continental Europe and was particularly captivated by the trend for antique and retro furniture being […]

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Aspiga Stylish Hand Made In Kenya Leather Sandals

I’ve just painted my toenails in the most delicious, sizzling hot shade of fuchsia pink. So vibrant and electric it screams summer, and in the sunlight literally hums against my skin tone; apt given that the shade is named ‘Pulsating’. I’m loving the colour just as much as I’m loving the gorgeous and very coquettish looking Cobra sandals by Aspiga that are hand made in Kenya. Available in gold, silver, bronze, black and brown they are a perfect match and a very stylishly embellished summer accessory whether peeking out of maxi dresses or coiling seductively around bare ankles. The Cobra sandal with its […]

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Luxury Africa Travel To Jnane Villas In The Heart Of Marrakech

I once read somewhere a statement to the effect that Meryanne Loum-Martin lives the kind of life women dream about*. After a first visit to Marrakech in 1985 Meryanne, a French lawyer of Senegalese and West Indian descent was captivated by the city returning many times over several years, along with her husband Dr Gary Martin; and eventually gave in to the creative spirit within that was fighting to get out. A self taught interior designer, Meryanne set about restoring run down riads in the city turning them into amazing boutique hotels oozing the cultural charm of Morocco. Husband Gary, […]

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Chris Aire Nigerian Born Luxury Timepieces and Jewellery Designer

You could say watches are to men what shoes are women; highly desirable collectables that can make you lose all manner of sense and sensibility when the ‘must-have’ spirit takes over. Enter Chris Aire, the Nigerian born luxury timepieces and jewellery designer to the stars, whose über luxurious designs cater to his discerning clientele’s must-have demands; and Chris knows his A-list clientele well given the rather long list of Hollywood elite, celebrities, sportsmen and business people all flaunting his creations. [Image credit: Parley men’s watch – Chirs Aire]

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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