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Atelier Fifty-Five is Four

Today marks four years of blogging, didn’t think I would last this long, but what an incredible journey it has been. Atelier Fifty-Five has, and continues to be a great source of inspiration for me… and although over the past year or so I haven’t posted as much as I would have liked it has been with good reason. Over the coming weeks I am looking forward to sharing some exciting news on where the blog has led me, best summed up by my favourite African proverb in the image above. ..and as ever my heartfelt thanks go out to all […]

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Graphic Patterns for Striking South African Packaging Design

In keeping with the theme of geometric patterns, I came across these striking South African packaging designs on Creative Roots. The designs were developed by Graphic Design student, Brittany Albertson for a fictional South African wine packaging label called Wyn. Inspired by South Africa’s art and architecture, Brittany sought to blend South Africa’s diverse cultures. Wyn is the Afrikaans word for wine, and the designs reference local art such as the mesmerising geometric patterns employed by local peoples like the Ndebele. A refreshing contemporary colour palette helps reinforce the brand identity.

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South African Fashion Designers Geometric Prints And Structured Forms

Sindiso Khumalo is one of South African fashion designers challenging our perceptions of African fashion design. Bold graphics and geometric prints characterise the work of the fashion and textile designer. A former architect, Sindiso studied at the University of Cape Town, and moved to London to work for reknowned architect David Adjaye. She left the practice to study an MA Design for Textile Futures at Central St Martins College of Art and Design before setting up her eponymous label. Exploring different aspects of textile print design, Sindiso’s architectural training is evident in her style. She uses forms like modernist buildings as points of […]

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Yemi Awosile Journey Into An African Inspired Textiles Soundscape

Also on display at Africa Utopia was a new body of work by London-based textile designer Yemi Awosile. Inspired by her Nigerian heritage Yemi set out to explore the relationships between sound, textiles and space. Entitled Lagos, the African inspired textiles soundscape installation saw Yemi design a collection of printed textiles that give a physical form to sound. Incorporating audio components, the textiles make use of a combination of sound conductive and non-conductive materials to present a sound piece by Nigerian sound and video artist Emeka Ogboh Yemi called ‘UnderBridge’. Available to listen on Yemi’s website, the recording was taken from Lagosoundscape; a […]

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Contemporary African Furniture Design Laduma Ngxokolo x Yinka Ilori

Last week’s Africa Utopia provided the opportunity to catch up with what was happening creatively in terms of design from and inspired by Africa. One design in particular that caught my attention was a chair comprising an upcycled frame in a matt silver finish, and knitted upholstery covered with striking geometric patterns, and a woven backrest also in matt silver. Radiating cool sophistication the piece of contemporary African furniture design was the result of a creative collaboration between British/Nigerian designer, Yinka Ilori and South African knitwear designer, Laduma Ngxokolo. The collaboration was commissioned by and formed part of the Africa Calling contemporary design […]

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Modern Textiles The Optic Collection by Kouamo For Made

Inspired by the city she now calls home, textile designer Julie Kouamo’s latest collection; entitled Optic pays homage to London’s striking architecture viewed from behind the lens. The exclusive collection of scatter cushions produced in collaboration with Made.com features photographic, digitally printed images highlighting the often-unseen corners of the city. Optic follows on from her first photographic collection, ‘Brooklyn Bridge’.

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Ohema Ohene Geo Africa Fashion Design Collection

[Image credit: Ohema Ohene, Laura Cape Dress – Oh! Printex Collection] In a departure from the colourful African print fabrics that usually define their collections, London-based fashion label Ohema Ohene’s recent geo Africa fashion design collection saw the adoption of a striking monochrome palette. Launched in July, the limited-edition capsule collection was produced in collaboration with textile company, Printex Ghana. Entitled OH! PRINTEX the collection celebrates Printex’s history of black and white prints through fun, wearable designs for both men and women.

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Africa Utopia Festival 2014 Celebrating African Creative Culture

Africa Utopia, the festival celebrating the diversity in African creative culture returns to London’s Southbank Centre this week. Taking place over four days from Thursday 11 September 2014 – Sunday 14 September 2014, the festival is a celebration of arts and culture from Africa and the African Diaspora. From concerts to art installations the festival looks at how African art and ideas changing the world for the better, enabling visitors to explore areas including culture, community, technology, fashion, sustainability and ethical wealth creation. There will also be the Africa Utopia Food Market, and Market Place offering art, homeware, fashion and accessories […]

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Beautifully Engineered Craft Ifeanyi Oganwu Design Indaba Interview

Ifeanyi Oganwu is a young talented architect and designer whom I had the honour of profiling for a Design Indaba interview available on the online platform. Ifeanyi who works in London is the founder of the experimental design studio Expand Design. His furniture designs are attracting attention for their fluid, organic forms. Design Indaba is the South African based platform that drives a better world through creativity with its online platform and annual festival. To find out more about Ifeayni and his work please visit Design Indaba to read the full profile. [Image credit: Blue Splice – Expand Design]

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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