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Dedani collection

It’s cold here at the moment, and when the temps dip towards the minus figures, it’s all I can do not to spend the days hibernating, drinking tea and snuggled under a blanket for some much-needed warmth. The cosy cashmere and wool blend blankets from Dedani Collection would be perfect allowing me to hibernate in style. Dedani Collection is a South African textiles brand that is creating handcrafted interior and fashion textiles from luxurious natural fibres. 

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Pino Nord’s Bold Afro Scandi Graphic Black and White Prints Made In Kenya

Bold graphic black and white prints with a distinctive Afro-Scandi aesthetic characterise the designs of Pino Nord, a design lifestyle company based in Nairobi, Kenya. Pino Nord draws on the minimalism of Scandinavian design, and fuses this with the vibrancy, boldness and artistic expression of daily life in Nairobi, and from this fusion comes a style that Pino Nord calls Tropical Minimalism.

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Nzuri Textiles Weaving a Brand of Sustainable Luxury

  Nzuri is an ethically conscious luxury textiles brand that is immersed in ancient hand weaving traditions from around the world. The brand, founded in 2013 by Eno Jonah, is driven by an ethos to preserve traditional craftsmanship, cultural heritage, and the integrity of small industries.  And is inspired by a love of travel, which enabled Eno to learn about the beauty, and value of textiles in different cultures across Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

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Eva Sonaike’s Tips On Decorating With African Fabric

African textiles offer a fascinating array of colours, patterns, and textures that can instantly transform an interior. But with so much on offer, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start especially for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the fabrics. So to help you get started we caught up with London based textile and interior furnishings designer, Eva Sonaike for her tips on decorating with African textiles. And here is what she had to say… It is 2017 and I can proudly say that ‘Africa is the New Black’! We launched our new FALOMO RISE Collection at Maison & Objet […]

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Graham and Green Chic African Print and Velvet Cocktail Chairs

  Currently crushing on these gorgeous Cocktail chairs from UK retailer Graham and Green. The chairs are upholstered in the front with sumptuous jewel-toned velvets in yellow and teal, and each colourway paired with a complementary intricately patterned African print wax textile to the back. The result is classic design with modern appeal. Cocktail chairs are a 1950s mid-century design classic, sought after for their simple yet chic silhouettes. The chairs make great accent pieces in living spaces, and these will be ideal for those looking to incorporate some Afro-chic interior inspiration. [Image credit: Alpana Velvet Chair – Graham and Green ]

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Kheyameya Textile Project Celebrates The Ancient Art Of Egyptian Appliqué

  The ancient art Of Egyptian appliqué has inspired a textile project called Kheyameya. Kheyameya refers to the intricately stitched textiles made by the legendary Tentmakers of Cairo, highly skilled artists who for centuries have created appliqué textiles that were traditionally used to line the interior of tents. As time has passed the number of artists has dwindled and the Khayameya produced today are mainly for home furnishings or wall hangings for the tourist market.

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Ifeanyi Oganwu Furniture Design For Toghal African Inspired Textiles

  Dotted around the lounge at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair was a collection of colourful, contemporary seating by product designer Ifeanyi Oganwu, African inspired textiles design brand Toghal and jewellery designer Artist Phoebe Boswell. Ifeanyi was approached by Dayo Forster, Toghal’s founder to create a seating structure on which to present their cylindrical bolster cushions.  

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Mimi Plange For Roche Bobois Classic West African Design Inspiration

  Fashion designer Mimi Plange has collaborated with high-end French furniture design company Roche Bobois on a limited edition furniture collection upholstered in Mimi Plange textile designs that references her West African design cultural and heritage. The Roche Bobois collection is centred around one of the furniture house’s iconic furniture pieces, the modular Mah Jong Sofa that was designed in 1971 by German artist Hans Hopfer, and has since been dressed by some of the biggest names in fashion from the late Sonia Rykiel to Jean-Paul Gaultier. The collaboration features several Mimi Plange textile designs each incorporating a different theme from […]

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Traditional Nigerian Textiles Meet Contemporary African Design

Ethnik by T.O. is a stylish range of contemporary African design footwear and fashion accessories made with beautifully woven Aso Oke, a traditional Yoruba textile. The collection, launched in 2015, is the brainchild of photographer and designer Tunde Olowabi, who by tapping into his heritage is adding to the diverse creative voices shaping contemporary African design. [Main image credits: Ethnik by T.O. – Tunde Olowabi Studios]

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Interior Designer Ghislaine Vinas Designs ShweShwe Wallpaper For Flavor Paper

ShweShwe is an awarding winning wallpaper designed by interior designer Ghislaine Viñas for Flavor Paper. Born in the Netherlands, raised in South Africa and now living in New York Ghislaine turned the popular African print textile from her childhood into a stylish interior accessory by translating the distinctive intricate often dotted geometric patterns that characterise ShweShwe into a bold exaggerated print wallpaper collection. ShweShwe is available in four colourways, each named after South African wildlife. ShweShwe wallpaper is digitally printed and available on a number of materials for residential and commercial use that range from eco-friendly to vinyl.  

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Support Textile Brand Kouamo To Kickstarter Success

London-based textiles brand, Koumao recently launched a Kickstarter campaign and needs your support to help launch their third collection, which is inspired by Indonesia. The campaign, which ends on May 24th, 2016, entitled ‘Let your home accessories reflect your travels‘ draws on the stories, places, and cultures that influence French-Cameroonian founder, Julie Kouamo, and is an ethos that forms an integral part of the brand’s DNA. Kouamo’s design aesthetic is highly evocative combining traditional print techniques such as batik with modern digital processes, and layering photography, illustrations, and rich, vibrant colour. Kouamo’s previous collections include Bangou, which incorporates motifs and […]

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Modern South African Textiles The Ardmore Collection By Halsted

Luxury South African textiles and lifestyle brand Halsted introduced The Ardmore Collection of textiles and interior accessories to an audience of interior industry professionals and journalists, with an intimate afternoon champagne tea at the Patrick Mavros store in London. The collection of textiles, interior furnishings and furniture on display were inspired by the iconic imagery, bold colour, and witty spirit of the world-renowned ceramic studio Ardmore Ceramic Art, which is the sister company to Halsted.  

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Eva Sonaike FALOMO Collection Inspired By Mid-Century African Architecture

London- based textile design studio, Eva Sonaike unveiled FALOMO, their latest textile collection at Maison & Object. Featuring a soft spring-fresh colour palette of lilacs, pinks and greys accentuated with bold purple and green hues, the Falomo collection exudes modern African interior design style and is inspired by mid-century African architecture from the late 1940s. Also referred to as ‘Tropical Modernism’, the architectural style combined western building styles with local building traditions.

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The Adjaye Collection African Inspired Textiles For Knoll Textiles

The Adjaye Collection is a visually stimulating range of African inspired textiles designed by architect, David Adjaye for KnollTextiles. Working in collaboration with Dorothy Cosonas, KnollTextiles Creative Director, the collection is inspired by Africa, blending the influences of the architect’s African heritage with the language of modern textile design. And, through the collection David aim is to challenge the stereotypical images that often define Africa. Presented at the NeoCon commercial interior design trade show in Chicago, the collection corresponds with the recent opening of ‘David Adjaye Selects‘, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum that was curated by David. [Main image credit: The […]

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Swoon Edition Milly Chair x Banke Kuku African Inspired Textiles Collaboration

It appears Swoon Editions is having a thing for African inspired textiles this summer. First there was Eva Sonaike followed a few of weeks later by Julie Kouamo, both of whose limited-edition collaborations sold out by the way. And now the latest collaboration sees the evocative Delta Sola textile from London-based designer Banke Kuku paired with Swoon Editions Milly Chair, and the effect is just stunning. [Main image credit: Milly Chair upholstered in Delta Sola Fabric, by Banke Kuku for Swoon Editions]

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Swoon Editions x Julie Kouamo African Inspired Textiles Collaboration

London-based textile designer Julie Kouamo has become the latest designer to collaborate with luxury online furniture and interiors retailer Swoon Editions. The collaboration sees Swoon Editions oak Gustavian-style Juliette Bench upholstered with Julie’s uplifting African inspired textiles, Nkunti. [Main image credit: Juliette Bench in Nkunti Fabric, Julie Kouamo for Swoon Editions]

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Kenyan Jewellery Designer Gladys Macharia For Urbanara

UK online interiors and lifestyle brand URBANARA has teamed up with Kenyan jewellery designer Gladys Macharia to create a beautiful collection of table linens, that are just perfect for summer. The Awasi collection comprises 100% cotton napkins, placemats and table runners hand printed by artisans in Nairobi. [Image credit: Gladys Macharia, Awasi Collection Table Runner and Napkin – URBANARA]

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Swoon Edition Marley Foostool x Eva Sonaike African Inspired Textiles

Just spotted Swoon Editions‘ Marley Footstool collaboration with London-based textile designer Eva Sonaike. The luxury online furniture and interiors retailer has given one of its designs a spring refresh courtesy of Eva Sonaike’s Wewe fabric from the Aburi Collection. The vibrant pattern of the African inspired textiles feature a two-tone green banana leaf against a small banana leaf print background, and was inspired by a trip to Aburi Botanical Gardens in Ghana. The collaboration is part of Swoon Edition’s Designer Editions feature, which pairs one of their coveted furniture designs with talented textile designers. A new Designer Editions collaboration is unveiled each week and […]

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  • 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
  • Instagram Image
  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive