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Pamper Your Skin With 54 Thrones Botanical Skincare Made In Africa

More and more people are shunning chemically formulated on the shelf beauty products in favour of natural, holistic handcrafted formulations, and the beauty industry has witnessed a rise in brands around the world catering to this need by tapping into their own homegrown beauty rituals and bringing them to global attention. And Africa is no exception. Natural skin care ingredients such as cocoa butter and shea that have been used by African women for centuries are being recognised for their benefits, but we are only just scratching the surface. Fruit of the African soil, ingredients such as baobab, marula, and […]

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African Furniture Design At Salone del Mobile 2018

  Salone del Mobile, the prestigious Italian furniture fair opens its doors today offering visitors the very best in international furniture design concepts. Salone del Mobile is also home to SaloneSatellite an event that spotlights promising young designers under 35 by giving them a platform to connect with manufacturers, buyers and talent scouts. Noted for launching the careers of designers such as Oki Sato of Nendo, this year’s SaloneSatellite theme is Africa/Latin America: Rising Design – Design Emergente and as such is presenting a group of designers representing both regions. Among those representing African design is Jomo Tariku, founder of […]

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Sotheby’s Auction of Modern and Contemporary African Art

  London is gearing up for the 2nd dedicated auction of Modern & Contemporary African Art at Sotheby’s. This year’s auction sees artworks by 62 artists representing 16 countries: Algeria, Morocco, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. The selection of art on offer includes paintings, photographs, drawings and sculpture from the 20th and 21st centuries.  

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IFI Congress and African Design and Culture Festival Nigeria

  Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling dynamic capital plays host to the African Culture and Design Festival (ACDF), a four-day cultural extravaganza that is part of a series of activities organised for the International Federation of Interior Designers and Architects (IFI) 28th Biennial Congress. The Congress prepares to welcome over 500 local and international delegates and features architect Sir David Adjaye as a keynote speaker, Kunlé Adeyemi and writer, culture critic, and educator, Carol Becker,

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Ayok’a A Curated Platform For Stylish, Fun And Original Black Art

Our choice of art says a lot about who we are, reflecting our tastes and experiences amongst other indicators.  And despite digital platforms enabling us to discover original talent the sheer amount of information being put out can sometimes have the opposite effect of making it difficult to find, purchase or remember where we saw artwork that represents who we are in one place. Enter Ayok’a, a curated platform that brings together the work of talented black artists making it easy for you to find stylish, original and representative artwork to adorn your walls or carry about your person in the form […]

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Africa.Now – Exploring Africa’s Creative Community With Design Indaba

  Having spent the last seven years bringing you some of the names, designs, and services that have shaped the emergence and development of the creative industries across Africa one cannot help but be inspired by the energy surrounding what is happening; that feeling that anything is possible. Something that can at times be hard to articulate in a post when experiencing it in person can be so much more impactful. And this is the premise of Design Indaba’s Africa.Now initiative and video series, which brings you closer to the action through on-screen interviews with those who are an active […]

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Atelier Fifty Five Turns 7 As African Design Enters A New Era

  Today marks seven years of blogging! Seven years ago today I made a career shift and started a blog with vague ideas of what I wanted to do as a career, and no real idea of how I was going to get there. From the moment I created my first blog post to now when I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry -part of what I collectively refer to as the ‘golden age’ of contemporary African creativity- but to also create a career alongside it. The journey to this point has been a […]

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Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art Is Open

  The 22nd September 2017 saw the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA), in Cape Town, South Africa, heralded as being the first major institution on the African continent dedicated to collecting, researching and preserving the art of contemporary Africa and its diaspora.

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Le BHV Marais Paris Celebrates South African Art and Design

  Paris is having a love affair with all things contemporary Africa design, fashion, culture, and lifestyle. First is was Africa as the guest of honour at the Paris Art Fair held in March/April, then Africa Now at the Galeries Lafayette shopping destination, and now the iconic department store Le BHV Marais in the heart of the historic and trendy Marais district, which dedicates almost two months to celebrating contemporary South African art and design and culture.  

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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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Modern Afro Style Inspiration Moyi Magazine Winter Issue

  Looking to be inspired by some modern Afro style goodness to set the tone for the new year ahead? Then Moyi magazine is just the thing. The winter issue is out now and I am loving the cover which features South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha wearing a dress by fashion designer Joel Jansen Van Vuuren in the sophisticated surrounds of Saxon Hotel.  

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Fashion Cities Africa Marking Africa’s Influence On Global Fashion

  Fashion Cities Africa is a major UK based exhibition that explores and celebrates the African continent’s influence and contribution to global fashion. The exhibition which opened earlier this year on 30th April at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery explores the diverse fashion and style of four leading African cities, Casablanca in Morocco; Nairobi in Kenya; Lagos in Nigeria and Johannesburg in South Africa. Cities that are at the compass points of the African continent. Fashion Cities Africa tackles the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding African fashion and its diverse expressions of creativity. [Main image credit: Fashion Cities Africa, Brighton […]

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Fashion Illustration Africa Art Book Introducing A New Generation

  Fashion Illustration is a creative discipline that in recent years has captured the imagination of fashion lovers everywhere, and is by no means a recent phenomenon. The discipline has a rich history of documenting fashion, style and cultural trends long before the advent of cameras and photography led to its decline. Rising and falling in popularity over the decades but never quite reaching the dizzy heights of the past, in recent years Fashion Illustration has witnessed a renaissance on the back of the growing share culture that has been fostered by social media. This has allowed for an abundance […]

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Africa Rising Fashion Design and Lifestyle from Africa

  Africa Rising is a new book edited by publishers Gestalten and South African based design platform, Design Indaba, which spotlights African design, fashion, photography, architecture, and lifestyle. Africa Rising was launched in September 2016 in London as part of a programme of events for the inaugural London Design Bienniale at Somerset House.

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Moyi Magazine Shining The Light On Modern Afro Lifestyle

  If you are a lover of beautiful design, inspirational editorials, peeps into other peoples homes for a dose of African inspired interior design inspiration and boundless African creativity then make room in your life for Moyi, a brand new quarterly modern Afro lifestyle magazine that curates the best in design, decor, architecture, arts, travel, beauty, fashion and food showcasing and celebrating the work of talented individuals of African heritage. Moyi means sun in Lingala, a language spoken in Central Africa. And through its colourful, elegantly designed pages Moyi shines the light on the exceptional creativity and lifestyle defining a modern […]

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African Design At London Design Biennale 2016

International design season continues, yesterday I attended the press preview of the inaugural London Design Biennale which is being held at London’s prestigious Somerset House from today the 7th-27th September. The Biennale bringing together work and conceptual ideas from 37 nations exploring the theme Utopia, which coincides with Somerset House’s UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility, which marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s text, Utopia – a work of fiction and political philosophy that More published in 1516 in Latin and primarily depicts a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs. Representing […]

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African Catwalk Captures Africa’s Fast Growing Fashion Industry

African Catwalk is a new book by award-winning photographer Per-Anders Pettersson, that takes the viewer on a journey behind the scenes of Africa’s flourishing fashion industry. African Catwalk brings together images shot in 16 countries over a 7  year period, and captures a side to the fashion industry rarely seen by the audience. From the birds-eye view of models parading down a sleek catwalk under the glare of bright lights to the unguarded moments of models waiting their turn African Catwalk documents the details that are making the Africa’s diverse fashion industry one of the most exciting around.  

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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