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Choolips Hand Printed West African Batik Textiles Fashion Accessories

Ok… so I’m coming to terms with the fact that autumn is around the corner and gradually letting go of the hope of a sudden late summer; after such a promising start it hasn’t been the greatest. In preparation for the chilly days to come London-based clothing and accessory label Choolips have a range of boldly printed cotton West African batik textiles scarves. Choolips is a fair-trade clothing company whose philosophy is one of simple stylishness, whilst helping to preserve ancient textile traditions. Part of Choolips ‘Gold Coast’ collection, all scarves are hand printed using traditional West African batik textiles methods a signature […]

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Coral Stephens Swaziland Hand Woven Interior Textiles

In Northern Swaziland lies an area called Piggs Peak home to Coral Stephens; a close-knit community weaving high-quality luxurious hand woven interior textiles for home and personal use. Founded in 1949 by Coral Stephens the company produces carpets, rugs, blankets, curtains, shawls and fabrics woven from hand spun mohair and silk; cotton, raffia and wool. Plain or textured designs are skillfully showcased through complimentary hand dyed contemporary colour palettes like; ecru, fawn, brown, duck egg blue, olive and ruby.

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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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African Textiles Aboubakar Fofana Malian Indigo Dye Master

When I lived in Harare, Dendera Gallery in the city centre was a favourite haunt of mine. Close to the studio I worked in, I would spend many a lunch-time browsing and occasionally buying from the fascinating collection of art sourced across the African continent. I fell in love with the beautifully dyed authentic Indigo fabrics, and to this day kick myself for having not bought one… I’m not sure why I didn’t as I kept saying I would, I guess I got caught up in my move to the UK. I still think of them every now and then, […]

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Threads Of Change Mud Cloth and African Print Accessories

Once upon a time you could just put your mobile into your pocket or bag and just go (…well I still do!); but now ever-rapidly evolving interactive, on-the-go paraphernalia such as handheld computer games, iPhones, Blackberrys, iPads and more are so ingrained in our day-to-day lives we now seek to dress them up as expressions of ourselves whilst keeping them safe – think of the teenage girl with her rhinestone covered mobile phone or the interchangeable ‘skins’ that come in a plethora of colour and pattern. So how about some colourful, distinctive Mud Cloth and African print accessories sleeves from Threads […]

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Textile Designer Buki Akib FELA Menswear Capsule Collection

A graduate of Central Saint Martin’s, highly experimental Nigerian textile designer Buki Agbakiaka’s -aka Buki Akib- work is bold, unique and extravagant. Her recent menswear capsule collection entitled ‘FELA’ was inspired by the pulsating rhythm of the Afrobeat movement, taking the viewer back to a decadent 1970’s Lagos music scene dominated by the pioneering musician Fela Kuti. Fela Kuti’s legendary style was distinctive and heralded a new era of showmanship in the West and Pan-Africa music scene. [Image credit: Buki Akib – FELA Autumn/Winter 2011]

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Landry & Arcari Luxury Traditional African Inspired Textiles

In a blend of cultures, the richly textured raffia cloths of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kuba and Shoowa people provided the inspiration for a range of Tibetan weave rugs hand-woven in Nepal. The traditional African inspired textiles rugs use Tibetan wool, mohair and silk and capture the distinctive iconic designs through the patterns, textures and colours. The silk is used in the lines of the designs and shimmers as it catches the light. Landry & Arcari the company behind the rugs, created the range as a way to pay homage to what they felt was a rich but under-appreciated African textile tradition in […]

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African Inspired Home Decor SisterBatik African Print Cushions

Loving these gorgeously colourful cushions and pillows from SisterBatik, that I saw via The South is Blooming blog. Working on a philosophy to create items that will happily become part of someone’s space or home, SisterBatik’s African inpsired home decor pillows and cushions will definitely add some cheer. [Image credit: SisterBatik – Etsy]

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malene b Globally Inspired Home Textiles And Accessories

I have a love/hate relationship with carpets; love carpets but am such a stickler when it comes to shoes on carpets and cannot bear the thought of people coming in from outside and trampling dirt all over them… I hear you laugh but I get completely stressed out… is that irrational or what??? My previous home had vanilla ice cream coloured carpets and no one; and I mean no one wore shoes on them! So I can only imagine how high my stress levels would shoot up to if I owned one of malene b’s exquisite globally inspired home textiles and carpets… […]

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Zara Home African Inspired Home Decor And Textiles

I adore the Zara Home Store, it is a veritable treasure trove of beautiful things and passing by the window display in Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, this past Sunday I was greeted with a showcase of classic African inspired home decor and textiles – think safari style in various shades of brown, sand, ebony and ivory. Whilst I tend to prefer a more vibrant look incorporating brightly coloured accents, there were some elements that appealed, however on entering the store to have a closer look I was then greeted with distinct sections of fuchsia, peacock blue and purple – much […]

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South African Interior Decor Clinton Friedman Scatter Cushions

Finally… the time has come to shed bulky coats and heavy cardi’s, as the onset of spring ushers in the warmer weather. Taking the lead from the flowers now starting to peek out of the thawing ground, why not celebrate the start of spring by injecting some floral South African interior decor inspiration throughout your living space. I’m inspired to bring the outside in with these gorgeous scatter cushions by Durban-based photographer, Clinton Friedman, who has taken to reproducing his stunning graphic imagery onto fabric. [Image credit: Subtraction Collection – Clinton Friedman]

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Textile Home Decor Inspired by African Currencies

ekofabrik Now here is something I haven’t seen in like, forever and it certainly took me back in time! I’m taking about the mid-80’s; and the object in question is a vintage Zimbabwean $2 note, later withdrawn and replaced with a coin and now virtually nonexistent. [Image credit: ekofabrik blog]

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David Adjaye Textile Design For Pact Sustainable Underwear

[Image source: Dezeen] More known for adding to a city skyline and working with more rigid materials, reknowned architect David Adjaye teamed up with US clothing manufacturer and retailer, PACT to design a collection of sustainable men’s and women’s underwear to benefit the Green Belt Movement. The project involved as specially commissioned David Adjaye textile design for the collection. PACT’s partnership with the Green Belt Movement meant that 20 trees were planted for every pair sold during Earth Week, April 2010, as 100% of each sale was donated to the organisation. Following on from the Earth Week launch, 10% of the sale price for each pair […]

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Ancient Mali Textiles Weaving Traditions Meet Innovation

Age-old Mali textiles hand weaving traditions unite with innovative materials to produce a beautiful array of interior and exterior textiles courtesy of Yéleen Design. Formed in 2003 and located in Bamako, Mali; Yéleen Design is the creation of respected designer Aida Duplessis. [Image credit: Yéleen Design]

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Eric Raisina Couture House Experimenting with Texture

[Image credits: Eric Raisina] Experimenting and playing with textures form the basis of Madagascan fashion designer, Eric Raisina’s innovative and luxurious designs. Through his Eric Raisina Couture House, the Madagascan fashion designer uses his love of textures to inspire and shape his clothes, using natural materials such as silk, raffia, sisal, linen and cotton which have become trademarks in his designs and serve to add depth and sensual movement to the clothes. This passion for texture has led to a continual exploration of different cultures and the diverse techniques found across Africa and Asia in particular; and ever the researcher Eric Raisina continues […]

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Iman Home Textiles A Model Collection

[Image credits: Iman Home – CalicoCorners] Revered as an international style and beauty icon, Iman brings her brand of luxury and glamour to interiors. Beautify your living space with Iman Home textiles a range of designer fabrics reflecting Iman’s global life. Featuring the rich patterns, textures and colours of peacock feathers, zebra hides and Ikat textiles, vibrant motifs are embroidered onto opulent silks.

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Royal Hut Collection West African Textiles Inspiration

[Image credits: Royal Hut] Crisp white cotton brought to life using colourful fabrics that are handmade and hand-block printed in West Africa. Royal Hut is a luxury home furnishings brand whose stylish interiors and lifestyle products reflect the West African textiles heritage of the region from which they originate.

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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