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 part of shaping the story, and at the same time giving you a window into what is happening on the ground through the video’s electric montage of music events, fashion shows, street festivals workshops and more.

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Africa By Design Inaugural Exhibition Launches In Ghana

AFRICA BY DESIGN Bob_Grandy_Ghana_Kente Textile Master Weaver

 

Exhibitions focusing on design from Africa continue to abound, with more countries outside the continent holding dedicated showcases. Whilst this is great to see, it is also important that the African continent also hold its own showcases to highlight the growing value of design to local audiences. One such initiative is Africa by Design in Ghana, which launched its inaugural self-titled exhibition presenting the work of 22 emerging and established African designers representing 6 countries from sub-Saharan Africa – Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal.

 

[Main Image credit: Master Kente and Ewe Weaver, Bob Gandy – Africa by Design]

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LIHA Beauty Inspired By West African Skin Care Traditions

We have gone through a cold snap of late, the icy winter winds contrasted with the drying effects of central heating leaving skin feeling skin a bit distressed. Whether you are in a cold or hot climate, it is important to protect your skin as each season comes with its own set of challenges that can be harmful to exposed skin if you go not care for it properly. And with more of us shunning chemical laden products in favour of natural skin care ones it can be tricky to find natural products that are what they say they are. So had to share when I came across LIHA, a natural beauty brand made in Cheltenham and Hackney. The brand focuses on producing small batches of natural skin care products, inspired by the age old West African skin care tradition of making beautifying oils, soaps and lotions from the local nuts, tree bark and plants that grew in abundance; a skill that was traditionally learned by all young women.

 

[Main credit:  LIHA Skin Care collection]

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Afro Hair Specialist Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil Hair Care Products

 

London hair stylist and Afro hair specialist Charlotte Mensah recently debuted her first range of premium haircare products. The Charlotte Mensah Manketti Haircare collection features three products a Shampoo, Conditioner and an Oil that all feature Manketti Oil, a super hair ingredient that helps gives weightless moisture, shine, softness and definition to curly hair types.

 

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Monaa Luxury African Inspired Shoes Made In Ghana

Monaa - Luxury African footwear made in Ghana
Nothing says summer more than a pair of comfortable, yet chic sandals. And, with the summer holidays having officially started in this part of the world, many a pair will have been tucked away into luggage bound for sun soaked destinations. And, whether or not you are going away for the holidays, every wardrobe needs a pair or two, or three… So just in time for summer, July has seen the launch of Monaa, a stylish collection of luxury African inspired shoes comprising leather sandals and slippers made in Ghana.
[Main image credit: Princess Slipper in blue – Monaa]
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A A K S Luxury Hand Woven Made In Africa Bags At Anthropologie

Happa Bag - A A K S
Made in Africa Luxury accessories label, A A K S was founded in 2014 by colour-obsessed designer, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, whose passion for all things bright led to the creation of a chic range of handbags handcrafted in Bolgatanga, a region in northern Ghana famed for its longstanding basket weaving traditions. Through A A K S Akosua intended to capture the spirit and durability of this heritage, showcasing the hand weaving techniques to a global audience and in the process help support the artisans and communities the company works with by creating local jobs. A A K S works closely with groups of local artisan weavers who skillfully weave colourful piles of raffia into the stylish products that combine modern style interpretations with traditional methods.
[Main image credit: Happa Bag – A A K S]
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Uplifting African Home Accessories And Furnishings

The New Year brings with it good intentions to think, do and be better mentally, physically and spiritually in work and play. Get of to a good start by surrounding yourself with inspirational quotes and ancient words of wisdom to help you along your way courtesy of Bespoke Binny, a London-based creator and retailer of uplifting African home accessories and furnishings.
[Image credit: Wax print and African Proverb Cushion Collections – Bespoke Binny]
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Defining Luxury African Fashion Buki Akib Design Indaba Interview

Buki Akib’s luxurious style, influenced by West African textile traditions captures the imagination. The textiles and fashion accessories designer is defining Luxury African fashion. I recently caught up with the highly experimental designer to glean further insight into her work and inspirations. The full feature can be read on Design Indaba.
[Main image credit: Buki Akib Menswear]
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