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]

Read More

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.

 

Read More

Ibe Ananaba Contemporary African Art And Fashion Illustration

selense-by-ibeananaba-1_orig.jpg
A rising name in contemporary African art and fashion illustration, Nigerian artist Ibe Ananaba opened his solo exhibition a few days ago at the Rele Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria. Entitled Sélénsé the exhibition is a body of contemporary works that tell the story of people’s way of expression through fashion. Ananaba took inspiration from the streets, taking the viewer on a visual exploration of everyday fashion. Looking at how fashion is worn, interpreted and flaunted. Fitting given that  the term Sélénsé is a local slang term meaning to ‘flaunt’ or to ‘show off’. Sélénsé captures the growing interest in African fashion.
[Main image credit: ‘I Beta Pass My Neighbour’ (1) – Ibe Ananaba]
Read More

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 Africa with diverse expressions of African design are Nigeria, Tunisia and South Africa.
[Main image credits: Porky Hefer, London Design Biennale 2016 – Tapiwa Matsinde]
Read More

The Aga Concept African Inspired Cooking Utensils And Accessories

 

The newsletter of textile designer Eva Sonaike introduced me to a stylish range of African inspired cooking utensils by The Aga Concept, a design and lifestyle brand that is inspired by culture and everyday living in Africa. For a lot of Zimbabweans living abroad, and most likely for a lot of Africans in general, cooking traditional food is simply not the authentic experience we crave without the traditional utensils from home, usually brought back on every trip, because buying and using that wooden spoon or pestle and mortar from your local store is somehow just not the same. Our traditional utensils have been created just right for producing each dish. And this is the ethos behind The Aga Concept’s beautiful collection of ergonomically design cooking utensils inspired by African culture.

 

Read More

Traditional Nigerian Textiles Meet Contemporary African Design

Ethnik by T.O. - Tunde Olowabi Studios

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]
Read More

Swoon Edition Milly Chair x Banke Kuku African Inspired Textiles Collaboration

Picture
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]
Read More

Swoon Edition Marley Foostool x Eva Sonaike African Inspired Textiles

Picture
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 is available in small quantities. There are only 10 of the footstool collaboration available.
Read More

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]
Read More

Eva Sonaike Eko Eclipse African Inspired Home Decor

[Image credit: Eko Eclipse Collection – Eva Sonaike]
London-based textile and lifestyle brand Eva Sonaike launches Eko Eclipse, their latest African inspired home decor collection of textiles and soft furnishings that are based on vibrant African prints. The brand’s creative director, Eva Sonaike herself drew inspiration from the West African metropolis that is Lagos, which was formerly known as Eko and was imbued with the folklore of the symbiotic relationship between the earth, the moon and the traditional Gods of the universe, who brought rain, wind and thunder to the planet.
Read More