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]
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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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Stylish Heels MO SAÏQUE Luxury Handcrafted Footwear

Afua Dabanka is a woman after my own heart, she just loves her some shoes, with the difference being that whilst I just drool over whatever fabulousness comes my way, she gets to design and make them under her luxury handcrafted footwear label MO SAÏQUE. A banker turned footwear designer, Afua was born in Germany to Ghanaian parents and now resides in London, where MO SAÏQUE is based.
[Images Credits: Hakuun, Miami Beat Collection – MO SAÏQUE]
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Kenyan Beaded Sandals Colourful Summer Accessories

Inject a dose of pattern and colour into your summer holiday wardrobe with Kenyan beaded sandals from The Afropolitan Shop’s Summer 2012 collection. A traditional style sandal hailing from the coastal region of Kenya forms the basis of the design which feature leather soles, in a choice of black or brown, accessorised by brightly coloured intricate traditional hand beading on the uppers.
[Image credits: Kenyan Beaded Sandals clockwise from top left, African Shield, Infinity,
Mara, 
Jamaica and Sunset Sandals – The Afropolitan Shop]
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Schier Shoes Herero Vellies Advertising Campaign

Lately, the unique style of Namibia’s Herero Women has been the inspiration for several fashion collections, and a recent advertising campaign for a range of vellies by Namibian footwear maker, Schier Shoes brought a smile to my face, its embracement of this spirit of individuality and enjoyment of life whatever your age and wherever you are. Based in Swakopmund, Namibia, the company Herbert Schier has been manufacturing Velskoen shoes since 1938. Although mainly associated with Namibia and South Africa, those from the Southern African region will be familiar with Veldskoen’s or ‘Vellies’ as they are more commonly known, a type of rugged suede footwear that I can recall in Zimbabwe being a staple, given its durability, amongst the uniformed professions such as the Airforce and Safari Guides as well as farmers all of whom seemed to favour the shoe in a light sandy brown colour, or maybe that was the only choice available at the time!
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Fashion Designer Mimi Plange Manolo Blahnik Partnership

Spring has sprung; record-breaking temperatures and the clocks going forward over the weekend, got me thinking its high time I dusted of my strappy sandals, as well as dreaming of adding a few more to the collection. Being able to create that perfect pair of shoes to accessories that perfect outfit is I suspect a dream for many a budding fashion designer; and is one that was realised by fashion designer Mimi Plange, who partnered with legendary footwear designer Manolo Blahnik to create two pairs of custom-designed shoes to accessorise her Spring/Summer 2012 collection.
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Armando Cabral Model Turned Men’s Shoe Designer

Today is officially the first day of Spring, a day that is beautifully bright and sunny but still with a crisp freshness in the air, however you can not escape that wonderful sense of renewal; colours seem sharper and there is a lightness to everything. Speaking of colours a range of suede loafers by model turned men’s shoe designer Armando Cabral stylishly capture the essence of spring…aren’t the shades just gorgeous…and they look so soft.
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Zoom Shoes Modern South African Footwear Brand

As a young woman coming-of-age in mid 90’s Zimbabwe, magazine’s coming in from South Africa like True Love, Cosmopolitan, Fair Lady and Elle helped to shape and influence my dreams and growing identity in the world of adulthood. Typical of girls all over the world, each month my friends and I would buy and share the latest copies, discussing the trends and features in relation to our own lives. At the time South Africa was going through an incredible and much long awaited period of change, inevitably causing a ripple effect that had an impact across it’s borders, and we began to see fashion and images that related to us young women on the verge of our careers. This was the period when Brandy was ‘Sittin’ up in [her] room’, ‘Stella’ was getting her groove back and fashion was rapidly recycling through previous decades whilst taking on a futuristic feel as the Millennium approached and saw the likes of SWV and co sporting 60’s/70’s style influences that had me perfecting a French roll updo with a beehive front! However, as we started earning getting hold of the fashions we saw wasn’t easy unless we travelled or knew someone who was travelling- providing them with torn pages, lists and specific instructions- so we had to be content with replicating them through our local tailors; accessories were a bit trickier to get hold off.

[Image credit: Sandals – Zoom]

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Designer Rupert Sanderson Inspired By Africa Shoes Collection

Kibo Wedge - Rupert Snaderson

I know I said don’t get me started on Rupert Sanderson shoes when I profiled his protégé, footwear designer Liam Fahy; but they found me! I came across the Rupert Sanderson Resort 2012 Shoe Collection on Fashionologie whilst following a link trail; and instantly falling in love with the gorgeous Kibo wedge I just had to pause and have a look at the rest.
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