Growing up in New York City, my exposure to African fashion was limited to the small immigrant communities of Harlem, the stories my father would tell me and the minute representations in American magazines. Having always had strong cultural influences in my life I found myself drawn to the beauty and style of the African continent. So when it came to me exploring my personal style it was only natural that I be inspired by the continent. After seeing the Arise show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in 2009, I took to the internet to find other examples of African street style and a marketplace for authentic Ankara designs, here are a few of my favorite blogs that represent African Fashion in all its beauty…
5. Heritage 1960: A blogozine started by Fashion Editor Enyinne Owunwanne in 2011 to expose the world to the global impact of African culture. Born in the US to Nigerian parents Enyinne has lived in cities across the world such as Kuwait, Philadelphia, Hong Kong, Paris and New York but it was a conversation with a Korean museum director in Seoul that made her aware of the vast impact African culture had on the world. Heritage 1960 is a “platform where consumers can learn about African culture—both past and present—and purchase items that reflect a global sensibility with an African soul.”
4. One Nigerian Boy: Editor in Chief Terence has quickly become one of the most well known names in the African blogosphere . Starting his career out as a blogger looking to raise awareness of African fashion, Terence now writes for several blogs and magazines including his personal project TerenceSamboWrites and has ventured into the world of styling and design. Currently based in London, One Nigerian Boy features popular street style from the cool kids of Africa and the diaspora as well as an inside look at cultural and design news, art and exclusive events.
3. Ciaafrique: Assa Cisse a Mali born mother of two now living in Toronto Canada began Ciaafrique in late 2008. After having her second son, Assa yearned for a connection to her homeland and took to the web in search of African Fashion. She realized the significant lack of web-presence of African designers and decided to start a blog that would feature the continents rising fashion scene. ” I thought that maybe I could have a blog where I could feature the work of the talents and skills of Africa” and that she did. Today the site sees thousands of visitors daily and has been featured in countless magazines and fellow blogs as a favorite in African fashion. Definitely one of my go to’s for finding designers exclusive to Africa and the diaspora.
2. Funfere Koroye: An Industrial Design student and Lagos native, Funfere has plans on starting his own footwear and bag line after earning his Masters in Product Design . Until then the 22 year old saunters the streets of Milan dressed head to toe in bold colors, luxe textures and eye catching prints. He prides himself on not following trends and thrives to be an inspiration for others to change. As for his eclectic style Koroye says he shops online and in chain stores like everyone else and isn’t afraid to venture into the women’s department for pieces that stand out. He’s definitely one to watch.
1. The 4 Aces Date: Hailing from New York, D.C and Lagos; Abby, Cookie, Kaven and Ozzy are 4 chic Nigerian chicks taking the net by storm. Each with their own unique sense of style the quartet offer an insight on fashion news, street style and current trends. When visiting the site you can ask the girls for advice on fashion, beauty and even shop from Cookies closet. With backgrounds in fashion modeling, photography, styling and design these beautiful ladies have enough experience to rule a fashion empire and the brainpower to boot. Collectively the four hold degrees in Biology, Biological Anthropology and Marketing. Beauty, brains and great shoes… a lethal combination!
Safiyyah Fatin is a new media and fashion blogger and stylist born and raised on the mean streets of New York City. Find her work at http://aclosetcase.blogspot.com