Monthly Archives

September 2015


    Africa Utopia Marketplace

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    My last report on Africa Utopia was a general overview, here I pick out my favourite brands at the show starting with House of Loulee by Lucy Lee. Specialising in handmade printed clothing and gifts for the whole family and shipping worldwide via their online store this company had some great baby gift sets on show.

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    Loving these patterned bow ties!

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    How AMAZING are these bags by Miss Awushie ‘Afrocentric Fashion for Women who rock’! Made in Ghana, everything on this stand got me excited! The statement bags were well made and such a refreshing change to the kind you see on the high street. The fabric covered cuffs and button collar would look great if you wanted to go for a touch of boldness with a simple outfit. I liked  Joana Humphreys (the Director of the brand) outfit, classic black dress with a bright, printed cropped jacket.

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    Dionne Gooding a London based footwear designer had a gorgeous collection of flats and heels made from leather and printed fabrics. I recommend taking a look at her website, there are some stunning killer heels on there in a multi orange/pink/green print and they are in the sale! I would buy a pair if I could walk in them!

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    Check out this intricate beaded jewellery from Thandu Lundi. I loved the colour combinations of beads, they also had a workshop on the day where you could learn to make your own ‘Zulu love letter pins’ (4th photo down). These beaded messages are given by Zulu maidens to their lovers as symbols of their love and affection, each colour conveys a different message. They have a great sale on their website at the moment, take a look here.

    A bit about the company ethos…

    The name “ThanduLundi” came about as a merger of the founders’ names NoThando & NoLundi. A daughter & mother living continents apart but with the same passion and love for African traditional crafts.

    We are essentially an online store offering a select range of African inspired accessories which are:

    • Intricate
    • Original
    • Beautiful
    • Cultural
    • Stand-Out

    The accessories will compliment your individual style as well as make a bold statement as they can be worn to complete a traditional or modern outfit.

    We also have occasional seasonal stalls set up at various events in and around London. Sign up to our mailing list to keep up with our whereabouts.

    All the products we sell are 100% handcrafted with pride by Individual Artisans as well as Social Enterprise Organisations in Africa.

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    Gitas Portal were selling a great selection of  ladieswear and accessories. The dark wool coat below with it’s contrasting african print lining looked stunning on the mannequin. They had some great printed tote bags with contrasting handles too.

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    London based company Nilare were showcasing beautiful wood carvings by local artisans from Africa.

    NILARE is a lifestyle brand that exhibits a unique range of stylish and contemporary handcrafted accessories and gifts, whilst showcasing African artistry to the world.

    We create elegant, ethically traded, high quality products that capture Africa’s fusion of cultures and styles whilst telling a story. NILARE is perfect for design lovers who want to have exquisite pieces to create or reflect their own personal style statement.

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    Someone I have know for over 20 years and I haven’t seen in a few, Nathan Williams was there representing his brand Aso Global. The company’s mission is to bring collective stories from the past, present and future into the marketplace. The Iyoba Idia mask which was used as the symbol of the 1977 world festival of African culture in Lagos and was a dominant Icon of his childhood in Nigeria and features strongly throughout the collection on clothing and accessories. All the products are ethically produced and can be purchase online here.

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    Homeware Company Toghal, had a beautiful, contemporary range of goods on show, giving African prints a modern, mid-century feel. There are some great mood boards in the lookbook section of their website visualising how you can add their products into a modern home setting. I pretty much wanted everything on the stand!

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    Indra Ethnik had a colourful collection of hats for sale.

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    Artist and designer, Lulu Kitololo showcased contemporary prints and cards and a selection of woven baskets and cotton bags. I particularly liked the Frida Kahlo print, reminded me of my eyebrows back in the 80’s! 😀

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    And last but not least Styled By Africa, a curated selection of Africa’s best contemporary fashion and lifestyle.

    Committed to carefully sourced and beautifully made collections, Styled By Africa brings the best African fashion and lifestyle brands to a global audience. Whether they’re from Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal or South Africa, we spend months searching the continent to bring you incredible quality items with a unique design perspective that you can love forever.

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    I hope you enjoyed the post and feel inspired to add some colour into your wardrobe and home. Do take a closer look at the brands featured on here, my photos don’t do the products justice and they all have many more beautiful products to buy online!

    Ciao for now 🙂

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