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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Behind the Scenes: Fall 2010 Collection from OneMangoTree on Vimeo.

MIMI Related Links: Dream Under One Mango Tree; Mar Y Sol: Packing Sunshine In A Bag

Written By: MIM!Amaka Osakwe debuted her Autumn/Winter 2010 collection from her newly launched label, Maki Oh, to much fanfare. That's no surprise considering that the her refreshingly original Autumn/Winter 2010 collection brought something different to African fashion: texture, layers and a three dimensional aesthetic.

As the label explains, "Maki Oh design ethos is to challenge prevailing notions of beauty. It aspires to initiate a continuous recognition and appreciation for self and individuality through fashion. Aroused by a strong sense of identity and African culture, the brand creates alluring conversational pieces that fuse traditional techniques with detailed construction."

We are looking forward to seeing more from this promising young label. Take a look at the Autumn/Winter collection, Everything In Proportion, by visiting:

(Photo Credits: Maki Oh)
Written By: MIM!Clutch Culture is the lovechild of diverse colours and rich prints that come together to create a very unique collection of clutch purses. Designed and hand-made by Mo Handahu, these awe-inspiring prints combined with vibrant colors make for a unique collection.

For more information, visit

(Photo Credits: Clutch Culture)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Written By: MIM!Funky Dada's home decor collection is anything but ordinary. Inspired by bold and beautiful patterns, prints, and textures from around the globe, Funky Dada aims to infuse a bit of vibrancy, color and whimsy into our lives. Shop Funky Dada by visiting their Etsy Shop: and learn more about the label by visiting And as Funky Dada shares, "Dada means sister in Swahili, and we hope our creations encourage and inspire funky sisters (and brothers) everywhere! "

(Photo Credits: Funky Dada)
Written By: Nani HapaMade up of a team who is passionate about the continent, Swagger is a lifestyle label looking to add a little ... well, swagger, to your wardrobe. MIMI caught up with Swagger's Kwame Ado to find out more about the label that is marrying swagger with style.
  1. In three words, Swagger is ... Fun, Unique, Classic.
  2. The African celebrity with the most Swagger is ...Djimon Hounsou.
  3. The best way to accessorize your Swagger is ... to check our website for new exciting products.
  4. The worst African Swagger jacker is ... every African has their own swagger.
  5. To get Swagger like us...WEAR SWAGGER, our brand.
For more from Swagger, visit the official site at

(Photo Credits: Provided Courtesy Of Swagger)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Youth Are Talking from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.

Leaders with New Dimensions from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.

Written By: Chichi Aneke—I’m part of the demographic! Why didn’t I think of that until after the fact? It wasn’t until last week that it hit me, and I realized what I may have gotten myself into. Dear God, what will my family think? Okay I have to focus; I can’t just make such an unprofessional diagnosis on the fly. Besides don't they say that we should watch what we say because confession brings possession? How do I begin? I can't go to the family doctor; it will get out, especially when the bill comes. I have to do some research but as discreetly as possible. I made an appointment at a clinic on the other side of town. It’s far enough that no one would recognize me and their rates are pretty inexpensive. Look how paranoid I've become.

Where is my Cece Winans CD? Today is my appointment, why is time passing so slowly? If only people knew what torture it is to just smile at them, they’d let me be. I didn’t feel like coming into work, but I skipped class. I just want to crawl into bed and overdose on sleeping pills. The only problem with that is I don’t have a prescription, no one I’m close to does either.
Very brilliant plan though. I finally got to the clinic; I was so close to tears, the nurses assured me everything would be fine. All the CIA interrogation questions they asked me, I know it's nothing personal, but having to say them aloud, has made me seriously consider my lifestyle. It's a Close Call.

(Photo Credits: © Corbis) (Model Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Written By: Staff Writer—Choreographer. Dancer. Dreamer. Musician. That’s Eritrean born, New York based Luam Kiflezghi (who simply goes by “Luam”) to a tee in four words. Luam began dancing with African Rhythms Dance Company at the University of Pennsylvania and Ballet Shango in Philadelphia before moving to New York. In New York, she continued her dance training while working in corporate America on creative technology projects with the likes of Fortune, People, and Entertainment Weekly. Her passion for teaching and choreography only grew as she continued to train, which led Luam to teach her own classes at the Djoniba Dance Center and NY Sports Clubs. But it wasn’t until 2002 when Luam pursued her love for dance full time. Read more about this woman of Soul.Substance.Style.
Written By: Staff Writer—Célia Faussart was born in France to a Cameroonian mother and a French father. Her love for music began as a young girl growing up in Chad. At age 15, she began singing professionally with her older sister Hélène in France, later forming the internationally renowned Grammy-nominated singing duo Les Nubians. The band has intrigued audiences for more than a decade with their inventive and glamorous “Afropean” style. Read more about this woman of Soul.Substance.Style.
Written By: Staff Writer—25-year-old Malian singer, Inna Modja is a newcomer to France’s musical scene, but her star is quickly rising. Although she is inspired by Malian artists such as the legendary Salif Keita (who she met at fifteen by literally knocking on his door seeking guidance, which led to Inna singing back-up for his Bamako Rail Band until she decided to pursue music as a solo artist), Inna’s music is a departure from the Malian sound of artists such as Keita and Rokia Traore. The former model who calls herself a “Motown girl” labels her music “rock ’n love” rather than “rock ’n roll” because she is a clean cut artist with no dramatic antics up her sleeve. Read more about this woman of Soul.Substance.Style.

(Photo Credits: Provided Courtesy of Camus Production)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Written By: Staff Writer—Find out which African beauties are taking A Short Cut To Beauty and discover why we ♥ Goapele's Style.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Written By: Nicole Parker-Jones—I have been labeled as not being “black enough”—not white, just not “black enough”—more times than I would like to remember. It is insulting, irritating, and offensive to the core. Paradoxically, it is not other black people who have alleged that I am not black enough, rather, it is non-blacks who find that my brand of black—well educated, well spoken, well mannered, well raised—does not comport with their stereotypical notions of what it means to be “black.” Either I was being mocked at a party for not knowing how to dance well like "other black people" or I was being paid a backhanded compliment for blending into corporate America unlike "other black people" or my contributions in the classroom were being discounted because I couldn't really represent diversity when my opinions were not like those of “other black people.” Whether cloaked as mockery, a compliment, or simply an off-handed observation, there is no denying it is racist, and it is palpable.

Read the rest in Shades Of Blackness.

(Photo Credits: © Fuse / PunchStock) (Models Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)
Written By: Kemi Ebun—When I first moved to the United States, I was part of a small community of children of Nigerian-American immigrants living in an urban jungle (read: ghetto) who, like me, were proudly Nigerian (only when it was considered cool to be from the “motherland”) but sought to assimilate into what we understood to be American culture; from our vantage point—a poor rough and tumble neighborhood—youth culture was defined by urban pop culture: hip-hop. Biggie Smalls and 2Pac reigned as kings and Lauryn Hill was our supreme queen. My traditional Nigerian mother wanted no part of hip-hop, but that did not stop me from being first to buy my bootleg CDs with the pocket change I could spare.

One CD, Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, released in 2001, I will never forget. The album, which has been hailed as “ground-breaking” was just that to me, but for reasons entirely disconnected from the artistry of the album. For me, I can remember as clear as day when I was gathered with some friends listening to the album. When the track, Girls, Girls, Girls started playing, I remember shrieking to my friends, “He said ‘Miss Fufu!’” To which they responded, “That’s you, Miss Fufu!” That much I knew, but what exactly was Jay-Z saying about “African Chicks?” Find out in Excuse Me Jay-Z, I Don't Apologize For Liking Fufu.

(Photo Credits: FritzPhoto / iStockPhoto) (Model Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)
Written By: Nana Bonsu—In an effort to appeal to African moviegoers, and distinguish their films in a crowded market flooded by Nigeria’s giant film industry, Nollywood (some reports claim Nollywood releases as many as forty films per week), Ghanaian moviemakers are pushing the boundaries when it comes to film by including steamy sex scenes in their movies. Last year, debate ensued when Raj Films and Heroes Productions’ trailer for Heart of Men, featured, among other things, a shot of actor Majid Michel’s grinding buttocks during a sex scene. Yet, ultimately, the film snagged five African Movie Academy Award nominations. This year, Ghanaian production company Venus Films sparked controversy when it released the trailer for 4Play, which among other things, alluded to a love triangle involving a married couple and the bisexual husband’s male lover. Although public outcry led to some of the sex scenes being edited out of the final movie, when 4Play leaked on YouTube, the combination of soft-porn sex scenes and dialogue laced with f-bombs and n-words to rival a rap song, led viewers to criticize Ghana’s film industry as producing nothing more than just that—profane soft-porn. Drawing comparisons to Nollywood films, commentators on 4Play’s YouTube page remarked, “Sex is being overrated in Ghana movies. We Nigerians don't do such!” and “No disrespect … but seriously … African movies [are] suppose[d] to be respectful [and] real.”

Read more about the Nollywood versus Gollywood debate in Cut! Censoring Sex In Ghanaian Movies.

(Photo Credits: © Stockbyte / PunchStock) (Models Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)
Written By: Nani Hapa—There is no denying the global pervasiveness and stickiness of western pop culture. Beyoncé means “music phenom” in English, Swahili, Yoruba, and Zulu, but Miriam Makeba does not translate to the same across cultures, even though there is no serious question that Makeba has defined that space in Africa. Although African countries have local celebrities—Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (Nigeria), Lira (South Africa), Jackie Appiah (Ghana), Angelique Kidjo (Benin) to name a few—as a general matter, Africans have imported and correspondingly celebrated western pop culture en masse without critical regard to who or what we are celebrating. As a result, western celebrities have been elevated in
Africa—translating directly into dollars and cents with respect to everything from album sales to endorsement deals—at the expense of African celebrities. This is most apparent in the fashion industry where marketing campaigns targeting African women are littered with western celebrities: Scarlett Johansen for Dolce & Gabbana, Kate Moss for Yves Saint Laurent, and Halle Berry for Revlon, to name a few.

Increasingly, however, the fashion industry is becoming hip to the star power of African celebrities, and it is paying off for African celebrities who are ever more scoring endorsement deals as brand ambassadors, not just because of their beauty (as has been the case with African models such as Liya Kebede for Louis Vuitton) but because of their celebrity status. Read about Marketing Beauty To African Women.

(Photo Credits: L'Oreal)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Written By: Nani Hapa—AiRis’ highly-anticipated debut full-length album The AiRis Project is set to be released later this year, and to mark the release of the album, I went on a research project to uncover 8 facts about music’s newest sensation; for example, did you know AiRis has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering? Discover more fun facts about the woman who is credited for bringing a unique soul-meets-pop sound to Africa’s music scene in The AiRis Project.

To hear more from AiRis, watch her music video for the lead single from her upcoming debut album The AiRis Project, Without You, and visit AiRis' recently launched official website to hear even more of her music.

(Photo Credits: Icy PR)
Written By: Staff Writer—Nando Nkrumah combines creative visual thinking with technological proficiency to produce diverse design concepts and computer graphics imagery animations. Born in Kumasi, Ghana, the freelance designer moved to Cologne, Germany after a military coup in the early 1980’s. While growing up in Germany, skateboarding, drawing and street art inpsired Nando, creating a space for Nando’s experimentation, imagination and creative freedom to blossom. Today, the influence of his upbringing is apparent in his work, which is inspired by his childhood as well as elements of different dimensions, or what he calls—”analogue, digital, spiritual, technological, African and European.”

Together with his partner, Eva Nkrumah, Nando founded nkrumah, a digital shop selling sustainable pieces inspired by art. Read Designing Concepts: Nando Nkrumah to learn more about the Nkrumah's functional art.

(Photo Credits: Nando Nkrumah)
Written By: Staff Writer—Though her roots can be traced back to the Comoros islands, Imany Mladjao was raised on a steady diet of folk, rock, and soul. Read Imany: From Paris With Love to find out more about the rising star of Paris' live music scene and to learn more about Imany, visit her MySpace Page.

(Photo Credits: © Magali Boyer)
Written By: Minna Salami—In recent years a growing number of African women have been opting for natural hair instead of relaxers and weaves. The reasons for this increase are many; from rediscovering their natural hair texture and the beauty of Afro hair to following the Afro trend to wanting to save time involved in long salon visits. However, although your hair is natural, it doesn’t mean that you can care freely forget about maintenance. Sorry girls, you still need to put in some time and energy to keep those tresses happy. Get my Ten Essential Tips For Natural Hair.

(Photo Credits: © Image Source / PunchStock) (Model Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)

My Hair Story

Written By: Geraldine Amakihe—In our corner of the world, having hair, not only on one’s head, but all over their body, is seen as a sign of beauty and good luck, and I frequently also remember passersby who would stop by the hair stall, and run their hands over my legs and arms, cooing over how much hair such a small child had.

Today, I hear varying stories that discuss the perception of natural hair within African countries, and immediately, a sense of detest from African people about African textured hair of any sort begins to emerge. I cannot speak on behalf of the entire Africa, or on Nigeria for that matter, because my point of reference only accounts for my personal experience; however, I know that while growing up, the texture of my hair was never an issue of contention. I never grew up feeling inadequate about characteristics of my hair, and the only thing I remember hating so passionately when it came to dealing with my hair, was that I was a child whose last desire was to sit still for any amount of time to have my hair styled. I was the only girl my age in a compound full of rough and tumble little boys, so I was an interesting mix of tomboyish fearlessness and girlish frills. Not being able to join my mischievous and carefree cohorts because I had to have my hair braided was tantamount to torture.

When my family relocated back to the States, my first introduction that all was not right with my hair, was immediate. Read My Hair Story.

(Photo Credits: © MBBirdy / iStockPhoto) (Model Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)
Written By: Princess Goosby—People who really love you do not want to see you hurt, they don’t want to be the bearer of bad news and often do everything in their power to avoid doing anything they think will cause you pain. There are exceptions to this rule. I am sure we all have them in our circle—the people who lack couth and will tell you whatever is on their mind, regardless of whether it holds any truth because if anyone should tell you it should be them. In their own way of loving you, they often make matters worse, pushing you a little closer to the edge of an emotional breakdown. Before you fall, they pull you back in with an infamous, “Dang girl, are you okay, you had me worried there for a minute?”

There are several truths (in my opinion) I think we should all know when facing crises and seeking advice. First, no one knows better than you do. This is where we take inventory of our situation and be honest with ourselves. Second, no one really knows—not even you. All we can do is proceed with caution, and use discernment. It’s our best shot at making sense of things. Last, stop loving with our eyes closed. How in the heck can we see what is going on if our eyes are closed? I am not sure if there is a formula for giving good advice, so I have come up with some suggestions instead, read them in Relationship Advice: Giving It Good.

(Photo Credits: © Brand X Pictures / PunchStock) (Models Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)
Written By: Jacqueline Kibacha—I was born in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and I’m the first born and only girl of 4 children. When I was 3 years old we left Tanzania and I've since lived in the Middle East and the UK. I enjoyed and was always really good at creative writing and art from a young age and that is what I chose to study. My teachers discovered I had a talent for acting and so I also studied to gain awards in speech and poetry presentation as well as performing in plays and musicals. I spent much of my university life, where I studied Fine Arts, involved with music, through organizing events, being a lead vocalist in a band and joining various choirs. It was whilst preparing for my final year Art Show and recording with DJs that I began to experiment with sounds and words in the form of poetry. I was given the name Pretty Poet in 2005 and took my poetry to a new dimension. Read about My Journey To Becoming A Voice For The Voiceless.

(Photo Credits: Fiona Compton)
Written By: Minna Salami—There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who truly loves herself. No matter what height, shape, hair-type or skin you have, the beauty of a self-loving personality is ultimately reflected in your behaviour. Learning to love yourself is the single most beautifying action, which reflects in how you act and react in any situation; how you speak, carry yourself and interact with other people are all determined by how genuinely you love yourself. Read Ten Ways African Women Can Learn To Love Themselves.

(Photo Credits: © Image Source / PunchStock) (Model Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)
Written By: Staff Writer— Cameroonian sisters Angel Sylvester and Cynthia Anduhtabe have the recipe for sweet success with their recently launched home-based venture, Lolita’s Cupcakes, a speciality bakery experience in London. Driven by their creative passion, Lolita’s Cupcakes was “borne from a means of releasing some artistic creativity as well as re-introducing some fashionable glamour into cake decorating!” Inspired by everything from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to their love of colour, fashion, glamour, photography, as well as their African heritage, the sisters’ cupcakes are beautifully decorated cakes that resemble works of art. Creative credentials—Angel the “arty-sister” studied graphic design and photography at the London College of Printing—makes for the icing on the cake in the delicious venture. MIMI caught up with Cynthia, the “baker-decorator sister” who studied modern languages at the University of Manchester, to find out how the sisters are stirring up success. Read How Sweet It Is: Lolita's Cupcakes.

(Photo Credits: © Ruth Black / iStockPhoto)
Written By: Mazuba Kapambwe—After the positive responses we got from our New York and Chicago editions of the “Afro-Inspired” summer list, we decided that it was only fair that we do an edition for the UK. Enjoy our list of affordable African-inspired events for the summer and the fall by reading MIMI's African-Inspired Guide To The UK.
Written By: Suzanne Brume—If you read statistics on the preventable health conditions we face in our time, it is staggering. We have increased the obesity rate phenomenally, and in turn, made ourselves more prone to all sorts of diseases. Some of these diseases are heart diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. I am fairly certain that we all know someone suffering from something on that list ... I would really implore you to be the individual that puts health first in the African community. Be the infection into your society so people can start thinking about fitness again. We should be concerned with fitness as a whole—body image and health. After all, you’re stuck with one body for life, so why not treat it well so you can be proud to be in it for years to come? Get inspired by reading Your Body Is A Temple and to read more from me, visit my blog Eights And Weights.

(Photo Credits: © Fuse / PunchStock) (Model Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)
Written By: MIM!Nkhensani Nkosi of the world-renowned Stoned Cherrie label recently launched a ready-to-wear range, Love Movement (available at Foschini). Read Stoned Cherrie's Love Movement to see more from the Love Movement runway pieces worn at Cape Town Fashion Week 2010.

(Photo Credits: Foschini & Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

(Photo Credits: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo)

Written By: Mimi Tsiane—If I were to tell a story about my people, this is one of the stories I would tell. A story about a strong Motswana woman who navigates her personal and professional life with dignity, humor and botho: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Boasting an all star cast including Jill Scott playing the coveted role of Mma Ramotswe, the series has also put local Batswana stars such as Shombi Ellis on the road to stardom. Playing the role of Nurse Kgmotso, Ellis sheds light on the series that has put Botswana on the map. The No. 1 Motswana shares her story with MIMI.

(Photo Credits: Airside)
Written By: Staff Writer—One look at Evans Amoako and there is no mistaking him for a fitness buff. It is no surprise then that the Ghanaian born fitness and sports model is committed to working hard and staying in shape. MIMI caught up with Evans to learn about how he stays in the game. Read Evans' interview with MIMI in He's Got Game.

(Photo Credits: Harry Leonard)
Written By: Nani Hapa—It’s probably best to get this out of the way: I am a big fan of Stella Mwangi (or STL as she is affectionately known by fans), whose slick rhyming skills and clever lyrics never fail to grab my attention. So imagine my gidiness when, after weeks of corresponding with her manager about interviewing the star, I received an e-mail from Stella herself saying “Yes I would love to do an interview with you.” Pardon the sentiment but all I could think was: cool. (Well, it was more along the lines of: way cool.) Read my Q&A with the Kenyan-born, Norway-raised rapper who is bringing much needed diversity to hip-hop with her gift of gab in The Hit Girl: Stella Mwangi.

(Photo Credits: Halat Sophie Askeri)
Written By: MIM!If you are reading this it means that Volume 6, Issue 3 of MIMI, Sweet
Somethings, is out (hooray), and summertime is in full swing. With a new album in the works and a couple of hit summer singles (Favorite, Smile) it only seemed fitting to feature The Hit Girl Stella Mwangi as our cover girl.

Sticking with our tradition of publishing a double issue for the summer, Sweet
Somethings is packed with Soul.Substance.Style. Read the Editor's Letter and find out what makes this issue of MIMI our sweetest one to date!

(Photo Credits: Halat Sophie Askeri)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Written By: Jamelia Mmari—Newsweek conducted a study evaluating economy, politics, health, and quality of life, to determine the world's best 100 countries. Eighteen African countries made the cut.

Here are the African countries that ranked in the top 100, as well as their relative rankings (for purposes of comparison, Finland ranked as number 1, while Canada ranked as number 7, the US number 11, and the UK number 14):

65. Tunisia
67. Morocco
74. Egypt
80. Botswana
82. South Africa
85. Algeria
86. Ghana
87. Kenya
90. Madagascar
91. Senegal
93. Tanzania
94. Ethiopia
95. Mozambique
96. Uganda
97. Zambia
98. Cameroon
99. Nigeria
100. Burkina Faso

Explore the world's best countries by visiting

(Photo Credits: © Dreamstime / Milosluz)
Press Release—Chic Afriq is a sale event dedicated to showcasing the best of Afri-chic clothing and accessories and other products and services taking place this Sunday, August 22nd, from 12pm till 6pm at the Covent Garden Dragon Hall, 17 Stukeley Street, London WC2B 5LT (nearest tube: Holborn & Covent Garden). The event will feature African designers such as ChiChia London, You Me We, Asili, Kayobi, Fully Charged, Shea Butter, Cottage and many more, who will be offering discounts on their goods.

Chic Afriq Summer Sale from G Smith on Vimeo.

For more details, visit:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Written By: Nani Hapa—What's not to love about Bez, he wants More You. I just might love the understated beautifully shot video (directed by Kemi Adetiba) as much as the sweet soulful song ... what can I say, I'm a sucker for an acoustic guitar riff.

Bez - More You from Kemi Adetiba on Vimeo.

MIMI Related Links: Men We Love: Kae Sun, Baloji, Siji, Tinie Tempah, And Rotimi

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Written By: MIM!All hail the return of the King! Global groove royalty, King Sunny Ade, is back with Baba Mo Tunde, his first studio album in ten years set to be released on September 28, 2010. Known for his mastery of the art of perfectly pitching his words to suit his often powerful patrons-right down to using the traditions and cadences of their home region or village, King Sunny Ade reflects this talent on Baba Mo Tunde, interweaving proverbs with King Sunny Ade's deeply felt faith, in a move typical of the master of Yoruba poetry. Even beyond the words, King Sunny Ade is a master at grabbing the essence of Yoruba and Afropop moments, and making them great to dance to. "Nigerian music is the wellspring," King Sunny Ade explains with a smile, thinking about his long career and recent work, "but my music brings people together, no matter where they are from. Everybody can give thanks and dance. That's what my music is all about, peace and enjoyment." We're ready to dance!

(Photo Credits: CD Cover Art)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

IT'S:MY:TIME - Behind the Scenes - Johannesburg from André Amaral on Vimeo.

Written By: Jamelia Mmari—When MIMI first published an article about urbanknit two years ago, writer Belinda Otas wrote, "Known for their bold and eclectic mix of colours, African fabrics have become the new craze of the fashion world in recent years; from the runways of South African Fashion Week to last years Runway Africa fashion show in Washington D.C. African designers now understand they too can be versatile with the different blend of colours and fabrics ranging from Nigeria’s Ankara and Adire,—popularly known as ‘Tie and Dye’—to Shwe-shwe from South Africa. The myriad of designs on offer makes it challenging to decide on what to pick when you go to the market but that is no stressful task for Dolapo James. It started out of boredom. According to James, it was never a conscious decision to start a company but today, she is learning fast about what it takes to own and run your own business. What might seem like a daunting pursuit is nothing out of the extraordinaire for this young Nigerian who learnt to knit as a child. 'I started out of sheer boredom one year while job hunting, my mum had taught me how to knit when I was little.” From knitting, she started making items for her family members which she describes as being awful. “I always liked making things and my family was my guinea pig because I was always making stuff that was awful but they indulged me and never discouraged me,' she says."

Today, urbanknit continues to make scarves (knitted in 100% merino wool and cashmere) as well as bags (fabricated from bold combinations of adire, batik, bright prints, satin, ankara and interesting fabrics from all over the world), which are sold at urbanknit's Etsy Shop. Dolapo shares, "I enjoy making one-off accessories in new and interesting ways. Get a funky knitted cowl, scarf or neckwarmer or a bright clutch, zipper pouch or tote all available in bold African fabrics like Adire, Ankara, Aso-oke and contrasted with denim, cotton, leather, silk, satin and so much more. You will definately find something for you."

My personal favorites are the thoroughly modern and Afri-chic vintage styled purses made from ankara.

Shop urbanknit by visiting

Written By: MIM!A year later after the launch of the House of Versatile Styles website, fashion designer Bukola "Bukky" Are introduces a new addition by re-launching the HVS website and introducing a new line of accessories. Bukky shares, "Accessorizing I love; it's that final element that makes any look fabulous. I always knew I would add accessories to the line. The inspiration came just at the perfect time." We've got more from the HVS ad campaign, which is just as glamorous as their earlier campaign this year ...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Written By: MIM!Drawing from all things vintage, edgy, girly, and colorful, Republic of Foreigner (ROF) is a women’s apparel brand established by sisters Carmen and Selina Sutherland with the aim of bringing out the spirit of fun, love, and freedom in fashion! The sisters say, "We think of it a bit like the hippies, so we're just spreading the love!"

Take a look at the collection by visiting