Designer spotlight: Fenix Couture

The BrandFenix Couture


The IT Factor: Bright colors and structured lines with the expected Dutch wax prints

The Inspiration: Per the website, the label is inspired by nature, “which is reinterpreted to render its designs in dramatically romantic prints and imagery. The goal of the Label is to bridge the gap between print wax materials and other materials in the consciousness of the fashion world”


The Designer Behind the Brand: Josephine Akioyamen, Nigerian-born with formal education at Nicky Africana Fashion School in Lagos and at the George Brown College in Toronto Canada

Country of origin: Nigeria – Canada

Notable Awards: None that I could find

Website: Fenix Couture

Where to buy: Fenix Couture Online Shop

Sissi’s Notes: I love the structured looks because they say classy, polish and feminine without being overtly sexy. My favorites above and below. All images courtesy of

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A&F: Designer Spotlight on Maki Oh!

Hi all!! This week, let’s look at some nice work by Maki Oh, a Nigerian based Fashion House 🙂  The Sissi’s file below!

Sissi’s African Designer File

The Brand: Maki Oh

The IT Factor: To me, what makes this brand unique is the use of ‘non-traditional’ African materials.  As an example, I love how she has applied the Nigeria aso-oke fabric into her design.  If you are in-between fashion, like most in Africa, you get a mix of both worlds

The Inspiration: “Challenge prevailing notions of beauty”.  To me, it sounds more like everyday life.  For the fall 2014 collection, the inspiration was madness.  The brand’s main designer saw a woman in a mirror who looked half mad half normal…For summer 2014, the inspiration comes from splatter of blood and woman’s confusion regarding their place into society so they move from feminine to boyish 🙂 I wish I could see all that into her designs but when did I start to pretend to be that deep?

The Designer Behind the Brand: Amaka Osakwe.  Her biography is available on Wikipedia, but again am just inspired by her enterprising attitude

Country: Nigeria

Notable Awards: I could not find much within my deadline but as I get to know more about the brand, am sure to update the Sissi’s A&F File.  Checkout some of their collection items over at Style.Com

Website: Maki-Oh

Sissi’s Notes: The collection items are very much western or metropolitan to me, but I like the nice touch of material other than the Dutch Wax print.  Am inspired by some outfits and not as much by others, but overall, one more designer on my watch list.  Some of my favorites below.

MakiOh_fall14_2 MakiOh_fall14_3 MakiOh_fall14_4 MakiOh_fall14_5 MakiOh_sum14_1 MakiOh_sum14_2 MakiOh_sum14_3 MakiOh_sum14_4 MakiOh_sum14_5 MakiOh_fall14_1

A&F: Designer spotlight on “Loin Cloth & Ashes”

This week, the spotlight is on Loin, Cloth and Ashes, the brand by Anisa Mpungwe. Her design are very modern, not exactly what you will expect to be “African” but again Africa is a continent with a multitude of cultures and tastes.  However, you get the see the Ankara prints, the love of color, the form-fitting designs, use of sandy neutrals, and the colorful accessories.

The brand is fairly new as Anisa opened her first store in 2012 at the age of 28 years but she is motivated and we will certainly hear more from her. Some of my favorites from her line below, and the Sissi File further down.

All images credit to:

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The Sissi African Designer File

The Brand: Loin, Cloth and Ashes

The IT Factor: Very modern cuts and bright colors, edgy comfort for the “independent” women 🙂

The Inspiration: “Dare to be different”.  Anisa takes her inspiration from music, art, mood swings ( 🙂 ), color, shape, Africa.

The Designer Behind the Brand: Anisa Malembo Mpungwe

Notable Awards: WON 2008 Elle New Talent Competition (in association with a Mr. Price) and became first Black female to do so



Sissi’s Notes: Anisa is emerging, again an inspirational enterprising woman and it is great to see. She was invited to present her design at a Mercedes Benz show, so she is definitely moving up.  I am not wowed by her clothes yet but I love the fluidity in movement they inspire.  Am definitely smitten by her accessories 🙂 Looking forward to seeing more from her brand!


Afrique & Fashion: Duro Owulu

The designer spotlight this week is on Duro Owolu.

He was born in Nigerian but is based in London.  Duro came into the fashion spotlight in London in 2004 and is famous for his bold use of bright African prints and tailoring of the 70’s.  Apparently, according to NY MAG, Duro became famous in 2005 for the “Duro”, a high-waisted patchwork boho dress that gathered attention from Vogue and Barney’s.

I got to look at his Fall 2014 collection and loved the richness of colors.  Interestingly, Duro also had a line with JC Penney but it is not available anymore (link).

Four main items from his Fall 2014 collection receive five stars from Ebelandi, see below.  I particularly love the skirt with leather belt at waist and the richness of the blue and red dress.  You can checkout his full line at Owulu’s homepage. Let me know what your thoughts are!

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Photo courtesy of NY Mag

Afrique & Fashion: All about the curves (5 Nov 2013)

Updated. Please look at beautiful pictures below courtesy of Ciaa Afrique. Designers are Grace Wallace for Vlisco and Juanjo Oliva Spring/Summer 2010.

In Central Africa, and particularly in Kinshasa where I was raised, the women’s clothing aim to accentuate natural curves, which is where the Lingala expression “Mwasi mwasi se nzoto” comes from.  (Translated to “A Woman is identified by her body” 🙂 ).  Therefore, the fitter the better.  However, clothes are usually not tight because the material would most likely crack…I will be periodically posting on African designers who catch my eyes…Let me know if you have a preferred designer or style you would like me to expand on!

Juanjo Oliva Spring 2010 vlisco-fashion-show-cotonou-sur-ciaafriqur-eloi-sessou