This week, I found out this boutique, Sapelle, London-based but they seem to be shipping in US as well. If you are interested, take a look at their website. My favorites below.
On Purpose – From Rwanda with Love @ Kate Spade
Kate Spade has launched On Purpose line of items made by 150 women artisans of Masoro in Northern Province, Rwanda. All pictures below are courtsey of katespade.com
The Brand: On Purpose for Kate Spade
The IT Factor: Handmade items by artisans from Rwanda
The Inspiration: Provide means to these enterprising women so that they may work and feed their families.
Country of origin: Rwanda
Where to buy: Katespade.com
Sissi’s Notes: Am sure Kate Spade is making money somehow but it warms my heart to see the women being given an opportunity to work at whatever their talent and feed their community. Please check out the items over at katespade.com
A&F: Stella Jean revisited
Last March, I had posted on Stella Jean’s collection for Farfetch.com. I have found more details on the designer after stumbling upon the Abina website, and was pleasantly surprised 🙂
The Brand: Stella Jean
The IT Factor: You have Italian crisp master tailoring with ankara, Dutch wax prints. I LOVE!
The Inspiration: Thanks to Google Translate, the website states that “the style of Stella Jean reflects and evokes his métissage and his Creole heritage that blend the cultures of the old, and the verve of the new continent” all coming together in a femininity conscious of her precious uniqueness” . The moto is “Wax & Stripes Philosophy”.
The Designer Behind the Brand: Stella Jean. What caught my attention is that Stella is of Haitian origins, so I could not understand her connection to African prints, really. Well, she feels connected to West Africa (am guessing that is where Haitians are originally from per her website, but I will need to dig deeper on the subject, maybe on my next Afrique et Culture post 😉 ) To me, her clothes look African, but they feel Italian. Very sharp design, and pricey to match it.
Country of origin: Italy – Haiti
Notable Awards: None that I could find…very surprising.
Website: Stella Jean
Where to buy: Farfetch.com, matchesfashion.com. Some of my Favorites below.
link to purchase dress
link to purchase dress
link to purchase skirt
link to purchase skirt
link to purchase top
Sissi’s Notes: So sharp, please keep up the good work, Stella! And maybe a cheaper line for those of us who cannot spend $2,000 on a single clothing item.
A&F: Deola and CLAN Spring Summer 2015 @ NYFW
As a start to the NYFW series, this week’s African designer is Deola and her sister shop CLAN. As a note, all images on this posts are courtesy of Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via StyleVitae.
Sissi’s African Designer File – 19 Septembre 2014
The IT Factor: Both brands use African styling and material with a modern/Western-like approach to the prints and styling. The CLAN is more catered to the younger women (and designed and managed by Deola’s four daughters).
The Inspiration: According to Deola, the motto is to “To enable our customers to reveal through our design, their unique, albeit inexplicable, `Je ne sais quoi ‘ …Which is always a joy to behold”
The Designer Behind the Brand: Deola Sagoe, along with her daughters, Teni, Tiwa, and Abah Sagoe. Deola’s biography available on her website. I was surprised to learn that she’s been in the fashion business for 25 years now, but I should have paid more attention at my original post on Lanre Da Silva as Deola was listed as a similar big name…I have so much to learn about all designers in the African continent!
Country of origin: Nigeria
Notable Awards: I could not find much as of this writte-up but will keep on looking for future posts.
Sissi’s Notes: The CLAN collection at NYFW last week was interesting, check out the video here. I was impressed by the Deola’s line more, the accentuated scallop for hips and hems; the clever lace, the fitted bodice, the old-school scalloped neckline (reminiscent of an old Wax top from my mom), the darker prints, the accentuated hip line…I could definitely see myself in the selections below. Hope you enjoy them. Her website lists a few stores if interested.
The top of this dress reminds me of the old-styling in Congo in the 1990’s era. My mom used to love those back then. Even today, the styling is still considered old generation, so am glad to see a modern twist.
This dress talks to me in so many level….is it the gently subdued but vibrant navy geometric print (is this Java material I wonder?), or the pronounced waist with a simple belt? Maybe the feminine draping at the waist, or the scallop-like thigh slit, or the clever cleavage line? I cannot decide but I am definitely responding 🙂
This last dress is also a stunner. Very subdued colors, but the shape lets your body do all the talking. The exposed shoulders and overflowing drape and the waistline all make for a classic look. Love it! Which of the Deola and CLAN looks do you like best? Do share!
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
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
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.