Ethical Fashion Initiative: when fashion is both beautiful and meaningful

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It’s about 6pm on the 12th of June 2014. I’m at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, a characteristically grandiose European institutional building made all the more incredible by its waterfront view and bright, modern yet noble style. It is the type of space that – bewilderingly – makes you think of both justice and injustice. Today…

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7 ways that Africa is shaping globalisation

Globalisation, the compression of the world through cultural exchanges and innovation, is not a new incident to Africa (nor any other part of the world for that matter). Africa is interwoven in a millennia-long global exchange, where it has often lost out but also benefited from and shaped the course of global innovation to a far…

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Event: An African summer festival in London

If you are a reader who is currently in London, I hope you are enjoying the heat, sunshine, rejuvenation, relaxation and enjoyment that the summer season promises. It’s been a rare treat na! As a friend and supporter of the Africa Centre in London, I’m sharing an upcoming event of theirs that I’m looking forward…

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Dressing up as Frida Kahlo

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A few weeks ago, ahead of FRIDA – Female Revolution in Dance & Art, I got “unibrowed”, moustached, red lippied and dressed up as the legend Frida Kahlo for the International Women’s Month event. Or rather, as Frida Kahlo in a selection of her self-portraits. The photos, which are part of the ongoing exhibition, were…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Edith Victoria of All Thingz Nice

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The MsAfropolitan Boutique aims to provide a platform where design by women of African heritage can be purchased, celebrated and reach a wide audience.  We believe that all creativity is a form of storytelling and when it reaches community the outcome is transformation and empowerment. Customers are invited to a shopping experience that centers around community and empowerment, including distinct…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Margaret Kadi of Project Sierra Leone

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It’s been a few months since the last MsAfropolitan Boutique Interview (with Jessica Huie of Colorblind Cards) and I’m delighted to resume the series. In case it’s your first time here, the MsAfropolitan Boutique is an online shop launched as a tribute to the African Women’s Decade 2010 – 2020 and selling design made by…

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Shop design made by women of African heritage

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Launched as a tribute to the African Women’s Decade 2010 – 2020, The MsAfropolitan Boutique celebrates the entrepreneurship of Africa and diaspora women as a one-stop shop for fashion, accessories, art and gift collections made by women of African heritage. In 2011, it was featured in the Huffington Post, catchavibe, SOAS World Magazine, Women of the…

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The Afropolitan year in review and 7 amazing photos from ‘The Rise of Afropolitan Fashion’ show

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When we look back at Afropolitanism in the future, 2011 will certainly stick out as a landmark year. It was the year the Afropolitan movement reached both virtual and actual spaces that define global culture. For example, Afropolitanism got a wikipedia listing. ARISE, the magazine that brought Afropolitanism to the mainstream, hosted ARISE Nigeria Fashion…

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Speaking about African feminism at the Global Feminism Symposium, University of Warwick

I am currently in Lagos. I am working on projects with TV and Radio Continental and the STAR company/Seeing through the Arts collective who are using art and creativity to promote important causes in society. There is a similar reasoning behind the  MsAfropolitan Boutique, namely to use fashion and creativity to highlight the importance of the African…

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1-year anniversary of the African Women’s Decade

Today marks the one year anniversary of the AWD. The idea of a Women’s Decade was hatched in 1975 at the First World conference on women, but it took years of efforts to dig the path that in 2008 manifested as the proposal for an African Women’s Decade (AWD) by ministers of gender and women affairs in…

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Fashioning Africa exotic, colonial and tribal

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Cross-posted from Huffington Post —- African style is very much in vogue. Numerous runways in both New York and London fashion weeks could as well be called African fashion week. There were African influenced textiles such as the Malian Bogolan, also known as tribal in Donna Karan-review-speak. Proenza Schouler also gave a preview of their take…

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Interview feature on black feminism, Afropolitanism and more

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Cross-post from my two part interview with Kathryn & Miriam from the much recommended Live Unchained project blog www.liveunchained.com @liveunchained —— For Minna Salami feminism sparked a revolution within, meaning the end of many illusions. Namely, the illusion that anything would be handed to us in terms of respect and empowerment in a world that denied…

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The fashion and politics of natural hair

It’s understandable that many of us are tired of talking about hair . There’s so much around this topic. However, I’m not at all exhausted with the hair topic yet. I think we should keep talking about hair because our strands are bearers of shared cultural experiences. I don’t think the hair conversation is about…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Mary Ononokpono of Mononoko

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The mission of the MsAfropolitan Boutique is to showcase a handpicked range of products made by African Diaspora women on a rotating basis. Visit us here. Through this work, I meet many inspiring women whose Afropolitan stories are featured in an interview series features which you can follow here. Last week the MsAfropolitan Boutique added its…

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African style in an ethical context

Not for the first time but nevertheless significantly, African fashion (that is to say fashion from the range of African countries and the diaspora!) is again at a historical conjuncture marked by an increased consumption of what the continent has to offer style-wise. This time around the African fashion revolution is coming at an age…

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Listed as 1 of 7 African diaspora women using fashion for change

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Do you know of the Africa Centre in London’s Covent Garden? If you don’t it’s a kind of home away from home for Africans in London. It hosts regular events of interest to diaspora groups, it sells books and other lovely products and it’s of historic significance. Despite this, it was revealed this year that…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique Interview Series – Douriean Fletcher, founder of eKlektik eKhos

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The mission of the MsAfropolitan Boutique is to showcase and offer a handpicked range of products made by African Diaspora women on a rotating basis. Visit us here. As part of my journey to achieving this goal, I’ve met many inspiring women whose stories I want to share with you in an interview series features which…

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Breaking it down – V&A Friday Late Afropolitans

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Last Friday MsAfropolitan and I (some split-personality going on) participated in a wonderful event at the V&A Museum in London. We presented a fashion show and a panel discussion to a visitor count of over 5,000 people. Here are some of our, okay my, thoughts on the event. By the way, if you’re new to…

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MsAfropolitan presents – Fashion and Talks at the V&A Friday Late: Afropolitans

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MsAfropolitan is taking part in Friday Late: Afropolitans at the V&A, the world’s largest museum of art and design. In “MsAfropolitan presents – The rise of Afropolitan Fashion” myself with the help of creative director Ola Shobowalewill conceptualize the contemporary creativity and beauty of Afropolitan fashion for women. Visitors will be able to experience the fusion of bold African patterns and…

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7 Afropolitan artists to watch

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1. Kay Elizabeth Kay Elizabeth is a vocalist living in London, born in California, of Jamaican and English heritage. Her unique sound and performance style has formed through her personal voyages through history, experience and education. Becoming disenchanted in her youth with American education and popular culture, Kay found her musical interests moving away from…

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Fela in Lagos, reflections and ruminations

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I don’t know what to make of the Finnish elections last weekend, where the nationalist True Finns party won 39 seats of a 200-seat parliament. The Nigerian elections, which have led to violent clashes in Northern Nigeria where hundreds of people have now died, sadden me even more so. To make sense of things, I…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique Interview Series – Aya Morrison, founder of Aya Morrison

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As I was saying yesterday, the great thing about having an online boutique is that I am able to share inspiring stories about African Diaspora women entrepreneurs and discover new beautiful products. Aya Morrison is one of those women with a great story and product range. I caught up with her to find out the inspiration…

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What’s great about having an online boutique

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As a tribute to the African Women’s Decade 2010 – 2020, I launched the MsAfropolitan boutique last summer to celebrate the creative labour of independent African Diaspora women entrepreneurs. The boutique is currently showcasing must-have fashion, jewellery, art and interior design all made by African women. Each of the designers featured was chosen because they offer a…

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Fashion really is not for African women and VOGUE’s Black Allure proves it

I hate to be a spoilsport, but I don’t see anything fabulous about Vogue’s Black Allure shoot. In the unlikely case that you have missed it, as marketing gimmicks like this are hard to miss, here’s the link to the photos and the video. Unlike most of the criticism the editorial has received, my issue…

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This is not a fashion blog

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Sometimes people introduce me to others as a fashion blogger. And although I once wrote that fashion is not for African women I like the creative art of fashion. The way we can express our individuality by what we wear. I love the burst of African fashion on the international scene thanks partly to magazines…

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7 things that happened this week

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1. MsAfropolitan was featured on some great websites. There was an interview for the Twenty Ten Club Blog, which is a club that connects, inspires and supports Black female business owners. MsAfropolitan was also featured as one of the ‘Women of Webster’, Webster Magazine being a men’s lifestyle magazine doing some admirable work on redefining the…

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Fashion is not for African women

Despite the ‘trend’ for black models, racism in the fashion industry is still fashionable. Last week I attended the intelligence squared Fashion Maketh Woman debate. For the motion was the stylish team consisting of Madelaine Levy, Britt Lintner and Paula Reed (style director of Grazia in an Oscar de la Renta frock on the evening)…

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