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Creative Director of Ethical Fashion Label, Edun’s Danielle Sherman & Super Model Designer, Liya Kebede become Members of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).

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Every spring, the Council of Fashion Designers of America admits a new crop of designer members. They apply to the program like any other job: résumé, portfolio, and letters of recommendation. This year, 30 new members have been chosen, including Jonathan Simkhai, Liya Kebede, Tim Coppens, Veronica Beard’s Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard, and Edun’s Danielle Sherman. The membership total is now 478.

Danielle Sherman By The Selby COLORDanielle Sherman

“These designers are not just uniquely talented, but they also represent, through their businesses, an important contribution to American economy and job creation,” said Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, in a statement. In addition to hosting the CFDA Fashion Awards in New York each year, the CFDA offers programs that support professional development and scholarships in fashion design, like the CFDA Fashion Incubator and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, among several others. – Style.com

Liya Kebede in Amica

Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede now joins the growing list of Afropolitan members in the CFDA, such as Albertus Swanepoel & BCBG Max Azria’s Creative Directors, Max & Lubov Azria.

The CFDA Membership is by invitation only, and is open to Americans designing leading fashion womenswear, menswear, jewelry, and accessory in the United States or abroad or international designers whose businesses are based in the United States.

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Designer Previews: What To Expect at Cape Town Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014/15

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We often wonder about the inspiration behind some of the collections presented at fashion week. Well this season, we dug a little deep to bring you the designer previews for the upcoming Cape Town Fashion Week. From Ruald Rheeder and Craig Port to Lara Klawikowski and Shana, here’s what to expect at Cape Town Fashion Week Spring 2014 season…

Ruald Rheeder:

Collection Overview:

Ruald Rheeder’s Spring 2014 collection was inspired by the great fashion icons of our time and the designs that changed the face of fashion.

The Vibe: 

Remake of the “classic suit”. Risque prints and structures. Soft neutral colours on luxurious textures.

Look out for: The ladies collection. Old classics, revisited and re-designed.

Craig Port:

Collection Overview: 

Inspired by a recent trip to London, this collection will be called “The Great British Summer”.

The Vibe:

A celebration of “fresh fashion” with pastel solids and botanical references.

Look out for: Botanical references, possibly in the form of graphics.

Shana:

Collection Overview:  

Playful summer in bold colours and pastels.

The Vibe:

Airy, flirty and feminine.

Look out for: 

Bold prints and jewel undertones.

Lara Klawikowski:

Collection Overview:

Lara’s Spring/Summer collection was inspired by water and the different visuals it projects on an object. The collection explores the effects that water has on materials like newspaper and flowers and how it changes the textures of materials on contact.

The Vibe: 

Unique patterns created by light in the water.

Look out for: 

Transformations that light and water add to an object, crafted and  translated into the construction and pattern making of the garments.

In case you missed it. View the complete Cape Town Fashion Week schedule here.

Innocent Ndlovu is menswear fashion editor at HauTe Fashion Africa. Follow him on Twiiter @IamInnocentN and Instagram @innoegram.

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Simone Cipriani, head of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Ethical Fashion Initiative launches Manufacturing Plant in Ghana.

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Simone Cipriani oversees the promotion of trade and incubation of creative micro-enterprises within marginalized communities in Africa and Haiti. Operated through the wider ‘Poor Communities and Trade Programme’ launched by the ITC, the Ethical Fashion Initiative, spearheaded by Cipriani, launched Ethical Fashion Africa Limited in Nairobi and through partnerships with designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Sass & Bide and Stella McCartney, has created a hub for creative manufacturing and production in countries such as Ghana and Uganda, using fair trade labour and ethical fashion practices.

Simone Cipiriani with the Alta Roma Team

(Simone Cipriani Kneeling)

A passionate advocate for fair trade and equal employment, Cipriani regularly speaks at international trade organisations and conferences such as the International Herald Tribune’s ‘Promise of Africa’ conference to which he was personally invited by Suzy Menkes and the Bespoke Fashion summit in Australia alongside designers Sass & Bide. Cipriani has also showcased the initiative at several international trade fairs, such as Pitti Imaggine, and in July 2013 partnered with AltaRoma with the ‘Africa to Rome’ showcase to promote the work of Ghanaian designers Christie Browne and Kiki Clothing, as well as international labels Stella Jean and PortenierRoth. He later that year, spoke at the Fashion Business Series during Lagos Fashion & Design Week (LFDW).

Earlier this week the ‘Beat of Africa’ Fashion Show masterminded by  Mr. Cipriani and in partnership with Alta Roma debuted Designers from West Africa who had been working with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, such as Duaba Serwa & Mina Evans Spring/Summer 2015 Collection.

READ: Ghanaian Designers, Duaba Serwa & Mina Evans debut their S/S15 Collection during Alta Roma Fashion Week.

During the event, Simone Cipriani “received wild applause – but chose to concentrate on the future. He talked about having set up a manufacturing plant in Ghana, dedicated to designers’ work, and the importance of finding both patrons and platforms for African talent.” – Suzy Menkes for Vogue.

In June 2014, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) in Ghana, in collaboration with the Swiss Government at a press conference launched a fashion project to establish a sustainable export market, based on a sustainable supply chain for ethical fashion and lifestyle products supplied by micro entrepreneurs.

Dubbed ‘‘The Ethical Fashion Ghana Project, ’’ it is being implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), and focused on reducing poverty through the generation of trade opportunities for marginalized communities, and their micro-producers in the developing world.

According to Mr. Simone Cipriani, Chief, Ethical Fashion Initiative, Poor Communities and Trade Programme, International Trade Centre, Geneva, the project would enable fashion designers from all over the world, to work with women entrepreneurs that are more artisans in several African countries. ‘‘We work with local designers because we believe creativity is not only in the western countries but in Africa as well, ’’ he emphasized.

He disclosed that there are similar projects in Burkina Faso, Kenya and Haiti, linked to high fashion markets in Europe and seen with the partnership they’ve done with Haitian – Italian Label, Stella Jean who participated in an event marking the 50th anniversary of ITC in Geneva on 12 June 2014:

The partnership between Stella Jean and ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative is growing and the designer is expanding this work to other countries. The fashion show was a world preview of results of this work, including a new jewellery line developed in her home country of Haiti and cross-African (Mali and Kenya) luxury handbags. The bags were also a first time feature and represent a cross-Africa effort as they are manufactured in Kenya with bogolan fabric from Mali and hand-woven cotton from Burkina Faso as you will see in the collection below, debuted at the “Beat of Africa’ Fashion Show during Alta Roma Fashion Week:

The Ghana project is focused on fashion clothing driven by local talents in design and innovation, whilst the one in Burkina Faso has woven natural fabric as its focus, he said. Mr Cipriani explained that the project seeks to empower micro entrepreneurs to be suppliers for one of the most beautiful and richest supply chain of fashion in the world and supply local designers with the possibility to produce quality according to the requirement of the international market.

Ms Irenka Krone-Germann of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Geneva, recounted that the project started about five years ago with creative ideas, adding that making a bridge between Western and African culture is one of the most beautiful tasks for an economy and that the project is an example of a private-public partnership.

The project has provided beneficiaries with capacity-building and expertise, ranging from direct product direct support, technical assistance for informal enterprise producers, as well as training on market identification, access to new markets, product design and development support, and business planning for the export market.

For More Information, visit www.intracen.org

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Nigerian Label; Jewel by Lisa’s Creative Director, Lisa Folawiyo debuts Namesake Line.

On the 10th of July, 2014… The Jewel By Lisa brand took to their Social Media outlets to introduce Lisa Folawiyo:

Lisa FolawiyoA follow-up to the introduction happened during the Alta Roma Fashion Week in Italy, where Jewel By Lisa’s Creative Director, Lisa Folawiyo was a Special Guest at the ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative, ‘Beat of Africa’ show, where the first collection from Lisa Folawiyo Label debuted:

It hasn’t been fully confirmed what to expect from this line, as the Creative Director, Lisa Folawiyo has created Jewel By Lisa as a Global Luxury Line, J – Label as a diffusion line, and Pretty Precious as her Children’s line.

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Ghanaian Womenswear Designers, Duaba Serwa & Mina Evans debut their S/S 2015 Collection During Alta Roma Fashion Week in Italy, via the ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative ‘Beat of Africa’.

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Duaba Serwa

ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative partners with Altaroma, bringing West African fashion to the “Beat of Africa” fashion show at AltaRomAltaModa 2014 in Rome. Review to follow shortly

Collection:

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Mina Evans:

Mina Evans

ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative partners with Altaroma, bringing West African fashion to the “Beat of Africa” fashion show at AltaRomAltaModa 2014 in Rome. Review to follow shortly

Collection:

Photo Credit: ITC.

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Elle South Africa and South African Retail Giant Mr Price, expand the Rising Star Designer Competition across Africa.

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For the 2014 edition of Elle Rising Star, Elle magazine South Africa and retail giant Mr Price have teamed up with Africa Fashion International, and expanded the Elle Rising Star Design Award competition to Africa. Yes! You heard (read) right! The competition that helped launch the careers of top designer David Tlale and last year’s winner Nicholas Coutts, who we have our HauTe eye on, has expanded to the continent in search of a young talented designer.

Finalists are set to show at one of AFI’s fashion events and prizes include:

  • A cash prize of R30 000 ($2800)
  • A feature and mentorship programme with Elle and Mr Price
  • A year’s subscription to Elle
  • An opportunity to redesign a pre-determined range in collaboration with Mr Price
  • The opportunity to showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Jo’Burg in 2015 and  R7000 ($655) from Mr Price to go towards the cost of producing the range

Excited much? For entry forms and further details visit elle.co.za. Entries close on 11 August 2014.

Innocent Ndlovu is menswear fashion editor at HauTe Fashion Africa. Follow him on Twitter @IamInnocent and Instagram @innoegram.

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Who’s HauTe?: Interview with Creative Directors; Doreen Caven, Joan Caven and Oseyi ‘Ozzy’ Etomi of Nigerian Design Company ‘Caven Etomi’.

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CAVEN ETOMI is an international fashion Company founded in 2013. Their goal is to offer an innovative product assortment, designed for various target markets, which currently comprises of the KINGDOM brand.

KINGDOM is an international street wear brand founded in 2013. The brand designs and develops luxury street wear apparel, inspired by African heritage, culture and art. The aim of the KINGDOM brand is to share a piece of Africa with its consumers around the world, and to provide access to modern street wear apparel that conveys an aura of empowerment and African royalty.

That just about summarizes everything the brand Caven Etomi stands for but we know there’s more to come given the remarkable fashion history of its founders Doreen, Joan and Oseyi. We want to know more and are hoping this interview reveals just that!

HFA: Who are Caven Etomi?

Joan Caven, Oseyi Etomi & Doreen Caven

CE: Caven Etomi is made up of three friends: Joan & Doreen Caven who are sisters, and Oseyi Etomi. We have been friends since high school. We came together and formed our brand made out of both our last names.

HFA: We know that you forayed into fashion a while ago, way before there was the Kingdom brand, there was 4 Aces (a lifestyle brand) and before that Cranberry. Can you tell us about transitioning through these different facets prior to the Kingdom brand’s birth?

CE: Well we originally started Cranberry when we were in college. We had always shared a love for fashion and had been altering and customizing our clothes and staging shoots. We attended the Howard homecoming fashion show, which was a really big deal at the time, and that pushed us into finally attempting to make our first collection. We made our first all hand-sewn collection called the “Heather” collection inspired by the movie “The Heathers”… and Cranberry was born!

Chalya ShagayaFashionista & Creative Director, Chalya Shagaya in a Heather Collection Cranberry Piece.

We were so young and adorable; our greatest goal was to show at the Howard fashion show, which we did the next year. Cranberry was an amazing learning experience for us… we didn’t expect people to be as receptive as they were; we were receiving orders and we didn’t even know how to use a sewing machine!

All three of us were pre-med students and soon school demands took over and Cranberry was set aside while we completed our degrees. Even though we were no longer actively working on Cranberry, we continued to dabble in fashion and shooting videos and staging shoots with our friend and Ozzy’s cousin Abby.

Doreen Caven, Oseyi Etomi, Abies Omoruyi & Joan Caven

We had opened a blog for Cranberry that had a strong following but we had stopped updating when we stopped designing, and so somehow one night we decided to open a blog featuring all four of us; and that is how 4aces was born (www.the4Acesdate.com). 4aces originally started as us chronicling our dating experiences in NYC but soon it went in the direction of a fashion and lifestyle blog. At the time we didn’t have a lot of fashion blogs featuring black women or African women, and in short time, we had a large following. People cared about our fashion advice, our articles, the news we curated from around the globe, our stories; it was overwhelming and amazing at the same time.

4aces and Cranberry definitely prepared us for Kingdom; we have learned how to work with each other over the years and we understand each other very well. When we decided to start Kingdom, it wasn’t like starting a new business; more like the destination of the journey that we began many years ago.

HFA: That’s such an amazing journey, especially with keeping your focus on Pre-Med School, while the Fashion Flame burned! Did any of you still try to be formally educated in Fashion?

CE: Ozzy studied fashion at Parsons the New School for Design.

READ: Ozzy’s Solo debut with Nigerian Label, GREY.

HFA: How do your individual styles transcend into designing the Kingdom’s pieces?

CE: Kingdom isn’t really a reflection of our individual styles. Kingdom is a street style brand, and it is more of a reflection of our love for art because it is so art and graphic centric.

HFA: Granted, but trendy tees are very much in line with the growing pop culture of fashion tees that make a statement. How do you intend to keep the brand alive knowing fashion’s short-lived romances with trends?

CE: We decided to launch the Caven Etomi brand with the Kingdom Tees because we identified a gap in the market for African inspired street wear. We wanted to launch with a product that was new and fresh and different to what was already available in the market; and it helped that fashion tees are in season. Our t-shirts have been embraced by both the African market and internationally. We have plans to expand far beyond graphic t-shirts and into a full-fledged clothing & accessories brand as well.

See some shots from their New York Launch Photo booth:

HFA: Who wears the Kingdom brand?

CE: Kingdom appeals to the stylish fashion forward individual. We have had people from all over the world who order our t shirts, and we love it when our customers send us back pictures and feedback. Our tees have also been featured on various bloggers and celebrities such as Angela Simmons, Folake Huntoon of Style Pantry, Dani Song, Dawn from Danity Kane, Ice Prince Zamani, Lynxx, D’banj, Adrienne Bailon, to name a few:

Angela to Yagazie in Kingdom Tees

HFA: …and what will you say is your approach to design?

CE: We all have a hand in designing; we like to keep it really organic and fluid from inspiration to final product. If it doesn’t feel right, we won’t release it. We like for everything to be in sync down to how each particular design is presented and marketed. Our aim is to create a very strong brand identity and culture.

HFA: One can’t help but notice the distinct use of symbolism’s of African culture and rich contrasting colours in your designs… and which is your Best Seller?

CE: That is the ethos of our brand; for so long, the African aesthetic has been established by people who aren’t African, simply based on their own perceptions, and it is up to the new generation of young Africans who are well educated, very cultured and widely travelled to establish our own identities. Our Floral baroque tee is our best seller so far:

Kingdom Floral Baroque by Caven Etomi

HFA: Did you take that into consideration before naming the brand?

CE: Yes. We wanted a name that was strong but also easy to identify. We were very inspired by the Benin Kingdom when we first started designing t shirts and we thought the name KINGDOM by Caven Etomi would be a nice name for a street wear brand.

HFA: What inspired your most recent collection?

CE: Our most recent collection is our African Hairstyles collection which comprises of hand drawn illustrations inspired by the works of the prolific Nigerian photographer J.D ‘Okhai Ojiekere, who has been celebrated worldwide for his “Hairstyles” series, a collection of over 1000+ recorded Nigerian hairstyles that rose to iconic status for their role in documenting a key aspect of femininity:

Kingdom High Summer 2014 Campaign by Caven Etomi

HFA: Where do you see the African fashion industry and the Kingdom brand in the next five years?

CE: I see incredible growth occurring in the African fashion industry. Where we started from as opposed to where we are now is a testament in itself; we have amazing brands springing up every day and the world has really started to take notice. Kingdom is an international brand with a firm footing in Africa and in the next 5 years we hope to be established and also be stocked at various retailers.

HFA: Kingdom Tees by Caven Etomi is Stocked at?

CE: Right now we have our own e-commerce site www.cavenetomi.com. We are also stocked in the NYLON magazine store and our t shirts will be carried exclusively at Temple Muse in Lagos from the 19th of July 2014, when we launch! All are welcome to join us for the launch:

Caven Etomi Kingdom Tee launch at Temple Muse

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Paris Couture Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2015 [Day 5] : Imane Ayissi

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Imane Ayissi

Review to follow shortly

Collection:

Photo Credit: Les Conseils de Scheena

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The Schedule: Cape Town Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014/15

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Marianne Fassler at CTFW

Over 25 designers are set to showcase their latest Spring/Summer 2014 collections this season at  Cape Town Fashion Week. The three day event, which starts on July 24 – 26, will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Marriane Fassler will kick-start the proceedings, with a showcase that will be followed by the likes of Gavin Rajah, Stephania Morland as well as Shana on Day 1. Have a look at the full schedule below:

The Schedule:

Day 1 – 24 July 2014 

17:00 – Mariaane Fassler

18:00 – Lara Klawikowski/ Spilt Milk

19:15  - Gavin Rajah

20:30 – Stefania Morland

21:30 – Shana/ W35T

Day 2 – 25 July

13:00 -16:00 – AFI Fashion Talks: “Advanced Style’ Movie Premiere

17:00 – AFI Next Generation Presents: Akedo by Eleni Labrou/ Nicholas Coutts/ BLANC by Alexandra Blanc/ Ernest Mahomane

18:00 – Michelle Ludek/ Tart

19:15 – Kobus Dippennaar Atelier

20:30 – Rulad Rheeder/ Non-European

Day 3 – 26 July

14:00 – Lazuli/ LO/ Pichulik & Kat Van Duinen

15: 30 – Danielle Margaux/ Selfi

16:30 – Leigh Schubert/ Loin Clothe & Ashes

17:45 – Lalesso

19:00 – Craig Port

20:15 – KLuk CGDT

21:30 – Fabiani

Innocent Ndlovu is menswear fashion editor of HauTe Fashion Africa. Follow him on Twitter @IamInnocentN and Instagram @innoegram.

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Paris Couture Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2014 [Day 5]: Azzaro

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Through a diaphanous interlude between intense darkness and crystalline sparkles, Loris Azzaro transcends feminine sensuality in the Couture collection Autumn-Winter 2014/15 dreamed up by Arnaud Maillard and Álvaro Castejón. The sensual essence of woman has become the true soul of each and every one of their creations.

The collection draws its inspiration from the shadowy feline, the Black Panther. Its murky nature is reflected in every creation. Marks are embroidered, embossed on leather or applied to trace silhouettes. The use of scratches leads materials to glide over the body and trace enchanting shapes. The symbiosis of materials gives rise to unexpected encounters: embroidery, lace and silk are inhabited by an animal dimension.

There is such a strong nocturnal presence that the feline woman is transformed into an explosion of colours. From the intensity of black to optical white, from midnight blue through bright red to nude, the creations are enhanced with crystalline showers and bursts of mirrors. In this nebula of lights, femininity is expressed by playing with transparency, opacity, cut-outs and daring pleats. Silk jersey, mousselines and clouds of charmeuses are complemented by embroidered relief jacquards.

These dresses, sublimated by the stately demeanour of woman, become luxurious backdrops, appearing immaterial but real, designed to keep from common mortals the best kept secret since the dawn of time: the extent of feminine complexity.

This is Azzaro’s 1st Couture Collection in 30 Years.

Collection:

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