Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Stars of Africa

Yes, Africa is in the house. Ase o!

African fabrics and prints are what it’s all about, even in “mainstream” fashion. Beyonce does it. Kelis does it. Mya does it. Solange been doing it.

But so does Gwen Stefani, Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose. African print is ALL the rage.

Now star watching isn’t something I usually do a lot of. But wear African inspired prints and fashion, and you’ve got my attention.
By now, everybody knows about Solange’s transition to natural hair, as well as her taking the world of fashion by storm. And by now, most everybody even knows that she’s tired of talking about her hair and whether it is more than just a style, but a statement. So we expected to see a little African-style flavor on her. It’s the rest that are more surprising.
But it shouldn’t be. African print is the trend. So in. So now.

So if you know me, you know I gotta find out where all this is coming from. I know it’s happened before, most notably with the African Masai dress a few years ago. But what’s happening now?

I mean, are the African inspired fashions we’re seeing right now the work of African designers that are finally being recognized? Or is this mostly the work of “mainstream” (white) designers? Are the fabrics authentic African prints? Is any Black person seeing a nickel of it? And will it last? Will at least some of the African designers have even a token place at Fashion Week in the future because of all of this? Or is it just another trend?

Well all this is way too much to cover in one blog post, so hang in there with me while I do a little poking around.

And please subscribe below, so you can receive an email for the next part in the series.

Until then, feel free to enjoy photos of some of the stars sighted in African inspired fashion.

‘Til next time…

Ta Ankh (Patricia Heath)

To be honest, I'm not sure who all these people are.  I know most of them.  Just not all of them.


  1. Dabanga (posted at Wordpress 9/26/12)

    Loved all the fashion with African prints, just hope it isn’t a trend of ” here today gone tomorrow ” because brings a lot of flavour to the designs : )

  2. posted by me 9/26/12

    Dabanga every time I see any kind of ethnic fashion, especially African, I have the same thoughts. New York fashion being what it is, I honestly think that it might start with a few “tokens”. Like I have noticed that Issey Miyake for example lasted way longer than the Japanese craze of the 90′s. He is a constant fixture at Fashion Week still. His work mostly fits well in the western world, but he infuses it with touches of a Japanese aesthetic IMO. We have Duro Olowu and Tracy Reese. But I wonder if we can ever get past a token few and the trend of the minute?


  3. Tamara little (Posted on Wordpress September 27, 2012)

    Your Blog is very informative and pose some good questions . Like who’s behind the African designs and are they even African or African American ? On my Pinterest board I have Texture Fiber and Swagger, Style , confidence . In these two boards there are a few African garments that I think are exceptional. The design and fabric, it’s look a new breed of design exciting and full of life . With my work as a fiber artist I use fabric from different cultures when available. Feel free to check out those Pinterest boards that I mentioned . Thanks Tamara


  4. posted by me on September 27, 2012

    Both boards are just beautiful! I also took the liberty of checking out the board that contains your work. Those pieces seem like they should be in a museum, found from an ancient culture. I mean they are really gorgeous.

  5. I am LOVIN these Afrikan fabrics everywhere! I think it brightens up the world and brings fashion to life in a new and different way. It allows us all to be more daring and use color more. Great post!

  6. Oh I love them too! I've seen shoes, nail polish...just EVERYTHING. I think I'm gonna do a thing on that too lol.