Pan-African Designer Mustafa Hassanali, a celebrated name in Tanzania who pursues fashion as a religion, is the headline designer for Africa Fashion Week London 2016, the organisers of AFWL announced Monday.

MBFWAfrica – SDRPhotos

MBFWAfrica – SDRPhotos

Mustafa Hassanali personable and affable demeanor in parallel with his bohemian work of art has made him one of the leading and popular designers in Tanzania and beyond. Considered a fashion guru, his designs reflect the deeply embedded cultural heritage of Tanzanian society along with the avant-garde, couture and contemporary styles.

A medical Doctor by Profession, fashion designing began as a hobby in 1999, whereby one of his first creation was worn by Hoyce Temu who was crowned Miss Tanzania 1999 wearing his signature evening gown. Thus began the roller coaster ride that eventually led to the growth and creation of Tanzania Fashion Industry which can be duly accredited to the zeal and zest of Mustafa Hassanali.

Hassanali’s zest for fashion is not only limited at fostering his own creations and offering something new to his target audience – he is the creator of the acclaimed Swahili Fashion Week, a platform he founded in 2008 to help enhance the Tanzanian Fashion Industry on the whole, as well as Swahili-speaking Africa and other regional countries at large.


Apple and WME/IMG Bid to Be the Dream Team of Fashion TV

Just when “America’s Next Top Model” announces its demise, and everyone mourns the end of an era of fashion television, what happens? Apple and WME/IMG come to the rescue.

On Tuesday, Made2Measure, the first TV channel from the sports/entertainment/fashion behemoth WME/IMG, and one devoted entirely to fashion (broadly defined), is debuting exclusively on Apple TV, thus underscoring yet again Apple’s desire to be seen as the No. 1 tech brand in fashion, as well as WME/IMG’s belief that fashion and entertainment are pretty much becoming one and the same, and giving all of us the opportunity to decide whether they are right.

The program lineup is the broadest, and most high-minded, I’ve seen yet from a fashion channel. Click here to read more.

Vine Creatives UK At The AFW London 2015

VINE Creatives is a London based but Africa focused specialist creative design house. Vine caters specially to creative entrepreneurs from the BAME and Diaspora market. Using high quality branding, creative growth strategies, our network of investors and business growth support, they aim to get entrepreneurs investment ready.

Vine was at this year's edition of AFWL and they had really amazing input about the event.

Nene and friends @ AFWL 2015

Nene and friends @ AFWL 2015

"As a first time attendant, I came with friends, business associates (including some of the models who walked in the shows), my photographer and clients who felt the show would align with their brands. There was some great talent on display in terms design of the clothes and accessories. Beautifully laid out and its always nice to speak to the founders. The program guide was well designed and informative. Music was great. For the amount of exhibits the space may have been a tad too big. The fashion show was really very nice, with some truly amazing and inspiring designs on display." Nene Parsotam (Senior Art Director)

For more on Vine Creatives review of AFW London 2015, click here.

Fashion Assistants Reveal Horrifying Details About What Their 'Glamorous' Jobs Working For The Industry's Elite Are REALLY Like

Working as a stylist's assistant means frequent celebrity encounters, constant proximity to luxe designer fashion, and plenty of international travel - but anyone who has seen The Devil Wears Prada knows that when you're at the bottom, it's not quite as glamorous as it seems.

The devil is real: Several fashion assistants spoke to Vice France and revealed that the job can be just as awful as it seems in The Devil Wears Prada (pictured)

The devil is real: Several fashion assistants spoke to Vice France and revealed that the job can be just as awful as it seems in The Devil Wears Prada (pictured)

And the nitty-gritty details of the job can be even more horrifying than Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestley giving Anne Hathaway's Andy a withering once-over and saying she regretted hiring 'the smart, fat girl'.

Vice France talked to some anonymous people in the industry to learn what it is really like to be a fashion assistant, from completing totally unreasonable tasks to feeling no sense of job security.

The first assistant is a 26-year-old named 'Alice', who works for a 'world-famous stylist' and has been doing similar jobs, sometimes for free, since she was 20. She describes her relationship with her boss as 'Stockholm syndrome'. 'This job is an addictive nightmare,' she admitted. 'I just can't say no to anything they ask, no matter how absurd the demand is.'

No boundaries: One assistant (who doesn't work for the stylist who took this photo) said that in addition to staying up all night to work on shoots while her boss slept, she would have to send sexts to her boss' boyfriend

No boundaries: One assistant (who doesn't work for the stylist who took this photo) said that in addition to staying up all night to work on shoots while her boss slept, she would have to send sexts to her boss' boyfriend

"What you can never forget is that you have a job everyone wants, so you are totally replaceable" One such absurd request: A former boss had her reply to her boyfriend's sexts.

Read more here.

Art’Press Yourself: Inspiring the World Through African Fashion & Art

It is all about Art, Fashion and Music at Art’Press Yourself – the new Afro-Urban festival that will take place on the 7th of November in Paris. The festival was created by Laetitia N’Goto, who has already organized different multicultural fashion events under the name Daraja Concept in the past (and she is only 28 years young – so kudos!).

Laetitia about what motivated her to create this event: “When I gathered my thoughts on the two cultures I’ve been immersed in since I was young (France & Central African Republic), I realized how creative black people really are. We inspire the world through fashion, art, music and dance. Through Art’Press Yourself I want to show people the impact of afro-urban culture on the art world.”

With Art’Press Yourself Laetitia is offering a great mix of emerging designers, music and dance contests, DJs and afro-streetfood (yum!). The theme of this first Art’Press Yourself event is Old School Vibes. Click here for more.

The New Model to Watch! More Stunning Images of EMLN 2015 Winner – Funmilayo Akinjiola | Reze Bonna Photography

A few days ago we shared some amazing images of Elite Model Look Nigeria (EMLN) 2015 winner, Funmilayo Akinjiola in a new shoot with photographer, Reze Bonna. If you missed it, check it out here.

Now, we have more amazing images!

The shoot is clearly celebrating her beauty as we see the emerging model pose against a simple background, showing off her distinct features and beautiful face. We can tell Funmi has such a bright future ahead – you want to pay attention to this model!

See more images below:

For more pictures, click here.

Photo Credit Photography: Reze Bonna (Instagram: @RezeBonna) Makeup: Visage Makeovers (Instagram: @Visage_Makeovers) Model: Funmi Akinjiola for BETH Model Management (Instagram:@FunmiAkinjiola | @BethModelAfrica)

AFW London Teams Up With Wikipedia For Wiki Loves Africa 2015!

Wiki Loves Africa is a competition to share on Wikipedia the daily practices of people across the continent with each other and the rest of the world.

Of all of the millions of subjects you can read about on Wikipedia, subjects relating to Africa have the least coverage. This is because of a number of reasons, but mostly because many people do not know that they can donate their images, videos and audio.

This year, Africa fashion week London partners with wiki for the Wiki Loves Africa Cultural Fashion and Adornment Competition. AFWL will give away a free spot to any of the winners who is a designer to showcase at the 2016 edition of Africa Fashion Week.

The theme for the 2015 photo contest will be Wiki Loves Africa Cultural Fashion and Adornment. The competition scope will be: submissions of media that cover cultural dress and fashion; specifically fashion that is defined by local cultural influences and determines cloth, styles, ways of wrapping and hanging, etc. This theme would include adornment that include culturally defined jewelry, make-up, hairstyles, cloths and woven materials.

For more information about how to participate, click here.

Houston’s Onyii Brown Is Making African Fashion Modern

Re-discovering her passion for design in a time of crisis, Brown’s clothes have earned the attention of Martha Stewart and New York Fashion Week.

THE FIRST IMAGE on the online home of Onyii & Co. is of a woman resplendent in a vibrant halter dress, the patterned fabric a swirl of pinks, yellows and blues. Seeing it, it’s hard to believe that three years ago Onyii Brown, its designer, was a corporate real estate broker who wore the corporate uniform of sedate black suits.

Brown says that fashion has struck a chord with her from a young age, but as the child of Nigerian immigrants she was encouraged to choose a more practical career, studying robotics engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst before switching to marketing. It wasn’t until the real estate market cratered and her husband lost her job during the recent recession that Brown re-discovered her first passion for fashion design.

“When my husband lost his job we didn’t know what the heck we were going to do ... I was about to lose my house,” says Brown. “I was lying in bed and I saw a wrap skirt in my head, so I went out to the sewing machine in the garage and made my first wrap skirt. I was texting my friends whether they would buy one, and they said yes. The next thing you know, I had an Etsy store.”

Brown specializes in garments made from traditional printed African fabrics, re-imagined in contemporary silhouettes like crop tops, reversible jackets, palazzo pants and maxi dresses accented by dramatic deep v-necks. She’s also fond of playing with and re-inventing the iconic wrap dress.

“I enjoy creating wrap dresses, wrap rompers, wrap top, almost everything. Read More here.

Onyii & Co. clothing is available online and at Melodrama Boutique.

Kenyan Model Ajuma Nasanyana talks Triumphs & Trials of Black Models for New African Woman Mag’s New Issue

Kenyan athlete-turned-model, Ajuma Nasanyana is questioning why there is a lack of black models on the global scene.

In the new issue of New African Woman magazine, the model who is also a one-time Vivienne Westwood muse, has an exclusive interview with the magazine to ask this and more questions. She expresses her devotion to the #BlackSkinMatters movement in the beauty industry, and shares why she feels more accepted as a black model today.

Anjuma hasn’t been the only one to ask why there is a lack of black models on the global catwalks. A while ago South Sudanese model, Nykhor Paul, also addressed this issue in an open letter to the fashion industry. Click here if you missed it.

Ajuma told the magazine – “As more and more girls of my skin tone come into the industry, who are confident in their beautiful dark skin, the acceptance of the saying ‘Black is beautiful’ is finally becoming a real. I do not feel like the blackest girl in the world anymore.“


The issue also highlights top names and African models that make the fashion industry tick. They also shine a light on our very own recently concluded Africa Fashion Week London 2015, as well as the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa and the upcoming Heineken Lagos Fashion & Design Week 2015, and more.

To find our more about New African Woman magazine, Follow them on Twitter: @NewAfricanWoman | Follow them on Instagram: @NewAfricanWomanMagazine

Copy Catwalk: Thrifting The Best Looks From London Fashion Week

LONDON - Keeping up with the latest trends each season can be an expensive chore, especially when you factor in the big name brands and their even bigger price tags.

With 1.1 million tons of clothing discarded each year in the UK, charity and thrift shops are bursting with pre-loved bargains just waiting to be added to your wardrobe — this is where Charity Fashion Live spotted its opportunity.

The brainchild of stylist Emma Slade Edmondson, CFL recreates key catwalk looks from London Fashion Week using only charity shop finds. Mashable teamed up with the organization to produce this shoot emulating the essence of next season’s collections using this season’s unwanted items. See below for all the fab pictures

Tell Us What You Think! Hit the comments button.

Ankara Fashion Is No Longer Just An Attire For Africans!

I came across something rather crazy but unique: a sports car customised with Ankara fabric was recently spotted in Yenogoa, Bayelsa state. The following Friday, my colleague walked into the office wearing stilettos covered in yellow and black Ankara print, and a matching bag. This, however wasn’t surprising, it is the current trend.

Over the last five years, Ankara has gone from being an attire perceived as unique to traditional Africa to becoming one of the most utilized materials in design and beautification. From beaded necklaces to phone cases, Ankara is gradually creeping its way into becoming an essential element of decoration across the continent, and beyond. So what do people find so fascinating about Ankara?

Efe Okanigbe, who manages an accessories store in the newly-built Ikeja City Mall, Lagos, also explained that most customers are highly attracted to jewellery made from Ankara, especially to match their other print outfits. She also believes that Ankara is here to stay. “It will never grow old, although change is inevitable I think it will withstand the test of time.”

Beyond the shores of Africa, Ankara is also being embraced. With the emergence of numerous Ankara-inspired fashion shows, celebrities like Beyonce and Kerry Washington now grace red carpet events wearing “African prints.”

Kerry Washington rocks African print during the Django movie premier

Kerry Washington rocks African print during the Django movie premier

This renewed attraction is helping to resuscitate Nigeria’s textile industry, which once held 175 textile mills, with a workforce of approximately one million people, and accounted for more than 60 percent of the West African market.

It is further strengthening trade ties between Nigeria and China, one of the world’s biggest producers of Ankara. The growing trade relationship, however, has led to smuggling of textiles from Chinese factories, through the Niger-Nigeria border, to the major markets of Kano and Kaduna. Most of these illegal activities have been attributed to increased demand for Ankara across West Africa.

Add your opinion in the comment box!


The Botswana Trendsetters You'll Soon Be Following

Fashion is meant to express, not to impress." This is the mantra of Tsholo Dikobe, one half of Batswana style duo GaTsh Fros. Dikobe and her best friend and business partner Gaone Mothibi are shaping the future of Botswana's emerging fashion industry. A future that is very bright indeed.

Having met at nursery school, then again at the University of Botswana, the pair bonded over their love of daring color and wacky prints -- before realizing their shared vision was something special. In 2011 they founded fashion brand GaTsh Fros -- a combination of their names and a nod to their beloved Afro hairstyles.

The young women's eclectic yet glamorous aesthetic has won them Africa London Fashion Week 2014's Innovative Designer of the Year award, while their style column in Botswanan newspaper The Voice has helped bring emerging Tswana fashion talents to international attention.

They are in the process of launching a fashion magazine -- a "Botswanan Vogue" -- to steer the nation's fashion-forward.

African Voices asked the stylish soulmates how Botswana inspires them and what they think every woman should have in her wardrobe.

Read more here

African Designers Make Business Case For Ethical Fashion

Milan (AFP) - South Africa's Sindiso Khumalo hopes you like the fact that her clothes are made in Cape Town and "sweatshop free".

Sindiso Khumalo

Sindiso Khumalo

But most of all, the London-based designer hopes you want to buy them because you love wearing the signature graphic prints inspired-by and made in her homeland.

"I think people should buy into my stuff because it is good, not just because it is African," she told AFP in Milan, where she is one of four designers with roots on the continent showcasing their Spring/Summer 2016 collection during the city's latest fashion week.

"That is how myself and all of the designers here like to think of ourselves. We are designers first and then we are Africans," Khumalo says.

"I am a woman, a mother. I'm all of these things.

"But people should buy into my brand because they like the stuff and it is good quality. Bonus that it is African!"

Khumalo is in Milan looking to make contacts and find new buyers thanks to the latest stage of an initiative aimed at forging a mutually-beneficial, non-exploitative connection between the world of high fashion and highly-skilled but often isolated and impoverished craftsmen and women in the developing world.

The Ethical Fashion Initiative, a programme run by the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC), has already helped some 20 top designers including Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney to source original textiles, jewellery and other accessories in several African countries and in Haiti. Read more here

This Fashion Blogger’s Perspective On AFW London 2015 Is So Exciting!

Yaa Lia is a fashion blogger, editor and photographer over at YaaLia's Fashion Sense blog And she loves African fashion just as much as we do over here at AFWL. Her exciting perspective on AFWL 2015 made us fall in love with her and we decided to share that quirky-ness and her passion for fashion with you all on here.

“I met lots of other bloggers and of course, professional fashion photographers who were so helpful with sharing some useful photography tips. It was also nice to catch with some of the models and staff I met and worked from previous show. The public was amazing too, stopping me every so often to ask for a picture as they liked my outfit very much.”

Read on to enjoy her review of AFWL 2015 edition and her lovely styling at the event.

Watch 73 Questions with VOGUE Covergirl Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong'o reveals a few of her (many) talents, from speaking Swahili and Spanish, to showing off her impressive hula hoop skills.

The Oscar-winning actress also reflects on what it was like to move to Mexico at age 16 without her parents, how she learned to cry on demand, what life was like as a Hollywood production assistant, and what it took to bring her upcoming Star Wars character to life.

Click to find out more…

Meet the AFWL Designers Showing At Africa On The Square Black History Month Celebration This October.

In Trafalgar square this October, the Mayor of London, Borris Johnson will be hosting the second annual black history month celebration tagged- Africa on the square.

With a long history of collaboration, Africa fashion week London has been billed to produce the fashion show for the event (we are super excited!).

Find out who our handpicked designers are, who will be showcasing at the event. With years of experience in fashion designing and a respectable following in London and across Africa, our unique selection of designers are bringing so much fun, creativity and glamour to Africa on the Square!

Meet The Designer- TÓTÉ London

TÓTÉ London was found in 2010 by Self-proclaimed Ankaranista, Bola Obileye. Over the years, TÓTÉ London has truly become part and parcel of Cosmopolitan fashion in London.

According to the designer, every single item from TÓTÉ London is designed with the quintessential elegant women in mind who loves to look chic effortlessly. The TÓTÉ love affair with African print fabrics also known as "Ankara" in West Africa can be described as "Always and Forever". Ankara has been a symbol of African fashion for over 50 years and we dare say it'll be around for much longer and we continue to be inspired by its vibrant color and brilliance.

Meet The Designer- Caroline Beyll

Caroline Beyll creates timeless pieces inspired by the 50’s fashion styles. With a focus on sophistication and class, Beylls’ dresses are flawless and seductive. She describes her pieces as “Style that is timeless with gorgeous, out of this world fabric. Our designs are fresh, young at heart and are also fun but sophisticated dresses”.

Meet The Designer- Thora Jewels

THORA JEWELS is a London based bespoke hand-crafted jewellery and accessories designer. Her collections are designed using gemstones, crystals, pearls, fabrics, leather, metals, vintage finds etc. And according to her, “Each design is unique to itself. We work closely with our clients to ensure that they are involved in every single process, from the initial concept, design, production, to the delivery of the products. We aim to stand out and never compromise on quality” Thora Jewels just had a successful outing at the AFWL 2015 and are looking forward to an even bigger success at Africa On The Square event.

Meet The Designer- AAUGUST

AAugust is an upcoming brand that was created by Emalda Mbulo and Suwilanji Katuka who have both recently graduated in Fashion and Textiles. The combinations of African print, textile techniques and fine tailoring have been a part of their inspiration; giving them the insight to work with both men and women’s wear. "Born in Zambia and relocating to England at a young age gave us a chance to embrace our culture in everything we do”. Their brand is currently based in the UK. 'Our brand philosophy is “Fashion is born of instinct; it’s how you want the world to view you”... Emalda Mbulo and Suwilanji Katuka

Meet The Designer- Innocente Messy

Messy loves fashion and attributes it to the fact that she grew up in a tailoring household. The daughter of a seamstress, messy combines African prints and unique styles with exquisite tailoring to give her clients a unique fashion experience. Another AFWL designer, we sure can’t wait to see her inspiring collection once more at Trafalgar Square this October.

Meet The Designer- Gitas Portal

Gitas Portal is a London based design company, specialising in contemporary African inspired ready to wear apparel and accessories. The brand is known for its clever use of colorful print and design to create timeless wearable pieces for women, men and children.

But there is a bit more to Gitas Portal. An acronym for 'God Is Truly Amazing', the brand is in recognition of the fulfilment of God given gifts. Gifts are effortless expressions of alignment with purpose, meant for liberation, sharing and enjoyment. So while Mariatu has certainly found her gift as a talented designer with an astute eye for unique and interesting prints, Gitas Portal continues to excite wearers - offering them the opportunity to live life in color through fashion and to celebrate their individuality.

Website: Facebook: gitasportal Instagram: Gitasportal Twitter: Gitas Portal