Blog Archives

Designer of the Day…Lalesso

Bold colors and beautiful graphic prints adorn the looks of today’s designer – Lalesso of Cape Town. I am so in love with their collection of dresses, tops, skirts, and shoes that are so colorful and full of African flavor.

Lalesso is the work of designers Olivia Kennaway and Alice Heusseer and was started after a trip to Olivia’s hometown of Kenya. After seeing the beautiful colors and fabrics of the traditional African Khenga, the ladies decided to begin a lifestyle brand that’s just as socially conscious as it is fashion conscious. Lalesso is globally recgonized as a top eco and ethical clothing production company and utilizes local community members in its staff. They benefit from an above average wage and they get to use their handicraft for a great label.

These colors are just so gorgeous. I’m so glad bold patterns are going into the Fall season because every single one of these looks has inspired me to utilize some my own African fabrics (well African inspired…I don’t think any of them are authentic). So very pretty and unique!

Designer of the Day…Kenzo

I can’t believe that I haven’t yet featured the colorful and beautifully cultural work of the legendary Kenzo Takada! He is also one of my favorite designers because his use of fabrics, silhouette, and the inspiration he seems to draw from so many different ethnicities has always drawn me in.

The man would come to be known for his perfume, skincare, and fashion lines …and even more so, by one name – Kenzo…got his start in the fashion world back in the 70′s when he presented his first show at the Vivienne Gallery in Paris. From there he took off with his designs gracing models in the pages of Elle. Today, the Kenzo brand is known for its quality and impeccable attention to fabric choices that are usually varied, but quite beautiful together. I believe there is a new creative director for the brand, but it’s also nice to see that the Kenzo aesthetic is still embraced.

In my research on Kenzo, I read that when he 1st started out, he could only afford to buy fabric from flea markets – which is where he had to learn to mix and match fabrics. I think that turned out to be a good situation because the variety of the pieces that grace every Kenzo collection are just stunning!

Designer of the Day…Kimmystic.Clo

Today’s designer, Kimon Baptiste of Kimmystic.Clo is simply superb! I’m really digging her great use of bold colors and prints…they remind me of a great island getaway…which isn’t the least bit surprising since Kimmystic.Clo is based in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Baptiste has been designing for the past 10 years, but opened up Kimmystic.Clo as a label & boutique back in 2007. She has been in many fashion weeks both in the Caribbean & in the States. She’s also designed gowns for many beauty pageants in the St. Vincent area.

It’s quite obvious why Kimon Baptiste was named the Island Designer of St. Vincent & the Grenadines at the 2008 Caribbean Fashion Awards – her collections are representative of the color, beauty, and vibrancy of the Caribbean nations and it’s executed flawlessly…I love these looks!

Designer of the Day…Jewels by Lisa

I LOVE today’s designer, Lisa Folawiyu of Jewels by Lisa. This Nigerian designer has taken fashion by storm with her gorgeous and vibrant collection of tops, dresses, and pants. This is why I love fashion…because it is full of great designers like this that bring a much needed zest and flavor to a oftentimes drab industry.

Folawiyu began JBL in 2005 and hasn’t looked back since. She creates her amazing pieces using beautiful Ankara fabric which is a fabric that was traditionally made in Turkey. She pairs this with taffeta, Swaroski crystals, sequins, and other fun embellishments to create the looks that have landed JBL in numerous fashion weeks and catapulted the name into luxury brand status.

These looks are just stunning to me. They are unique, yet they are ultra feminine which is certainly the main summary of my personal style. I love when designers in other nations, especially designers from “nations of color”, become successful and prove that there are many variations to the world of fashion.

Designer of the Day…Choolips

Today’s designer, Choolips, is the feature today because I’m loving designer Annegret Affolderbach’s use of African textiles and vibrant colors. The collections that make up Choolips use hand printed batiks and draw inspiration from many different areas including everything from Jackson Pollock to 80′s band Bananarama.

Choolips is both organic and sustainable, so rocking one of these great dresses not only allows you to look amazing, but also contribute to a company that prides itself upon ethical practices. These summer-y and feminine frocks that make up Choolips’s collections are made using free-trade textiles, which means that they are produced in countries including Ghana using traditional techniques and ethical practices.

These are just gorgeous!

Designer of the Day…Lemlem

I’ve got a really great designer for light & airy summerwear, Lemlem. The name is Amharic for thriving or blooming and that is certainly what this African collection is. The line was started by Ethiopian model Liya Kebede and is completely produced by local weavers. This in turn provides jobs and brings income to the community. Plus, the beauty that is Ethiopian handicraft is preserved and made into goregeous garments. 

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Lemlem also has adorable childrenswear…Simply beautiful!

Designer of the Day…IRO

Today’s designer of the day is the French label IRO. I wanted to feature these amazing collections because I love simple, but sexy fashion. IRO has a great collection of knits and statement pieces that totally cater to my love for easy dressing. I love their sheer knits and breezy pants. Plus, everything has a chic boho style that I love.

IRO is carried at flagship stores in Europe and at department stores and boutiques here in the States. I’d love to own one of those tops…they look like they feel like butter!

Gorgeous Africana Cushions by Eva Sonaike

These pillows by London based designer Eva Sonaike are absolutely gorgeous…the one with the peacock feather is my favorite!

The label also has other great home furnishings…I must own something from this great designer to put in my new apartment once I move to LA!

Designer of the Day…Chichia London

Every few years there’s an entire year of fashion that I cannot stand. I think it was maybe two years ago (both autumn/winter & spring/summer) that had absolutely nothing that tickled my fancy…I believe it was when the whole distressed look was all over the place. Anyway, the spring/summer ’10 fashion season is NOT that way at all for me. Thanks to the abundance of the ethnic prints, vibrant colors, and flowy silhouettes, I am totally enjoying wearing and making dresses, skirts, and tops. I am also enjoying today’s designer Chichia London because the collection of tops and dresses combines everything I’m loving about this season. This collection is the brainchild of London based designer Christine Mhando. She utilizes Khanga – an East African fabric – to create her ultra feminine and unique looks.

Mhando launched Chichia in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. This Tanzania native has been educated in apparel design at Kent University and The London College of Fashion. With collections entitled “Succulent” and “Understated Regal”, Mhando’s Chichia London is so inspiring!

 

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Gorgeous clothes! Simply stunning!

Designer of the Day…Aschobi

I love today’s line, Aschobi for it’s beautiful African essence and elegance. I love luxe fabrics and bold colors and Aschobi has that and more. Self-described as a line for the intelligent, well-travelled, socially conscious, and fun woman, Aschobi is the brain child of Adama Kai…and it is marvelous!

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Beautiful clothing!

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