I have been away for awhile. My sincere apologies as I was preoccupied with my day job. I am back and hopefully will be around all summer. It’s been awhile and will try to make sense of all that I have missed in the past couple of months. First is a series I came across while away and it’s entitled “State of Undress” hosted by Hailey Gates for Viceland. No homo here, but I truly love Hailey Gates. She gets it 100%. The point of this show is to use fashion as an entry point to talk about identity issues and politics and sort of underreported cultural phenomenon and to be able to show both the light and the dark of these things. Fashion means so much more to people in many different contexts and I love how her docuseries did a splendid job to showcase this. It was also amazing to view how fashion would lend itself to exploring all the avenues that she wanted to explore in the countries she visited especially in war-torn regions like Pakistan or censored countries like China. I loved all her reactions with every place she visited from Pakistan to Russia and even Congo. I most especially love how she champions the need for representation of people and their fashion beyond that which is commonly seen in the media these days. Continue reading State of Undress and Fashion from Africa
Have you seen the Disney movie “Beauty and the Beast.” In it, Gaston, once wonderfully handsome and muscled, is made utterly ridiculous in the beginning as he examines himself in every mirror he passes. Beast in the end, wins beauty’s love not through his looks, but his gentle awkwardness, his eagerness to please her and his distaste for violence. This movie draws attention to how people’s values or behaviors or even appearance can be interpreted by others. It’s significance also lies in its ability to redefine the terms governing beauty. It is this redefinition that precisely will propel African Fashion forward to new heights. Continue reading This beast called fashion with implications for African Fashion
Happy International Women’s Day and here is to all the women out there, you days be memorable, your nights be pleasurable and your dreams be attainable always…
In honor of this grand day, my hope for the future of African Fashion is resilience.
Resilience, they say is when a person, a thing, or even an object defies the odds and show positive outcomes, despite enduring adversity. It is a measure of an individual’s strength and an end product of buffering processes that do not eliminate risks and stress in people’s lives, but allows individuals to deal with these challenges effectively. Being an African Fashion Brand isn’t easy. Sure, there are great success stories like Lisa Folawiyo of Nigeria being selected as the top 500 influencers of Fashion globally, or how Zuvaa marketplace is making African Fashion seem very accessible. The list though is not very long though . Which leads me to ask the following questions: how do African Fashion brands cope with adversity? Are there any protective factors that may mitigate the effects of these adversity? What, if any role, does the community, individuals, you, me, play in shaping resilient African fashion brands?
Granted, most African Fashion brands will fail numerous times before they become household names. In many cases, majority can’t scale, despite an impressive showing at the latest African Fashion Week in their home towns, and our people, myself included, just simply have a hard time patronizing some fashion brands, and it is due to issues such as accessibility, clean tailoring etc. No approach you take with African fashion will guarantee success, hence the need to explore why some, despite the numerous challenges they face, defy the odds as we know it. It is my hope that as we begin to build the future we want for African Fashion, we can would also explore the role resilience plays.
So yesterday was a national public holiday in the U.S and it was in celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and all he did to help pave the way for civil rights for African Americans in the U.S. As we reflect on the life and legacy of this great man, I am reminded of his “I Have a Dream” speech which was delivered in the summer of 1963 during the March on Washington, a rally for civil rights and against discrimination of African Americans in the US. About 250,000 people gathered on the National Mall to listen to him speak and more than 50 years later, the speech remains potent and moving and so applicable to the state of African Fashion today. Here are four reasons why I have a dream that one day, African Fashion will become as relevant as fashion from anywhere else…
Happy Monday. I am sure that if you are like me you have probably dreamed of starting that African fashion business idea of yours that you know will thrive in due time. You may have also dreamed that it can bring you fortune as well. Well if you are like me and you started but are not yet successful, in 2016, I am here to share that you should not throw that idea away just yet. Believe me, it can still bring you that fortune you have dreamed about. If you don’t believe me, what do Amazon, Dell Computer, Home Depot, Airbnb, and Uber have in common? They all started with a “dumb” idea or an idea that people never expected will be as successful as they are today. Continue reading Don’t throw your African fashion idea away. It can bring you fortune in 2016
By Jedannah Vieira for Huffington Post Style.
Buy something African.
Whether you’re a designer, a stockist, or a general fashion enthusiast, that’s the best piece of fashion advice you’ll hear this year. Africa is the next big fashion trend. Want proof?
How much do you buy from Africa?
If you said “I don’t know,” you’re not alone. Not for lack of interest, Africa is a place that most Western consumers just don’t know much about. The media is only recently starting to feature stories about its commerce, culture and economic trends. Continue reading The Next Big Fashion Trend Is Made In Africa
Hello everyone and by now I am sure that 2016 is off to a great start. Let me take the time to thank everyone that helped make ISR great in 2015. I am totally thankful for all your likes, all your comments, and even just the idea of stopping by. I look forward to a prosperous 2016. Lord knows that my plans for this site are beyond me and I would only ask for your patience as we take the journey together into 2016. By the way I have been out of the country for a much needed and long overdue vacation with my family and as I write this post, I am reminded as to why it is necessary to take a break from everything. It matters not just for your overall health and well being, but also for thinking or making plans for your future. See I went to a place that allowed me to reflect as well as appreciate that this thing called life is something that we should cherish every moment of. I went to a place that allowed me wake up everyday reflecting on the privilege life I have in the US. It is a privilege and a tremendous one to have clean running water to drink and take your bath with every day. It is a privilege to even have light or even a washing machine to wash your clothes. These are things we take for granted in the US and my visit to Nimo Village in Nigeria allowed me to reflect on why it is necessary to live each day to the fullest in the land of opportunity. One of my favorite movies of all time is The Devil Wears Prada and because of the line “a million people would kill to have this opportunity.” I want to believe that a million people will do anything to have access to clean water or electricity and if you are among those that have access to both, well you are among the lucky people on planet earth.
This is how my 2016 has started thus far. I have no resolutions for this site, except to say that I look forward to write more opinion pieces about how I feel about African Fashion. I will do my best to consistently portray written pieces that honest, relevant and sincere. I do not want to bring any brand or anyone down and so I respect that disagreements that people may have from time to time. My goal is to remain the one true site dedicated to celebrating that which we all love about African Fashion, one post at a time. I also intend to merge my 2 loves, health and fashion for a better Africa in 2016, though you would have to be patient with me on this. I want to take the opportunity to wish a Happy 2016 to African Fashion and assure you that you can always count on us to remain the voice of African fashion in 2016.
Happy New Year