August 11, 2010

African Influence in Fashion

For the past year or so, I have been noticing more and more designers who are using fabric similar to, if not the same as, a fabric called Ankara which is worn a lot by people in West Africa. I was born in Nigeria and there is nothing I enjoy more than designing a new traditional outfit to be made & getting to go to a fabric shop and choose a fabric I like from the rainbow of Ankara styles that seem to never end or repeat. This fabric is so colorful and as ya’ll know, I am an advocate for wearing bright colors.


Like I said, these colorful creations have made debuts on runways around the world & have even been the main inspiration behind whole clothing lines. For example, Boxing Kitten is a clothing line which consists of brightly colored looks completely composed of this vibrant fabric. This clothing line, designed by a woman named Maya A. Lake, is quite popular amongst some well-known celebrities: Alicia Keys & Beyonce rocked these vibrant frocks in their music video for Put It In A Love Song, Solange Knowles has been photoed wearing pieces from this designer on several occasions, and Fergie has been caught wearing a Boxing Kitten romper.



If you don’t think you can handle a full on Ankara outfit, definitely go for an accessory made out of the fabric. Even something as small as a bracelet will be enough to add something special to your outfit. Designers have been using this fabric to make earrings, bracelets, and best of all…SHOES! I absolutely love the way the Ankara shoes look, they are definitely on my ‘things I need to buy’ list.





So dare to add a cultural pop to your wardrobe! It may be hard for some of you to find this kind of clothing for cheap, unfortunately. However, if you happen to know a West African, they can most likely point you in the right direction. You see, most Africans have their outfits custom made by tailors who can produce a beautifully unique outfit for under $100 (that is including the price of the fabric as well). Personally, the Ankara outfits that I own were produced for an average of $60 per outfit. This pales in comparison to the prices charged by clothing lines such as Boxing Kitten. If you are really interested in this clothing, you just need to play around online for a while and you may find a website which sells this clothing for a decent price!

Places to shop for this look (link list):



33 comments:

  1. Well, so I checked out your blog, and I don't regret it! You seem to have great ideas, you have a lot of things to write about... I like it a lot ♥

    Now, feel free to check out the mine ^^
    http://crazypigsideas.blogspot.com

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  2. Thank you so much ladies, I checked out both of your blogs & they are both fantastic! :)

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  3. Of course I've checked up the video, It's great! I love her too, she's so creative! ^^

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  4. Wow those shoes are amazing!!! Love the colors!

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  5. Me too Cecylia, I think they would really take an outfit to the next level! I'm going to start saving my pennies so I can buy them! :)

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  6. loving the print on the shoes; perhaps i will give it a try...

    www.brianathismoment.com

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  7. really love this, definately going to check out Ankara. Really beautiful colours and patterns, would love some bangles or bows in it. Thankyou for enlightening me to this :)!

    Found you on lookbook. Love it if you checked out my blog too :)

    http://chaos-point.blogspot.com/

    xxx

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  8. wow... I WANT EVERYTHING :D ahah! great job! great blog :D it's me bobby from lookbook, i am following your blog now! make sure you follow mine :) http://bobbyraffin.blogspot.com/

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  9. I'm loving all the blog sharing happening on this comment chain!

    The designs on this post are incredible. Patterns and prints are very hot right now. I hope it transitions into the fall because I looooove colorful clothes.

    Also, thanks for stopping by the other day. I'm trying to get the hang of this blogging stuff. We gotta support one another for sure!

    http://theaudacityofcolor.com/

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  10. I feel so inspired now! and looking at all these colors made me happy:) you have a nice blog here, i really enjoy reading it, def a follower, keep it up!
    http://idiefor-you.blogspot.com

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  11. Thank you all for commenting, the feedback means so much to me!

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  12. great blog, have to follow this!!!...love the post and the ankara prints a favourite of mine, on the runways even marc jacobs been using a bit of it in his shows!...

    http://themessenger-bag.blogspot.com

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  13. I feel in love with this post! everything is so beautiful! LOVE your blog already following you :D

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  14. love african print...ur blog is very content full and read worthy!!! i like i follow.
    xoxo. MissZuri....

    Self proclaimed fashion chameleon who refuses to let mommyhood take away her style!!! Comment&FoLLow
    Haute.MaMa.Z

    ****Just did an amazing post featuring Christine Centenera's haute style!! ; )****

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  15. Thanks you for commenting "If you want it: go for it already". I love your blog; stunt follower now!

    www.ninotswalk.blogspot.com

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  16. Im so glad u stopped by my page... and that u introduced me to your blog.. its really cool.. I really like this type of prints and fabric.. Im gonna look for something like this...

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  17. Ohi just wanna tell you that u inspired me so much with this post, that I did a make up look inspired by the ankara fabric... come to my blog and tell what do you think =)

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  18. Thank you for commenting everyone! and @Amandita, I absolutely love the post you did!!! I'm so touch that I inspired you to do it! You did a really good job :)

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  19. Oh, I love this post. I enjoy wearing my custom made ankara dresses. Does anyone know any good african tailors in the raleigh\durham north carolina area, recently moved to this area and I'm in need of one.

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  20. Chichia london is my favourite at the moment! I'm a big fan of mixing ankara prints, so her quirk element is doingggg it for me!

    It's so fun to see the Western world finally clue into the genius and artistry of Africa rather than all the other gruesome and ugly bits...

    Amazing blog post!
    xoxo

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  21. I love that Boxing Kitten dress. I want one so BAD.

    P.S. Thanks for the blog comment! :)

    http://modaribelle.blogspot.com/

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  22. i have been loving this trend.

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  23. I could def handle a full outfit...i love these prints!!

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  24. omg boxin kiten = pure love!

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  25. Love this Culture Couture (as I call it!)post. thanks for stopping by the Compai blog and showing your love. Your blog is very inspiring. Love it! xxx - Justina

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  26. As an African i have always been love with African fabric da tecture,patterns nd vibrant colors.
    im so happy that da fashion world is gettin hipp..
    i will start makin my own bangels just like those u see there..
    defintely keep u posted about dem..:-)

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  27. Loved the article!! Fellow african, huh? I be representing Angola.

    Very inspiring article! FFFFFFFFFierce!

    Thanks for coming by my blog (myblackhairdaily.blogspot.com) too, what a sweetheart!

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  28. Thanks for all the comments!!! Greatly appreciated, I absolutely love hearing everyones feedback :)

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  29. the bow ties and shoes are my favorite!

    JD
    iplayfaves.blogspot.com

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  30. Wow. Nagyon szép ruhák.
    http://itsbellatime.blogspot.com

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  31. Achu Franklin12/18/2015

    this is all together what i need i just want it all!!!

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