Fashion is Bigger Than You

FASHION IN AFRICA IS BIGGER THAN THE CONTINENT; IT’S AFRO COSMOS

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Source: Kamdora

Source: Kamdora

The term Afro Cosmos means to be larger than life; the Afrocentric disposition is one which cannot be boxed in and as such it travels beyond our imagination and tends to outlive us. African fashion has most certainly attained such feat hence its Afro Cosmos.

Over the years fashion has evolved from what we wear to being a life style. With fashion people especially Africans can express themselves and it isn’t limited to a few emotions but any and all of them. From fashion you can tell when one is in love, doesn’t care, ready to work, the persons attitude, personality, mind-set, style and so on.

Source: Kamdora

Source: Kamdora

Source: Kamdora

Source: Kamdora

Everyone loves new clothes, everyone loves great clothes, and as such everyone loves the African design; if you don’t, it would only mean that you missed your medical appointment last week.

When I think about fashion in Africa a 2014 Nigerian ad starring Jewel by Lisa resonates in my mind. It talked about what the brand was going to do with African prints and designs over the years and truthfully we have seen it happen. I love the African design and I wear it practically every day.

The trend has gotten everyone spotting the African design on a daily bases in the streets, malls, offices, planes, and everywhere else you can find a fashion lover.

Fashion + Culture: Streetwear gets British-Nigerian Makeover

EBELE AND CHIAMAKA OJECHI HAVE WOVEN TIGHT A CONNECTION BETWEEN THEIR FASHION BRAND AND CULTURE.

In times like this, I want to really caption my story “What a man can do, a woman can do better”.

EBELE AND CHIAMAKA OJECHI

EBELE AND CHIAMAKA OJECHI

23-year-old Ebele and Chiamaka Ojechi ( @chiandebs // @bele.bele.bele) who are greatly inspired by their Nigerian and British heritage released a debut COLLECTION “AREA BOYS” under the design label bëlë; is a high-end streetwear designer to keep our radar on. It graced the runway during London’s fashion week in the fall of 2016 and has since been featured on major platforms like Vogue.

EBELE AND CHIAMAKA OJECHI

EBELE AND CHIAMAKA OJECHI

Inspired by their Nigerian roots, specifically their family’s photo albums from the ’70s. “There were amazing pictures of guys wearing these wide-sleeved kaftans, I’d never seen anything like them before,” Ebele explains. “They were the style that affluent Nigerians would wear in the ’70s and ’80s and when I saw them I knew I wanted to translate those shapes into sportswear.”   www.vogue.com                                          

EBELE AND CHIAMAKA OJECHI

EBELE AND CHIAMAKA OJECHI

Breaking boundaries feels like a theme black women everywhere are running with, feels almost like they have a WhatsApp group they communicate on. Streetwear and even street style photography is a male dominated sector in the fashion and media industry; by this simple yet deliberate act, the twins have opened the doors for other young women. Needless to say, their designs and all of her pieces are nothing short of art.

EBELE OJECHI

EBELE OJECHI

“The brand is all about mixing African and British cultures, so you’ll notice twists like the heritage corduroy panels and the British youth slogans,” says Ebele. “I wanted it to evoke feelings of nostalgia for different people and feel like there was a story beyond just wearing another logo.”

With the exponential rate at which the creative industry is expanding and growing, with creatives of all forms instilling a habit of inculcating their diverse African cultures aesthetically into their works; I think our forefathers can now sit back and stop worrying about ways to preserve the African culture. It now is unlike before, a thing of great joy for Africans both home and n diaspora to be proudly African.

CHIAMAKA OJECHI

CHIAMAKA OJECHI

“Growing up in London has had a massive influence on my perspective, I actually didn’t realize how much so until recently. As London is a mixing pot of many different cultures, growing up here has taught me how to combine various cultural influences into one work of art. For example, in London you’ll often see Muslim boys wearing their traditional thobe with a Nike puffer coat, some sick Nike trainers and a man bag. I’ve always loved that! The way they mix their religious attire with the typical wears of London youth; you can tell so much about their identity by just looking at them. Seeing things like that on a daily basis has definitely shaped the way I design. With BËLË I wanted to explore how I could represent my identity in this way.”

EBELE OJECHI

EBELE OJECHI

With the favourite African artists as Chinua Achebe (Nigerian Author), Malick Sidibe (Malian Photographer) and Yagazie Emezi (Nigerian-Malaysian Illustrator and photographer); these girls are definitely headed for the top. See some pieces from their latest collection below:

STREETWEAR 14.jpg

A Stitch In Time: Needle+Thread

MEET THE  HOME DESIGN BRAND THAT CONNECTS KENYAN ARTISAN CRAFTSWOMEN WITH A GLOBAL AND MODERN CLIENTELE FOR INTERIOR DESIGNS.

Ethical fashion and fair trade are at the centre of what they do; they work with Bebe Ravi cooperative to employ Kenyan Maasai women to craft beautiful interiors and beads.

Their work is beautiful in its simplicity, and still manages to infuse that priceless East African feel. What’s more, their model empowers their female artisans and raises their incomes. We love the whole thing – model and products alike. See some of their products below:

Design by needle+thread

Design by needle+thread

Design by needle+thread

Design by needle+thread

Design by needle+thread

Design by needle+thread

Design by needle+thread

Design by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

Necklaces by needle+thread

needle+thræd partners with the Bebe Ravi women’s cooperative that employs 50-100 women based in Nakuru, Kenya - an area with an unemployment of about 40%. Many of the women have been widowed by the AIDS epidemic, thus becoming the sole source of income for their families. By giving them access to revenue, not only are the lives of their children significantly improved, but the entire community is propelled forward. Each woman is paid above average wage and provided with free meals.

official logo of the brand

official logo of the brand

Their aim? To find that common thread between style and substance and sustain families, communities and traditional crafts by providing fair wages.

The Nigerian Government rather than keep promising employment opportunities that are not feasible could take a cue from this.

Driverless Buses: Future of Transportation

BUSES WITH DRIVERS OR CONDUCTORS, A POSSIBLE FUTURE FOR AFRICAN TRANSPORTATION? 

Using the U.S. as a case study, driverless tech could save over $300 billion a year, just from GDP lost due to car crashes. Currently, the U.S. loses a mind-boggling $341 billion to crashes, and GPS predicts that driverless cars would bring that down to just $34 billion. Global positioning specialists have released a table showing how much can be saved from this invention.

 

To drive at these figures, GPS took already-existing data for the GDP of a country, then applied a simple formula based on the percentage reduction in crashes expected if we adopt autonomous vehicles. The U.S. is at the top of the list only because it loses so much money right now. The next country on the list is India, which "only" wastes $62 billion a year on traffic accidents and their effects, less than a fifth that of the U.S. As a quick reminder, India is home to 1.3 billion people, whereas the U.S. counts just 322 million people. Americans really like their cars—and crashing them.

"You realize how many of these accidents could be avoided with new driverless technology," said GPS boss Lucile Michaut in a statement. "Governments will never spend on investing in things like this unless there is concrete evidence, but here we have proved there are strong economic reasons to invest in driverless technology, as well as the obvious improvement to public safety."

When everything is viewed in terms of return on investment, the cash savings of big projects are more important than their effect on people's quality of life. That's backward of course, but it's the language spoken by many politicians around the world. In the U.S., roughly 33,000 people die annualy in auto crashes (about the same number that die from breast cancer, or gun deaths, or opioid overdoses, three issues politicians spend a lot more time talking about fixing), and 2.2 million are injured. Autonomous cars could keep many of those people alive, or uninjured. And those people, and their families and friends, probably won't be thinking about the financial benefits to their country.

Source: www.fastcoexist.com

 

Where does Nigeria Come in?

The obvious suggestion here would be driverless cars, but the truth is there will always be a larger population of people commuting with public transport and it would be of no immediate benefit to further develop the already stable means of transportation. So why not driverless buses? Firstly, this takes miscreants, popularly termed “agbero” off our streets and reduces a great deal of rowdiness at bus terminals and stops. Secondly this helps save time made on every trip; how? While getting onboard passengers program in location, pay in money into a designated slot or swipe a special bus fare credit card and be allowed in; so on arriving entered bus terminals, the bus simply comes to a halt and lets you out; also there would be no need for any official to beckon on new passengers to fill up vacant spaces, as spaces available would be transmitted and displayed on a board at the next stop and people orderly form a queue and swipe their cards till the bus fills and quietly wait for a next available bus.

Lastly, this eases the strain on public transportation users and in turn reduce records of road accidents and simultaneously money budgeted for health care services, treatment and compensation by government for affected families and communities.

The ideas and functions of the yellow buses and BRT can be combined and further developed rather than starting from the scratch.