My Africa Is Presents “How Do Africans Kiss?”

I caught this video on Dream Hampton’s blog and I had to share this with readers. Growing up as a proud Nigerian, I still found it cringeworthy to watch Africans kiss in Nollywood films. I cannot even fathom witnessing my parents and loved ones kissing. There’s something about that romantic gesture that screams the following: fake, over the top and simply extra. I had it fascinating that there’s a documentary (done by My Africas) discussing this topic and I agree with every word Adepero Oduye had to say about this topic.

About My Africa Is:

My Africa Is is a documentary series taking you on a journey across the continent through the eyes of an insider. We know what you’ve seen and heard about Africa – what they think is happening, what they think she needs, what they think she is. The four things that come to mind when people think of Africa are population, problems, poverty, and promise unfulfilled – headline media reports on the continent but that’s not the whole story.

Perspective changes everything.

My Africa Is wants to show you something different. We’re not about hiding real issues or over-hyping good news. We’re more than aware of the challenges, but we also know that we are not helpless. We hustle. We find ways to overcome. We survive. Every day, we are changing our communities – it may be a process, and it may be a little bit at a time, but we’re changing it nonetheless.

I’m definitely looking forward to the future documentaries made by My Africa is.

Cultural Mark is a feature highlighting influential Africans leaving their impeccable mark on the global community for a positive image of Africans outside of the Diaspora.

Solange Loves Her Prints

Solange Knowles – one of Vogue’s Best Dressed Woman of the year – proved the high-end style publication RIGHT yet again when she stepped out in a Derek Lam number with funky Giuseppe Zanotti heels and a Lanvin clutch at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in New York City. Everything about this Lanre da Silva Ajayi Couture-inspired look screams out – winning. It’s no wonder Vogue picked Solange for two years in a row for their best dressed list.Thanks to the West African-inspired lace patterns on Solange’s Derek Lam ensemble, that cultural presence is definitely presented. #AfroHipster

Derek Lam Spring Summer 2013

DJ Solange was in effect at the Mexico City opening of H&M.

While we patiently await the follow-up to Sol-Angel & The Hadley Street Dreams aptly named True, check out snippets of new music from Solange (below) or over at (I’ve already called Losing You as my current favorite jam. My favorite track is ) Solange’s EP True hits stores on November 27th.

image credits: getty images

Cultural Presence looks at how celebrities and everyday people wear African fashion straight from the runway.

Thandie Newton Supports Jewel By Lisa

Thandie Newton was spotted wearing a Jewel By Lisa Spring/Summer 2012 jumpsuit and chrome Jimmy Choo “Anouk” heels at the Hope Rising Benefit concert in Toronto. Another red carpet superstar wearing JBL is always a breath of fresh air. Congrats to the JBL brand and its founder Lisa Folawiyo on this achievement. This is yet another step in JBL global red carpet take over.

In fact Thandie and her Half of A Yellow Sun co-star Anika Noni Rose paid a visit to Lisa Folawiyo’s showroom in Lagos. What a great moment for African fashion, isn’t it? This particular print that Thandie wore has also been seen on red carpet style stars Eku Edewor, Lola Ogunnaike, Catt Sadler, and June Ambrose.

The JBL Print That They All Have in Common

In related news, Thandie filmed Half Of A Yellow Sun and here she is with her co-stars Anika Noni Rose, Genevieve Nnaji and Chiwetel Ejiofor. A couple of years ago I made a dream cast for the film adaption of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel and I’m glad to see that my dream cast became reality. I’m eager to see this film when it gets its theatrical release in 2013.

image credits: tumblr & getty images

Cultural Presence looks at how celebrities and everyday people wear African fashion straight from the runway.

Naomi Harris: Get into Her Skyfall Red Carpet Global Takeover

I just caught the latest James Bond film – Skyfall. From the soulful Adele score to the sizzling hot chemistry between Daniel Craig and Naomie Harris to Javier Bardem’s convincing portrayal of a witty evil pyscho criminal, this movie was unbelievably good. The fight sequences were amazingly done and the location spots were a nice touch. James being the ever unmarried woman-loving agent had women at the drop of a dime from that first initial sex scene up against the wall to the steamy shower scene, James Bond’s swag is still in effect. I especially enjoy the chemistry between Naomie’s Eve Moneyponey and Daniel’s 007. (You will love when she tries to seduce him while shaving his beard.)  M (played by the fantastic Judi Dench) – I felt was likes James’ mother and that emotional final scene she shared with 007 cemented that point. Bottom line: Go see Skyfall!

Necessary Naomie & Daniel Skyfall red carpet photo moments

And now let’s into praising Naomie’s red carpet shutdown because quite frankly Naomie shut it down for all the red carpet premiere events for Skyfall. From her sheer sequined Marios Schwab dress to her sheer blue lace Dolce & Gabbana number to her red strapless Lanvin dress to her fierce shoe game thanks to Giuseppe Zanotti, Christian Louboutin, and Pierre Hardy. Naomie’s Skyfall red carpet style was fierce.

Image credits – getty images

Cultural Obsession is a feature highlighting things that I’m fond of.

Link Worth Bookmarking: My Africanista

Ever found yourself pouring hours online looking for traditional wear inspiration? Ever found yourself looking for a hip wax print bow tie and pocket squares to rock to special occasion? Ever wondering what tasty African restaurant you should check out next? Ever wonder where you can get tasty African cultural food recipes? If you said yes to these questions, My Africanista is your online destination spot for all things African fashion with soul. (Visit My Africanista today.)

There you’ll discover handcrafted wax print Ankara bow ties that’s already been a hit with young Africanistas within the Tri-State region and with fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger Kloudya. While browsing My Africanista, readers can groove to the latest tunes straight from the motherland. Good style inspirations, influential Africans, tasty recommendations are all locked in one hip destination spot – My Africanista!

Launched October 4th, My Africanista also highlights influential Africans Making It in America. So far My Africanista has highlighted three – Dr. Lesile Nwoke of The Ruby Project, the Tri-State’s hottest African male DJ – DJ Universe, Feyisola Ogunfemi of Statueque Events and Edmond Mbiaka of Quotes for the Mind. My Africanista is a promising business initiative drawn upon Chikara Iwuagwu, R.N. based out of Northern New Jersey. She says four is her lucky number and I think she beautifully struck out on gold with My Africanista. This business is full of win. It has already been highlighted on Fashion’s Night Out 2012 and at this year’s Nigerian Independence Parade celebration in New York. Cultural Toast wishes My Africanista continued success! My Africanista has got that Cultural Look locked in for sure!

Behind the Scenes of My Africanista Premiere Photo Shoot by Bola Okoya of Triibe Natiion

>>>>Visit My Africanista: Website. Shop. Facebook. <<<

Photo credits: Bola Okoya of Triibe Natiion for My Africanista

Cultural Mark is a feature highlighting influential Africans leaving their impeccable mark on the global community for a positive image of Africans outside of the Diaspora.

Liya Kebede & African-Inspired Prints at Balenciaga Spring 2013 Paris Fashion Week

Ethiopian model Liya Kebede (and current Donna Karan Woman fragrance brand face) walked the Spring 2013 runway at Paris Fashion Week for Balenciaga. I couldn’t help but notice that two of the runway looks at the show was heavily influenced by Dutch wax prints, ankara, and African fashion.

Fab! View the full collection here.

image credits – imaxtree

Cultural Model Runway is a style feature focusing on black models represented at various international Fashion Week events.

Solange – Losing You Video

The long-awaited world premiere for Solange’s Losing You music video is over! You’ve seen the on-set photos. You’ve been the teaser trailer. Now here’s the video in all of Solange’s signature prints style galore! Solange truly nails down being the queen of prints. There’s so many great style moments from the video. There’s far too many things to choose which style moment that I loved from the well-dressed men in their suits to Solange’s quick wardrobe changes.  I also enjoyed the fact that the video was shot on location in South Africa! While you watch the Melina Matsoukas-directed video I’m adding it to my iTunes.

Solange explains to V Magazine the concept behind Losing You:

“When Melina [Matsoukas, director] and I decided to film ‘Losing You’ in South Africa, we really didn’t have a real firm concept in place. It was sort of a grab a camera and let’s go moment. I knew I wanted to capture a couple things: the vibe of our friendship and all of the crazy escapades we’ve gotten ourselves into all over the world and the abstract and elegant Le Sape society (Society for the Advancement of People of Elegance) formed in The Congo which was documented by Daniele Tamagni in his Gentleman of Bacongo book. We called Daniele to guide us, and some of my friends from New York came down to Cape Town and we all had a very damn good time.”

This song is giving me vintage 80s Janet Jackson vibes! I love that Solange is going back to that era of music. (Things on the radio can be repetitive right now. This is a breath of fresh air!) Here’s the info on the fashion credits and all who made Losing You flawless:

From an upcoming single on Terrible Records, out digitally 10-2
Song by Solange and Dev Hynes, produced by Blood Orange.

Director – Alan Del Rio Ortiz
Producers – Imogene Strauss & Jassine Chrisphonte
Director of Photography – Mike Simpson
Camera Assistant – Kyle Sather
Gaffer – Casey Wooden
Grip – Walter Egan
Editor – Victoria Chalk
Colorist – Seth Ricart
Production Assistant – Davey Jewell
Hair – Nikki Nelms
Makeup – Munemi Imai

Set Design & Art provided by:
Mickalene Thomas

Solange Knowles
Cherie Camacho
Saada Ahmed
Lizzie Okpo
Darlene Okpo
Devonté Hynes
Jean Jersey klan
Jonathan Zeizel
Eliot Glass

Clothing provided by:
Opening Ceremony
J Crew

image credits – Terrible Records

Cultural Music is an eclectic playlist highlighting noteworthy music with soul!


Cultural Spotlight: Keeping Up With Revenge Star Ashley Madekwe!

Revenge is returning back to ABC on Sunday September 30th so I thought I should give readers what they really want and it’s their most searched for person from the hit show – British-Nigerian actress Ashley Madekwe. I’ve read the e-mails, you all are just as obsessed with Ashley’s style as I am.

Last season we witness Ashley’s character Ashely Davenport hook up with Grayson’s heir Daniel. Ashley has truly played her cards right from her days as being labeled Revenge’s favorite Chief social planner and Victoria Grayson’s party planner/assistant/Grayson Family spokesperson! Anyone else enjoys the idea of Daniel being with Ashley? She made her move during the cliffhanger of Revenge’s season 1 finale and Daniel took it.

(via sashaudinov)

 In Revenge Season 2 premiere – “Destiny” Ashley and Daniel shared an awkward encounter with Daniel’s ex fiancé Emily Thorne/real Amanda! Ashley continues to prove that life after Tyler drama is good when you rubbed elbows with the right person. To think she spent the entire season trying to make good with Victoria Grayson to get into that elite lifestyle when she suddenly realizes that Daniel is her ticket in. Thanks to the good folks at Wet Paint Revenge here’s some Revenge season 2 spoilers! FYI: Mike Kelly is hinting at Daniel and Ashley being the new younger generation of Conrad & Victoria Grayson!

Mike Kelley on how the Daniel & Ashley relationship will foreshadow Daniel’s evolution into his father, Conrad Grayson: 

This whole Ashley bit with Daniel is going to play out in a really fun way for us next season. He’s not a pawn any longer. He’s made some pretty dark choices, and I don’t think that feeling misled by Emily is going to make him any nicer. We’re going to continue the ride to the dark side with Daniel. Emily is kind of the odd man out now, right? That’s not going to sit well with her.  think Ashley is going to get perilously close to making herself a target to Emily. You know, the fun thing with Ashley is that there are some surprises that we’ve been holding on her. I can’t wait to bring to light something about Ashley that will make everyone go, ‘”Oh! That’s why she’s hanging on!'” (E!)

I would definitely raid Ashley’s closet because her Revenge TV style is amazing! Is that a Azzedine Alaia dress? That’s all I’m giving you now on Revenge! Tune in on Sunday September 30th! When Ashley’s not busy shooting season 2 of Revenge, she’s balancing being a fashion blogger via her blog Ring My Bell with gorgeous street style photos taken by her husband Iddo Goldberg. These two have great chemistry and it shows through the photos. Her blog is worth checking out! Ashley and Iddo got hitched over the Revenge hiatus Summer break!

(Nice ring!)

(Ashley with her husband Iddo Goldberg & her Revenge co-star/BFF Christa B. Allen)

If you’re just as obsessed with Ashley’s Revenge style, you know her red carpet style is just as enviable! Here she is posing on and off the red carpet at the Fashion Night Out event she hosted, at the Nylon September TV Issue bash and at the Audi & Derek Lam Emmy Kick Off party.

Image credits – Wet Paint Revenge, Getty Images & Iddo Goldberg for Ring My Bell

Cultural Loop: Obsessed With Solange’s Losing You Music Buzz

The wait is finally over. Solange Knowles, who would like to officially nickname Prints Empress**, has release a sneak preview for her music video, Losing You, off her follow-up to a personal favorite – the 2008 record Sol-Angel & The Hadley Street Dreams.* Press play to check out Solange’s funky take on “Suck & Blow.”

What a kiss, huh? See it in gif form via Eff-Yeah Solange:

In the Losing You clip, Solange is proving why I’m officially nicknaming her Prints Empress**. There are prints upon prints in the video and I spy notable fashion labels clamoring for the spotlight too. There’s plenty of Solange’s style favorites featured from Kenzo, Opening Ceremony, DVF, J Crew and Suno! The video, which is set to be released on October 2nd, was shot on location in South Africa. Featured in the teaser is Eliot Glass, Cherie Camacho, Jonathan Zeizel, Darlene Okpo, Jean Jersey Klan, Saada Ahmed, Lizzie Okpo, and Devonte Hynes. Her music video is said to be a stylized documentary which in her words, will be…

“largely be inspired by the color in the architecture and townships around here. We’ll just take a camera and see what happen.” {Singers Room}

Losing You also as Solange stated is “eclectic with ’80s references and African percussion influences.” (From what I’ve heard, it’s going to be another hit for Solange!)

Solang also kept up social media presence by updating her Facebook page to name drop a new soon-to-be-released B-side track – Sleep in the Park, which drops on November 6th! (Two new Solange songs is due out by November?!)

In between shooting the music video, Solange made time to do a photo-shoot for Elle Magazine South Africa. She will be the November 2012 cover girl! Solange has embraced her love for CapeTown, South Africa by stating,

“I came to Cape Town for the concert with my sister nine years ago. In just under a decade it has changed so much. From what I have experienced it is such a diverse city. I love the arts and the creativity here, also the element of youthfulness.” (Singers Room)

Because Solange Knowles has always been a style muse to, check her out rubbing elbows with Roberto Cavalli at his Just Cavalli Milan Spring 2013 Fashion Week runway show.

Yup, it’s official! We’re obsessed with Solange’s Losing You Music buzz! (*Side note: Let me go down on record to say I’ve purchased two copies of her album which are both scratched up, fell in love with her live performances back in her I Decided era, loved her DJ swag, and now I’m beyond excited that she’s returning back to her music roots. I Told You So remains a personal favorite Solange track to this date!)

Losing You Teaser Trailer

Image credits – Getty Images, MiddleChildSwag, Eff-Yeah Solange Tumblr x

Jourdan Dunn & Herieth Paul for Burberry Prorsum Spring 2013 at London Fashion Week

At London Fashion Week, models Jourdan Dunn and Herieth Paul walked down the runway for the Burberry Prorsum Spring 2013 show! (Love the metallic!)

Jourdan Dunn

Herieth Paul


Burberry Prorsum Spring Summer 2013 Womenswear Runway Video

Image credits –

Cultural Model Runway is a style feature focusing on black models represented at various international Fashion Week events.