Monthly Archives: July 2012

Fall in Love With QuellyRue Designs

CulturalToast.com readers prepare to fall in love with QuellyRue Designs created by New Yorker, self-taught handbag and accessories designer Racquel Dwomoh. I stumbled across QuellyRue Designs via Tumblr and I was instantly amazed by her creativity to showcase natural black beauty on a tote bag. From her Janelle Monae tote to her successful and fan favorite Naturally Tote bag, these tote bags are must for any Ankaranista who appreciates Etsy’s creative African fashion designers! I love the Afro Woman tote for the simple fact that her natural hair is in the shape of Africa. Etsy is a treasure chest for Ankaranista! Oh did I mention that I’m addicted to Etsy? (Shout out to Noah’s Crew!) Priced at an affordable price point between $36 to $40, QuellyRue Designs has something for every Ankaranista on the go!

QuellyRee Designs – Naturally Me Totes

QuellyRae Designs – Tote Bags

Afro Woman

Natural Hair Beauty 

Ode to Grace

J.Monae

I am African 

As you can see QuellyRue Designs incorporates traditional Ghanaian and West African textures and felt to show her appreciation for Africa. Who doesn’t like the tote bag with a wink? How about that trendy Fulani gold earrings?

Learn more about QuellyRue Designs:

QuellyRue Designs is a collection of handmade crafts, art, and accessories that is full of bohemian flare, whimsical, yet refined and reminiscent of a love for Africa. QuellyRue Designs was born out of a passion for handmade crafts and a vision for extracting beauty from objects that are seemingly ordinary, creating beautifully handcrafted merchandise to complement all occasions.

Racquel Dwomoh (pronounced Ju-moh), the self-taught designer behind QuellyRue Designs, prides herself on her chic, quirky, imaginative, super cute accessories bursting with color, texture, print and intricate patterns. These reflect her colorful memories growing up as a child in the buzzing city of Accra, Ghana.

In 2008, QuellyRue Designs was launched producing a spectacular range of handmade tote bags, hair accessories, jewelry, crocheted hats and scarves, brooches, and tech accessories, crafted from the finest fabrics, fibers, and materials from around the world.

For Racquel, the creative direction of QuellyRue Designs is to express all the creative wanderings in her mind, her art, and her personal style through luxurious designs that are artistic, whimsical, and necessary.

“I am a strong believer that the truest expression of love is art. The purest part of you is that which is created, born and nourished in your heart. My hands live to create…so I create.” – Racquel Dwomoh

Shop QuellyRue Designs Only on Etsy: etsy.com/shop/QuellyRueDesigns?page=1

image credits – QuellyRue Designs

Cultural Shop highlights African fashion garments sold via upscale online boutiques.

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Nneka for Minku Autumn/Winter 2012 LookBook

Nigerian-German singer Nneka collaborated with Kunmi and Juan, co-directors of custom handbag label Minku Designs, for their Autumn/Winter 2012 collection while on the European leg of her “Soul is Heavy” promotional tour. Outtakes from the current Mania Magazine cover girl’s photo session can be viewed on minkudesign.com and facebook.com/minkudesign. Sold exclusively at the Nike Center for the Arts in Lekki Lagos, fans can also purchase a custom Minku Designs bag online at shop.minkudesign.com. (You’ll have to admire Nneka for collaborating with African fashion!)

Minku co-directors Kunmi and Juan met up with Nigerian-German singer Nneka for a photo shoot collaboration earlier this month. Nneka was in Barcelona as part of the European promotional tour for her new album ‘Soul is Heavy’.

In a photo shoot that was lively and informal, Nneka modeled some bags from the Minku Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection, that included a five-compartment, red leather travel bag lined with green contrast aso-oke fabric. The collection, ‘Folklorist Reloaded’, expands on the theme of the Minku AW2011 collection — the power of folklorists to unveil old ways and help us imagine new possibilities through their colourful folktales.

Named after prominent folklorists, the bags explore colour through what has become a Minku trademark of combining Sapnish-sourced leathers on the exteriors, and fabrics like aso-oke on the bag interiors.

Nneka is carrying the Minku Eagunwa Bag in black & gold.

Nneka is carrying the Minku travel bag in red.

Nneka is carrying the Minku Fagunwa Bag in Oriental Red.

Another hot look from Nneka for Minku Autumn/Winter 2012 look book…

Which look is your favorite?

image credits – Juan GVR for Minku Designs (Thanks Kunmi!)

Cultural statement is a feature celebrating positive imagery of African professionals which includes fashion photo shoots and print AD campaigns.

Bookmark Nigeria’s Stylist to the Stars Bolaji A’s Must-See Tumblr Page – Bolaji’s Stylelist

Creative Fashion stylist to top Nigerian artists and celebrities Bolaji Animashaun has a eye orgasm worthy tumblr that you MUST check out. CulturalToast.com readers already know that we support African fashion stylists making IT in the industry. On her official tumblr page aptly named Bolaji’s Stylelist, Bolaji chronicles her daily styling runs featuring several of Nigeria’s superstars from Eku Edewor to Dolapo Oni to Tiwa Savage to Nike Oshinowo. Most of her styling work on her tumblr page showcase her keen eye of fashion seen on 53 Extra hosts Dolapo Oni and Eku Edewor. (After all Bolaji is the head stylist and Fashion Director for the hit Nigerian-based show 53 Extra. It’s no wonder she’s one of Nigeria’s top 5 fashion stylists!) Dolapo and Eku, hip fashionistas, definitely make African fashion designs POP!

I’m beyond thrilled that she launched this tumblr page to showcase her work. What I love about her work is her love and pride for African fashion designers. Be prepare to see your favorites in Deola Sagoe, Maki Oh, Tiffany Amber, Landre Da Silva Ajayi, Republic of Foreigner, Clan, Re Bahia, Virgos Lounge, Viv La Resistance, and much more. I’m definitely eager to see which top African fashion designer look Bolaji would style next on Eku and Dolapo!

Eku Edewor (@EkuEdewor) in Lanre DaSilva Ajayi

Dolapo Oni  (@marcydolapooni) in Clan, Re Bahia, and Grey

I’ll leave you all with Bolaji’s latest styling gig – Eku Edewor in Huda Couture

Dolapo Oni in Clan

Continued success, Bolaji!

Visit her official tumblr page at: bolajianimashaun.tumblr.com

image credits – @Bolajee

Cultural Spot highlights outstanding, influential Africans in the media showcasing positive images of the Diaspora!

Chanel Iman Rocks Wax Print Head Gear & Scarf for Vogue Italia July 2012

Chanel Iman pose for Vogue Italia July 2012 issue wearing handmade West African and Ghanaian kente textile garments as head wraps. Inspired by the African continent, Rushka Bergman styled Chanel Iman for her latest Vogue Italia editorial.

I love how the fabric prints were used to give her editorial a pop of color against her teal Miu Miu Fall 2012 power suit! I could see Chanel rocking any piece from Jewel By Lisa’s Resort 2013 collection in place of wearing the scarf and head gear for this photo session! I do  however love her Marc Jacobs skirt in the gif below…

It’s great to see West African wax print fabric being used in a high fashion setting. It continues to amaze me the growing trend of “African fashion fabric prints” in mainstream media. Influential African superstars are also embracing the trend of wearing textile prints on and off the red carpet. Ghanaian actress Nadia Buari just last month was seen in a cute jumpsuit at the red carpet premiere of Shackles and Secret Burden alongside Jackie Appiah and John Dumelo. What would blow my mind is when Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, or Nordstrom follows suit with H&M and do a designer collaborative collection with high profile African designers for their retail chains! A girl can only dream!

What are your thoughts on Chanel Iman and Nadia Buari wearing wax prints?

image credits – Ameyaw Debrah,Vogue Italia via Hell Yeah Chanel Iman

Shop Jewel By Lisa Resort 2013 Collection at Moda Operandi

Lisa Folawiyo’s successful fashion brand Jewel By Lisa continues grow to new professional heights. Her newly release Resort 2013 collection can now be purchased at upscale retail boutique, Moda Operandi. (Jewel By Lisa is also sold at Heritage1960.com and Agnes & Lola.com.)

The good news was published on Jewel By Lisa’s Tumblr Page (jewelbylisa.tumblr.com) by Head of Brand Development & Communications – Zara Okpara.

Sold at a affordable price range between $528 to $960, Jewel By Lisa Resort 2013 has a look perfect for any special occasion! Celebrity Jewelettes of Jewel By Lisa includes Kendall Jenner, LaLa Anthony, Eku Edewor, Genevieve Nnaji, Kate Henshaw, Joy Adaeze, Angela Simmons, June Ambrose, Kelis, Catt Sadler, and Giuliana Ranic. I’m eager to see Solange Knowles in this new collection! Pre-order for Jewel By Lisa at Moda Operandi kicked off on July 7th!

Look 1The Classic Shirtdress

Look 2 – The Party Shift Dress

Look 3The Classic Cocktail Dress

Look 4 – The Michelle in Ankara Dress

Look 5 – The Party Shift I Dress

Look 6The Lady Skirt + The Double Frill Tank

Look 7 – The Jumper Peplum Blouse + The Thandie Organza Pant

Look 8The Blue Ameoba Peplum Blouse

Look 9The Blue Check Classic Cocktail Dress

Look 10The Michelle Dress

Look 11The Classic City Short

My favorite look from this collection is the blue and gold printed peplum blouse. The tag line that accompanies this collection is Jewel by Lisa A/W 2012 …”There’s something about a lady..” I couldn’t agree more. This collection is sexy, modern and feminine. 

Shop Jewel By Lisa Resort 2013 Collection At Moda Operandi

Which look is your favorite?

image credits – Moda Operandi

Cultural Shop highlights African fashion garments sold via upscale online boutiques.

Congrats to Newlyweds Ashley Madekwe & Iddo Goldberg

Revenge TV star Ashley Madekwe jumped the broom late June to her long-time boyfriend actor & photographer Iddo Goldberg. Congrats to the newlyweds! I love these two ever since I discover that Iddo is the photographer behind Ashley’s personal daily style blog, Ring My Bell. He captures Ashley’s essence completely! Ashley has yet to publish official wedding photos on her blog and her accompanying tumblr page but she did however flaunt her wedding ring today!

Bookmark Ashley & Iddo’s social media links:

https://twitter.com/#!/smashleybell

http://ashley-ringmybell.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/#!/IddoG

http://ashley-ringmybell.tumblr.com/

http://iddophoto.tumblr.com/

http://ashley-ringmybell.tumblr.com/

image credits – Iddo Goldberg for Ring My Bell

Cultural Love highlights couples in love!

Nneka Wears Anita Quansah London Neckpiece for Her Mania Magazine July 2012 Cover Feature

Nigerian superstar musician Nneka looked fierce wearing a stunning statement neckpiece by Anita Quansah London on the July 2012 edition of Mania magazine – the “Fearless Fashion Issue.” Nneka, who is about to release her new album Soul is Heavy looked beyond fierce rocking Anita Quansah London’s handcrafted neckpiece with her statement making hairstyle!

I am presently looking forward to the next project. I have the theme “oil” in mind. I want to see how people relate with oil. What the advantages and disadvantages are. I want to see how children see oil and this is very interesting because you are not putting anything into their minds. – Nneka to Mania

In the accompanying photo Nneka is wearing a black silk top and aso oke pencil skirt by KEMKEM Studio. Nneka’s skirt is taken from the KEMKEM Studio Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. I love how Nneka made the skirt her own. She didn’t wear it exactly like the runway, picture perfect photo!

I also discover the exact neckpiece Nneka wore for her cover shoot from Anita Quansah London’s Twitter page – @AnitaQuansahLon.

The London based Ghanaian-Nigerian designer also shared on Facebook several photos taken from her upcoming collection. Anita show the safety pin, the body piece and two feather neck pieces from new collection.

Don’t you want them all?? Simply stunning!

Celebrities embracing the bespoke jewelry curator Anita Quansah London is pouring in daily from the red carpet to magazine covers. In fact, this past April Alicia Keys wore her neckpiece fo her VIBE magazine feature. Congrats to Anita Quansah London for continuing to expand her successful brand. As I told you this past January, Anita Quansah London is one designer to watch this year!

image credits – Anita Quansah London & Mania Magazine

Which African fashion design do you prefer on Nneka – Anita Quansah London or KEMKEM or do you love both looks?

Cultural Newsstand highlights the cover stories seen on international newsstands.

Angela Simmons Photographed in Virgos Lounge AGAIN thanks to Stylist Kanayo Ebi!

Thanks to hip Nigerian-American fashion stylist Kanayo Ebi, Angela Simmons was photographed out and about in a Virgos Lounge bustier and high-waist floral print skirt! (FYI: Kanayo was with Angela! She’s in the background rocking the haute shades!) I love that Angela continues to show love to the Nigerian/London-based womenswear collection! Angela’s floral print crop top and skirt is sold separately on VirgosLounge.com.

Kudos to Kanayo for continuing to style Angela in Virgos Lounge. I’m eager to see which look she’ll wear next from the collection. Speaking of which this is not the first time Angela has embraced the successful label. Virgos Lounge has expanded their brand to be sold at Topshop. Here’s a brief recap on Angela wearing Virgos Lounge in the past…

At the launch of her new business venture – a hair called Indique, Angela stepped out in a beaded, sequin Virgos Lounge jacket that Nigerian fashion blogger Adaku from Third Word Profashional (aka my Naija fashionista BFF in my head, lol!) was also seen in! According to VirgosLounge.com, the jacket named Aggy is currently sold out! So CulturalToast.com, which lady rocked this jacket the best – Adaku or Angela?

Which Angela Simmons in Virgos Lounge look is your favorite?

image credits – Getty Images

This Or That examines style trends on and off the red carpet. Sometimes it’s a fashion face-off or two looks that’s quite similar.

Stylist Ugo Mozie & Fashion Creative Director Daver Campbell Styled Letoya Luckett for the 2012 BET Awards

Nigerian-American fashion stylist Ugo Mozie and fashion creative director Daver Campbell outfitted Letoya Luckett in a stunning lemon yellow chiffon Christian Siriano Spring Summer 2012 dress for the 2012 BET Awards. I love the chiffon princess-like ball gown skirt length and of course the open back detail!

Ugo is no stranger for making his clients shine on the red carpet. Letoya is not his first celebrity client nor would she be the last! This is a just another huge, successful milestone for Ugo and Daver! Who can forget Ugo styling Dawn Richard in not one but two wax print designs from top Nigerian fashion designers  Jewel By Lisa and Deola Sagoe?! What a creative mastermind he is! Ugo shared the celebratory news with his Instragram followers…

From the runway to the Red Carpet. @letoyaluckett exhibits a Christian Siriano SS 2012 Dress for @BETAwards. Styled by @ugomozie & @itsmedaver

Thanks to Ugo & Daver’s keen fashion sense, I think Letoya was arguably one of the night’s best dressed diva on the red carpet right next to South African beauty queen Lira. Kudos to Ugo & Daver for putting a beautiful dress on Letoya that she simply WORKED!

Christian Siriano SS 2012 Runway Video

Letoya’s dress from the runway

Follow Ugo & Daver for their haute styling moments – @ugomozie @itsmedaver

Do you love Letoya’s BET Awards red carpet look?

image credits – ugo mozie, getty images, christian siriano, style.com

Cultural Loop is a must-read news rundown within the fashion & entertainment industry!

Link Worth Bookmarking: Issa Rae’s Hugely Successful Viral Series, Awkward Black Girl

Issa Rae’s The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl is a huge hit on YouTube and it’s also become my guilty pleasure ever since the epic Stop Sign moment the lead character J shared with a one-night stand/co-worker. I was hooked on her hip-hop rhymes, her quest for love, her natural hair chop, and of course her awkwardness. (I mean who didn’t fall in love with White J* during The Dance episode?!) When I discover that Issa hails from Senegal by way of Maryland/L.A., I had to show her love on CulturalToast.com not because of her heritage but for her determination to bring quality comedy from a black female perspective monthly on Youtube. When you google her name and her funny webseries, you are welcome into her personal journey from how she started to present day where she is now signed under Pharrell Williams’s production company, I Am Other. I’m glad that Issa stuck to her ambition and dreams with Awkward Black Girl and I also admire her drive for not altering anything from her series. (FYI: She raised over $40,000 from fan donations to help run and maintain season 1!) Issa is currently enjoying success and praise from the media. In fact she’s on the supplement cover of Essence August 2012 magazine – Young, Black & Amazing! Three words that perfectly fit her persona! Issa Rae, we salute you girl!

Get hook on Awkward Black Girl

Issa Rae discusses her famous show on CNN

Season 1 Episode 1 – The Stop Sign

Favorite Season 1 episodes

The Date

The Dance

The Hallway

Season 2 Episode 1 – The Sleepover

Awkward Black Girl Season 2 Trailer

Favorite Awkward Black Girl moments

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Issa Rae Interviews




*Team White J!

Support Awkward Black Girl online:

Official/Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/Shop

Awkward Black Girl premieres every first Thursday of every month!

images via tumblr.com & essence.com

Cultural Spot highlights outstanding, influential Africans in the media showcasing positive images of the Diaspora!