Category Archives: Cultural Runway

Washington Roberts Spring 2013

Despite the relevant staying power trend of using African-inspired wax prints in the global fashion industry*, Washington Roberts doesn’t sink into that ubiquitous look. Instead Washington Roberts created 8 chic looks for the modern woman who wants to look her best for a fun night out.

I applaud Washington for not using African prints as sometimes quite frankly it can be repetitive. *African fashion doesn’t have to mean batik, Ankara, or traditional lace. Granted that wax prints has gotten critically acclaim reviews from the international fashion world and it has also open endless opportunities for many designers but it is NOT the state of African fashion. There’s so much more to African fashion than wax prints. We’ve seen what African fashion is without the use of wax prints thanks to labels like Tsemaye Binitie, Christiane King, Mimi Plange, Virgos Lounge, Mataano, Maki Oh, Grey, Re Bahia and many more.

With that said, I hope Washington Roberts will lead the pack of boldface African fashion designers straying away for a while that is from using wax prints in their womenswear and menswear collection. I loved the pastel colors, the peplum color block look and the blue panel sequin tuxedo dress from the Washington Roberts Spring 2013 line.

Stay tuned to see which piece is Washington’s favorite in my interview with him posted soon!

image credits – WWD & Getty Images

Cultural Runway is a style feature focusing on runway looks inspired by African aesthetics & designed by African fashion designers presented at various international Fashion Week events.

Cultural Loop: Black Models Dominates NYFW, Joy Adaeze’s Jewel By Lisa Style Moment, Nyasha Matonhodze for 10 Crosby Derek Lam & Liya Kebede for Bottega Veneta & H&M

This new edition of Cultural Loop highlights New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 wrap-up featuring two top black models, a high-profile online campaign, the buzz on Jewel By Lisa beaded clutches at NYFW and of course a department franchise’s new boutique.

Black models Nnenna Agba and Nyasha Matonhodze dominated New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 at Lincoln Center. Nyasha walked down the runway for Carolina Herrera, Tory Burch, Rodarte, Oscar de la Renta, Altzarrera, Cushnie et Ochs, Zac Posen, Prabal Gurung, DKNY, and Richard Chai. Next up for Nyasha, who Telegraph Fashion called model of the year, is London Fashion Week.

America’s Next Top Model Cycle 6 alum and current Munaluchi Bridal Magazine celebrity blogger Nnenna Agba was seen working it at the Rubin Chapelle Fall 2012 presentation. We definitely recommend you reading Nnenna’s relationship columns at MBM!

Liya Kebede has kept busy with three new modeling gigs. She recently did the early Spring 2012 ad campaign for H&M. Bottega Veneta also made her their brand face for their Spring/Summer 2012 print AD campaign which was shot by Jack Pierson. She also pose alongside Kanye West for the March 2012 edition of US Vogue.

Jewel By Lisa has experienced sidewalk praise yet again thanks to Nigerian fashion editor and stylist Joy Adaeze! Several online publications captured Joy at Lincoln Center rocking a gorgeous beaded Jewel By Lisa clutch. This will mark the third time a beaded Jewel By Lisa clutch has been seen at New York Fashion Week! Joy rocked two different pattern JBL clutches while at NYFW. (Check out this close-up snapshot of Joy’s Jewel By Lisa beaded clutch.) Joy Adaeze re-tweeted a twitpic of herself wearing a green ankara Jewel By Lisa top that was first seen on model Ediomi Utuk at her Munaluchi Bridal Magazine Fall/Winter 2011 photo shoot.

Zimbabwean beauty Nyasha Matonhodze, who you can see in the Evening Standard, is one of the leading models that worked with Neiman Marcus’s Fashion Director Ken Downing for the department store’s 10 Crosby Derek Lam online campaign. She’s wearing Striped One-Button Jacket, Floral-Print Blouse & Indigo Carpenter Jeans. Nyasha’s previous online campaign work included Topshop and Louis Vuitton.

image credits – twitter, WGSN, NYTimes, Fashion Indie, Munaluchi Bridal Magazine, Bottega Veneta, Joy Adaeze, getty, style.com, and vogue

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

Best of 2011: Models To Watch

2011 produced lucrative milestones for African models both on and off the runway. Fatima Siad, David Agbodji, Ajak Deng, Makida Moka and Ataui Deng arguably held down the runway and editorial fashion strut this year.

Zimbabwe’s Nyasha Matonhodze has arguably become the it model of the year thanks in part to her Topshop, Louis Vuitton, and current Versace pre-Fall 2012 AD campaign. Nyasha walked down the runway for Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Lowe, Narciso Rodriguez, Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent, and she also appeared in the March 2011 editorials for Harper’s Bazaar and Teen Vogue magazines.


Sudanese models Ajak Deng and Ataui Deng (not related!) won over the crowds at various international fashion week presentations from New York to London to Paris for Christian Dior, Lanvin, Thierry Mugler, Reed Krakoff, PreenMara Hoffman, Oscar de la Renta, and Manish Arora. Ataui and Ajak appeared in the crowd favorite Harper’s Bazaar editorial.

Togo’s leading male model David Agbodji had women swooning over his Express and Calvin Klein print AD campaigns. David also cleared up the rumor that he’s Nigerian! He signed on to do editorial work for D&G, Cole Haan, Gap and Harper’s Bazaar. On the runway he proved why he’s the only male model to watch on our radar in 2012! Swag, indeed!

America’s Next Top Model alum Fatima Siad’s biggest accomplishment came courtesy of  her groundbreaking Hermes runway appearance. Shortly after Fatima appeared in two stunning magazine photo shoots for Jones and Arise. Fatima certainly proved that there is a CAREER after ANTM! As Fatima eloquently said to The Cut,  If you use your time on the show in a smart way, you can take your career to the next level.

Nigerian-Jamaican model and Face of Sleek Nigeria winner  Makida Moka was Bridget Awosika’s muse for her Spring/Summer 2011 presentation. She also landed a modeling gigs with two rising Nigerian labels, Maki Oh and Phunk Afrique. In five years she plans to launch her own clothing line. Makida obviously loves and supports the successful Buy Nigerian fashion campaign and we are eager to see which label she collaborates with next.

Flaviana Matata, Chika Emmanuel, Eku Edewor, and Millen Magese are four models we predict are onto groundbreaking moves in 2012. Which one of these models are you going to watch out for in 2012?

image credits – Getty, Style, Wireimage, Twitter, Models.com

Cultural Annual Review is a recap of what happened in 2011!

Omotola’s Bunmi Koko Moment + Gwen Stefani Rocks Batik at Harajuku Mini Target Launch

Two of the global’s biggest stars – Omotola and Gwen Stefani – put their own funky spin on cultural red carpet style. Gwen opted for the African fashion fabric prints while Omotola channeled a classic, Grecian-inspired look.

Nollywood superstar Omotola was seen in a yummy yellow Bunmi Koko low-cut pleated creation alongside the dress’s creative director Bunmi Olaye. Bunmi Koko as CulturalToast.com first reported just wrapped up their appearance at New York Fashion Week to fave praise! For those that recognize Bunmi’s lavender and yellow caftan, it made its runway debut via her Allure of the Sirens presentation at this past NYFW! It’s always great to see Nollywood embracing the African fashion scene!

Gwen Stefani wears a black and white batik-inspired pantsuit from her L.A.M.B Spring/Summer 2012 collection at the launch of her new Target children line, Harajuku Mini. It’s no secret that Gwen loves prints. Her past two collections was heavily influenced by African fashion fabrics from ankara to batik. We love that Gwen kept the same hair and the outfit as the runway look.

style// wireimage // bunmi koko // getty

Cultural Pose is a look at red carpet events!

Arise Made In Africa Spring 2012 Designer Collective -Tsemaye Binitie’s Beautiful People

Tsemaye Binitie presented his Spring/Summer 2012 collection he aptly named Beautiful People at Arise Made in Africa Designer Collective show during New York Fashion. The Nigerian, London-based designer looked to his sister as his muse and inspiration Temikayo Binitie for his new collection. Tsemaye walked out with his sister after his runway presentation wrapped. Tsemaye definitely tapped into the sleeker and sporty silhouettes  for his latest womenswear offering. One standout was the red silk chiffon number!

Tsemaye Binite’s Social Media Platforms: Website//Twitter

Tsemaye Binitie SS 2012

Shortly after working for Stella McCartney, Tsemaye launched his eponymous label in 2009. Tsemaye’s show enlisted high-profile models such as Chika Emmanuel, Sessliee Lopez, and Georgie Badiel. Tsemaye in his own words as told to Essence.com : I was born in Nigeria but raised internationally, I am a juxtaposed reality of a modern Nigerian. Fashion is fashion no matter where you live or are from. Women just want to be beautiful and I want to make them feel that in my clothes.

getty

Cultural Runway is a style feature focusing on runway looks presented at various international Fashion Week events.

Arise Made In Africa Spring 2012 Designer Collective – Bunmi Koko’s Allure of the Sirens

Bunmi Olaye presented her Bunmi Koko Spring/Summer 2012 collection she aptly named Allure of the Sirens at Arise Made in Africa Designer Collective show during New York Fashion. High structured pieces tied into her water theme. Bunmi Koko known for her eclectic take on womenswear was one of 7 African fashion designers that presented their latest designs at the highly-anticipated Arise Made in Africa Designer Collective show. Elite Model Nigeria winner Chika Emmanuel joined fellow rising  models Rose Cordero.  We love Bunmi Koko’s chic rope statement-making necklaces and belts. We also admire her use of pleats! The collection is very feminine! 

Bunmi Koko SS 20120

Bunmi Koko is currently stocked at Temple Muse in Lagos, Nigeria. Bunmi Koko which means, God gave me my other half, has emerged since its March 2009 as a rising designer to watch! Follow Bunmi Koko Online: @BunmiKoko///Blog//Website

getty

Cultural Runway is a style feature focusing on runway looks presented at various international Fashion Week events.

House of Dereon’s African-Inspired Collection Launches at London’s Selfridges

House of Dereon, a fashion label run by Beyonce and Tina Knowles, presented its Afro-centric collection at London’s Selfridges. Many of the looks were based off Mud Cloth, Aztec prints, and tribal influence. House of Dereon also incorporated headwraps, feathers and statement pieces into their collection. This is no surprise to any Beyonce fans as she stressed back in March that she was inspired by Fela Kuti for her current album production. We spotted Sudanese model Ataui Deng walking down the runway at the House of Dereon fashion show…

The mom-to-be also told CNN International that her House of Dereon collection was inspired by her world trips to Brazil and Asia.

This collection was inspired by a lot of my travels. I did a world tour, I traveled to Asia, Brazil, all over the world and I saw such beauty and my mother traveled with me and we decided we should mix these great cultures together and make something original and beautiful, and this show celebrates the global nomad, and one day at the rate we’re going which is such a beautiful thing, there won’t be all these different races we’ll all just be mixed up and beautiful and that is so wonderful exciting and refreshing you know we have the mixtures of the African hair wraps and some of the Asian prints and we mix it with different textures sequins and gold jewelery and it just becomes very refreshing. (source)

To coincide with the release, a African remix of Beyonce’s song, “End of Time” played at the runway presentation. Check it out…

The Winter/Autumn and Holiday 2011 House of Dereon collection was viewed by fashion industry insiders on Saturday September 17! One of the looks presented was first worn by Beyonce for her Fela Kuti-inspired photoshoot for L’Officiel Magazine back in March 2011!

Beyonce – L’Oficiel March 2011

Shop House of Dereon at Selfridges right here!

Getty. L’Officiel Magazine