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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!

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Cultural Loop: Julia Sarr-Jamois for Tibi, BCBG MaxAzria Fall 2012 NYFW, Duro Olowu’s Pop-Up Art, Gabrielle Union Wears Amsale + Liya Kebede, Nyasha Matonhodze, Tolula, Marian, FashionJunkii, and Fatima Siad dominates NYFW

Introducing a new segment to CulturalToast.com, we proudly present Cultural Loop. This feature provides our readers with the latest news within the fashion world. Wonderland UK Editor Julia Sarr-Jamois is the celebrity brand face for Tibi Spring 2012 AD Campaign. Julia was styled by Tibi’s Amy Smilovic and swedish blogger Elin King. Her confidence simply radiates in these photographs and she also gives us all hair envy with her natural Afro. Julia shared with Vogue about what she calls her statement hair.

 “I’ve had my hair like this since I was about fourteen,” Sarr-Jamois says. “When I was at school, I had it in plaits, which were quite tedious, and I thought, ‘I’m going to take it out for a bit.’ I remember feeling like it looked really big at first but then I ended up keeping it. I wash it with Bumble and Bumble Tonic shampoo, which smells so good. And a more intense Bumble and Bumble conditioner called Creme de Coco Masque. Then I let it air-dry and maybe play around with it for a bit with my hands. That’s it. People are always asking about it, though. And everyone wants to touch it.”

Last night in Hollywood, actress Gabrielle Union stepped out in a strapless silk chiffon black cocktail dress by Ethiopian designer Amsale at the premiere of Think Like A Man.  Her red carpet style has always been effortless. Gabrielle said to Style Watch her trick to wearing sparkle is play down the rest of your outfit. “My rule for sparkle is that there’s no such thing as too sparkly of a dress! It makes you feel like a princess. Just play down the rest.” She definitely stuck to her fashion trick!

New York Fashion Week just kicked off with a huge bang. Max Azria of BCBG MAXAZRIA presented his color-block caftan Fall 2012 collection.

African models rule on and off the runway for Lincoln Center’s biggest fashion extravaganza. Ethiopian model Liya Kebede stepped out in a black and white tuxedo-inspired Lanvin outfit at amFAR gala. Somali-Ethiopian model Fatima Siad walked for Chadwick Bell Fall 2012 runway show. Zimbabwean model Nyasha Matonhodze was seen at the Richard Chai Love show.

Not to be outdone but African stylists took in the shows in style and a huge entourage. Nigerian blogger and stylist Joy Adaeze (spotted by Daily Candy) wore a Jewel By Lisa. This NYFW candid of Nigerian magazine editor-in-chief for Pop’Africana Oroma Elewa with Joan Smalls was spotted by Teen Vogue. Blogger Rosemary of FashionJunkii.com pose with her entourage of industry friends – model Tolula Adeyemi, stylist Marian Kihogo and Tanzanian model Miriam Odemba.

African fashion and art collaborated with stunning results. Head wraps -a trend that jumpstarted last season by stylist June Ambrose – made it into this African-inspired L’Officiel Mode photo shoot. Nigerian, London-based fashion designer Duro Olowu has pop-up art show that he curated which is on display at Salon’s 94 Freeman Alley Gallery from now to early March. Duro Olowu’s exhibit features vintage and contemporary assortment of photography, textiles, art, furniture, music, books, and objects. You can check out from February 8 to March 10. Duro’s wife Thelma Golden, Studio Museum of Harlem Director and Chief Curator, must be proud of him! Will we see Thelma launching a clothing line in the future?

image credits – fashionjunkii.com, vogue.com, style.com, tibi.com, and getty.

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

Best of 2011: 12 Fashion-Forward Designer Labels To Watch

2011 is over and done with but let’s look back at what a great year in fashion it has been for several notable African-run labels. Bridget Awosika, Suno, Jewel By Lisa, Anita Quansah London, Virgos Lounge, Burberry, Bunmi Koko, Mimi Plange, LemLem, Kiki Clothing, Suno and Thakoon ruled the red carpet with classy innovative sleek designs. A winning factor for each designer was of course the loyal support of their high-profile clients.

Jewel By Lisa

Lisa Folawiyo, creative director and founder of Jewel By Lisa, has solidified her fashion stance. From her well accepted approval at Arise Made in Africa New York Fashion Week presentation to her newly launched diffusion line, The J Label, Lisa’s JBL has proved she’s truly a houshold name in fashion. Her biggest milestone in 2011 came courtesy of E News Correspondent Catt Sadler wearing her designs three times on air. JBL has gone Hollywood! Jewel By Lisa went on to become a red carpet fan favorite as seen on Eku Edewor, Solange Knowles, Kendall Jenner, Genevieve Nnaji, and many more. Currently Lisa has announced plans to release a coffee table book which CulturalToast.com previewed at NYFW SS 2012 and it’s definitely worth the wait! We’re eager to see what Lisa has planned for 2012!

Anita Quansah London


2011 was Anita Quansah London’s year of success! Public admiration for Anita Quansah London’s handcrafted jewelry collection ignited when Keisha Buchanan stepped out in a neckpiece at Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief launch. Nigerian singing sensation Tiwa Savage was obsessed with Anita Quansah London designs whenever she had a red carpet event to attend. Shortly after Anita Quansah London announced her collaboration with fellow Nigerian fashion label Jewel By Lisa for their new diffusion line, The J Label. Currently Anita Quansah London is working on a new diffusion line due to launch soon!

Kiki Clothing



When actress Nicole Ari Parker visited her husband’s paternal home of Ghana, she fell in love with Ghanaian, Nigerian fashion house Kiki Clothing. Nicole wore not one but two dresses from Kiki Clothing to major high-profile red carpet events this past year. Back in October, Kiki Clothing presented their latest collection at Africa Fashion International Week in Cape Town, South Africa. Kiki Clothing’s founder Titi Ademola is sure to bring IT in 2012!

Bridget Awosika


A well deserved recognition from Vogue Italia was just a perfect way to sum up rising Nigerian fashion label Bridget Awosika’s 2011. Nigerian TV personality Eku Edewor became Bridget Awosika’s most vocal, loyal supporter. Beloved by top Nigerian red carpet beauty queens like Funmi Iyanda, Tiwa Savage, Eku Edewor, EMLN 2011 winner EMLN 2011 winner Chika Chinwe, Nigerian model Makida Moda, and Adora Oleh. Bridget Awosika has bloosom to a high ranking contemporary womenswear line. 2012 will of course bring the Bridget Awosika name to red carpet fever heights!

Virgos Lounge

When Nigerian stylist Kanayo Ebi pick out a silver sequin one-shoulder jumpsuit for her client Angela Simmons, all wanted to know who design it Nigerian, London-based label Virgos Lounge has provided women with contemporary, vintage-inspired designs since its 2008 launch. Currently the label just release their Party Collection featuring their favorite model Omowunmi Gbadamosi. Angela has since bought the glamour of Virgos Lounge to Betsey Johnson’s runway presentation at New York Fashion Week.

Suno

First Lady Michelle Obama, Esperanza Spalding, Solange Knowles, Heidi Klum and Tai Beauchamp all wore the bold prints from the New York-based fashion label in 2011. Whether it’ll be Tai’s Suno x Loefller Randall canvas printed wedges or Michelle’s s silk pleated skirt, Suno produced classy design that will make every fashion-forward girl splurge a little! Suno currently re-launched their e-commerce site, where fashionistas can either window shop or shop ’til they drop!

Thakoon

Two Kardashian sisters (Kim & Khloe), Solange Knowles, First Lady Michelle Obama, and supermodel Iman sworn by Thakoon in 2011. Thakoon also created a limited edition Massai print scarf that sends all proceeds to famine-torn countries within the Horn of Africa – Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Although Thakoon’s pre-Fall 2012 collection is a slight departure from their print heavy, Kenya-inspired Fall 2011 collection, we’re eager to see what else they have in store for 2012!

Burberry

Burberry was definitely inspired by rich African textiles for their 2012’s Resort and Spring collections. Lady Gaga, Anna Wintour, Solange Knowles, Kate Bosworth and Transformers star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley were faithful to Burberry’s prints in 2011. The hoopla on all things African fashion intensified, hasn’t it?

Mimi Plange

2011 produced Mimi Plange’s biggest accomplishment thanks to her collaboration with Manolo Blahnik which she revealed at her A Flower in the Desert Spring/Summer 2012 presentation during New York Fashion Week in front of her fellow fashion supporters Duro Olowu, Bethann Hardison, Rachel Zoe and Andre Leon Talley. Kat Graham, Vanessa Hudgens, Rihanna, Kristen Cavallari, Mary Birdsong, and Estelle were all seen in Mimi Plange designs.

Bunmi Koko

Before Bunmi Koko’s founder Bunmi Olaye stepped down as the lead designer from her label, she provided classy eccentric designs as seen on Omotola, Melanie Brown, Michelle Williams, and Keisha Buchanan in 2011. (FYI: Omotola was the first to wear the lime pleated dress from Bunmi Koko’s Spring/Summer 2012 Allure of The Sirens collection. Currently Bunmi Koko presented a revamped website or a droolworthy e-commerce site. As for any explanation why Bunmi departed her label, she only had the following to offer: I have not giving up on my dream, however the time has come for me to pursue a vision that is entirely my own.

LemLem

LemLem ‘s founder Liya Kebede put her supermodel skills to the test in 2011 when she stepped out on numerous occasions wearing her Ethiopia-based womenswear line. We fell in love with Liya’s handkerchief-styled handwoven tunic when she attended the Tribute to the Models of Versailles 1973 at MET back in January. Who could resist her scarf, too? Liya continued to be her label’s best spokesmodel when she wore Lem Lem to two high-profile New York City film screenings. Currently LemLem has launched a Tumblr and of course a hip new Resort 2012 collection. Liya started LemLem in 2007 “inspire economic independence in her native country and to preserve the art of weaving.” We’re eager to see what else Lem Lem has to offer!

Wrapping up the very best moments in African fashion were Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B collection, Chayla’s Deola Sagoe stunner at New York Fashion Week, Eku Edewor’s Republic of Foreigner embellished top, Teyana Taylor’s Vibe Vixen African-inspired shoot, Jackie Appiah’s Jil F.A.C.E. List Awards dress, Genevieve Nnaji showing loyalty to Zed Eye & Jewel by Lisa time and time again, and Gregory Parkinson’s African-inspired totes. These designer labels are THE ones to watch in 2012 as we predict more groundbreaking milestones to come for each one. Out of the 11, which one has you wanting to know what’s their next move in 2012?

image credits – Getty, Splash, WENN, Wireimage, Twitter, Facebook

Cultural Annual Review takes a look back in the previous year in film, fashion, entertainment and much more!