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Mozambican designer wants his brand up there with the world’s best

Mozambican designer wants his brand up there with the world’s best

MOZAMBICAN designer Mauricio Matapisse looks on as a machine sews the logo of his Nothing to Lose (NTL) clothing brand onto fabric. He wants his brand, which has caught the eyes of young Mozambicans with its trendy designs, to be on par with the world's best. "We need to create that dynamic of when a person goes to a store to buy Gucci, Nike and... sees NTL... (and) feels a little balance there. Like, should I buy this or that," said Matapisse, 39, from Mozambique's capital Maputo. NTL customers say its affordability, fabric quality and range of styles from hats…
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FASHION: Serena’s style changed the game in fashion, business

FASHION: Serena’s style changed the game in fashion, business

FROM glossy magazine covers to generation-defining on-court styles, Serena Williams took a bow at the U.S. Open, having rewritten the fashion playbook for female athletes while building an empire of her own. The 23-time Grand Slam winner chose the bible of women's fashion, Vogue, to announce she was "evolving away from tennis," before taking to the court in her bedazzling Nike sneakers at the U.S. Open this week under the watchful eyes of the magazine's grand dame, Anna Wintour. The fiercely competitive queen of Queens put on a gritty performance in what is widely expected to be her final tournament,…
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A Nigerian virtual fashion house goes “meta”

A Nigerian virtual fashion house goes “meta”

GABRIELLA OPARA, BIRD STORY AGENCY AFTER receiving a US$40,000 grant in 2021 from Epic Games, a US video game and software development company, Thrill Digital launched Astra. This "metaverse", which includes fashion, gaming and crypto-currency to create a virtual world, is helping to set the pace for the metaverse in Africa. But it didn't start out this way. Thrill Digital was created by Nigerian fashionista Alexander ‘Delz’ Erinle in 2020 as a fallback plan in the post-Covid-19 pandemic era. Then, the metaverse exploded - and the impact was felt in Africa, as elsewhere. He and co-founders Niyi Okeowo and Luke…
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FASHION: GifaarT: How the headscarf became a symbol of pride for African women

FASHION: GifaarT: How the headscarf became a symbol of pride for African women

MOHAMED NDJIM, BIRD STORY AGENCY JUST how important is the headscarf to African dress? To answer this, consider that the finale of the month-long 13th edition of the Biennale of Contemporary African Art, held in Dakar, saw the spotlight switch to a very colourful, very African and, it would appear, timeless, "personality". Hosted by Maguette Guèye and Bineta Seck, the special show was branded ‘Gifaart,' - 'headscarf' in Senegal's Balante language. The show revisited the traditional dress of several African ethnic groups, including the Lebou, Signares, Balantes, Bédiks, Coniaguis, and Bassaris, with the headscarf the star of the show. The…
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FASHION: African Fashionista strikes gold

FASHION: African Fashionista strikes gold

ATIENO ODERA, BIRD STORY AGENCY LUSH green vegetation is dwarfed by palm trees that seem to be trying to resist the wind as they sway high above a strip of shops in Mazeras town, on the Kenyan coast. The drive to the town - usually around 30 minutes from Mombasa, has taken double that, thanks to a flat tyre. Yet host Edna Dhahabu Karisa seems unfazed as she welcomes her visitors at the Mkapuni shopping centre in the tiny town - one of scores along the Kenyan coast. Thanks to Karisa Maziras town is becoming known across the continent -…
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How used clothes became part of Africa’s creative economy – and fashion sense

How used clothes became part of Africa’s creative economy – and fashion sense

IN recent years the global secondhand apparel market for clothing and shoes has grown exponentially. In 2002 used clothing exports were worth US$1.4 billion. Despite a slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic exports were close to US$4 billion in 2020. Some of this growth has been driven by well-known brands and high street retailers developing in-house clothing resale and establishing partnerships with digital secondhand platforms to find new uses for preloved fashions, especially luxury fashions. Author KAREN TRANBERG HANSEN, Professor Emerita, Northwestern University In the west, secondhand clothing has acquired a new cachet for its sustainability and its role in circular…
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FASHION: A Nigerian virtual fashion house goes “meta”

FASHION: A Nigerian virtual fashion house goes “meta”

GABRIELLA OPARA, BIRD STORY AGENCY AFTER receiving a US$40,000 grant in 2021 from Epic Games, a US video game and software development company, Thrill Digital launched Astra. This "metaverse", which includes fashion, gaming and crypto-currency to create a virtual world, is helping to set the pace for the metaverse in Africa. But it didn't start out this way. Thrill Digital was created by Nigerian fashionista Alexander ‘Delz’ Erinle in 2020 as a fallback plan in the post-Covid-19 pandemic era. Then, the metaverse exploded - and the impact was felt in Africa, as elsewhere. He and co-founders Niyi Okeowo and Luke…
Read More
Pioneering Japanese ‘butterflies’ designer Hanae Mori dies at 96

Pioneering Japanese ‘butterflies’ designer Hanae Mori dies at 96

ELAINE LIES Hanae Mori, a pioneering designer who brought Japanese motifs to the global haute couture stage and created the wedding dress worn by Empress Masako, had died aged 96. Famed for her butterfly designs, Mori was born in the rural prefecture of Shimane, recalling in later life how the stylish clothes ordered for her as a girl by her doctor father from Mitsukoshi, a noted Tokyo department store, left her feeling "embarrassed". Still, she later made her way to the city, where she attended university and then design school, opening her own studio there in its still partly war-ravaged…
Read More
GifaarT: How the headscarf became a symbol of pride for African women

GifaarT: How the headscarf became a symbol of pride for African women

JUST how important is the headscarf to African dress? To answer this, consider that the finale of the month-long 13th edition of the Biennale of Contemporary African Art, held in Dakar, saw the spotlight switch to a very colourful, very African and, it would appear, timeless, "personality". Hosted by Maguette Guèye and Bineta Seck, the special show was branded ‘Gifaart,' - 'headscarf' in Senegal's Balante language. The show revisited the traditional dress of several African ethnic groups, including the Lebou, Signares, Balantes, Bédiks, Coniaguis, and Bassaris, with the headscarf the star of the show. The event, which took place at…
Read More
FASHION: Pioneering Japanese ‘butterflies’ designer dies

FASHION: Pioneering Japanese ‘butterflies’ designer dies

ELAINE LIES Hanae Mori, a pioneering designer who brought Japanese motifs to the global haute couture stage and created the wedding dress worn by Empress Masako, had died aged 96. Famed for her butterfly designs, Mori was born in the rural prefecture of Shimane, recalling in later life how the stylish clothes ordered for her as a girl by her doctor father from Mitsukoshi, a noted Tokyo department store, left her feeling "embarrassed". Still, she later made her way to the city, where she attended university and then design school, opening her own studio there in its still partly war-ravaged…
Read More