Sapelle’s design ethos is based on fusing authentic African heritage design with a contemporary style aesthetic to create unique pieces for the modern woman seeking to experience global cultures. This season, Sapelle captures the spirit of an ancient African textile tradition – the ADIRE (or ‘tied and dyed’ in the West African Yoruba language), and celebrates the artisans who have kept this tradition alive for many centuries.
The tradition of resist- and tie-dyeing goes back centuries in West Africa, with the earliest known example from the Dogon kingdom in Mali in the 11th century. The early 20th century saw a boom in Adire artisanship, making it a major local craft in Abeokuta and Ibadan regions of Nigeria and attracting buyers from all over West Africa.
Whether created by old techniques or new innovations, Adire today faces challenges and competition from digital and machine prints and other textiles produced in Asia. The craft, which was previously passed down the generations, is now at risk of dying out as young people seek employment in other sectors. Our wish is to see more people around the discovering and enjoying this textile, thereby creating demand for it and employment among the adire artisans.
Sapelle x ADIRE
Sapelle has partnered with one of the most reputable Adire producers in the capital of the craft, Abeokuta to produce a line of custom Adire textiles for the Summer 18 capsule.
“This is an exciting time in the African creative industry, with events like ‘Black Panther’ movie release and the rise of Afrobeats music and contemporary art increasing the public’s awareness of Africa as an important player in modern global culture. Since 2012 Sapelle has worked mainly with Ankara/ Wax prints that are synonymous with African traditional fashion, and which have a shared history with the Dutch who mechanised the printing of Wax prints,” shared CEO Daphne Kasambala.
“This season we go deeper into our exploration of African textiles by focusing on a textile that long pre-dates the Ankara or wax print. We’re excited to be focusing on Adire in this campaign as it brings new depth and meaning to our work, taking our customers on a journey into an African heritage textile that was born and nurtured in Africa.”
The campaign was shot against a simple backdrop that allows the vibrancy of the prints to speak for themselves. The range includes this season’s hot colours from shades of blues that are typical of the ADIRE indigo tradition to the hot pinks and bold pastels that adorned the SS18 runways.
Click here to see the full range.
If you’re celebrating a wedding soon, whether it’s an elegant city wedding, a traditional fairytale or a relaxed countryside affair, we’ve got some styling tips for you. We’ve paired contemporary fashion inspired by Africa with modern accessories to create unique, stylish looks that will do you justice at your occasion.
THE ELEGANT WEDDING
Balancing form and function is tricky, especially for an elegant wedding where both looking fabulous and being comfortable are essential. Shoes are the foundation of your outfit. A beautiful pair of heels that fits well whilst letting you mingle and party all day and all night are an asset.
Here we’ve anchored the elegant look with printed pencil skirts (both Sapelle), complemented by neutral accessories and beautiful tailored tops.
THE CITY DAY-TO-EVENING WEDDING
For a city wedding where less is more, try using dark, elegant colours and unfussy prints that will transition perfectly from daytime vows to evening reception with ease. A stole or throw is essential for layering up later.
THE TRADITIONAL FAIRYTALE WEDDING
A traditional country wedding is the perfect occasion to indulge in some feminine style, with frilly retro-inspired tops and flared skirt silhouettes. Add a pretty headpiece to complete the look.
THE RELAXED BEACH OR COUNTRYSIDE WEDDING
Select natural, light pieces that look effortlessly stylish while staying cool.
Don’t forget a wide-brimmed sun hat for the afternoon and a pastel shawl for when the sun sets and temperatures drop.
The weather’s behaving for a change and we’re feeling the need to breathe some fresh air into our wardrobes. Well, here’s the perfect way to keep it simple and summery – with a flattering Kitenge print dress that will take you from weekend casual to summer soiree stylish with just a change of accessories. Add a jumper and you’ve got yourself covered for the cooler weather.
This classic dress from Kenyan label Njema Helena is a must-have look, and comes in another gorgeous print which you must also check out. We’ve added a recycled aluminium cuff, also crafted in Kenya by Embody, and recycled silver earrings made in Niger by a Tuareg family enterprise. So how do you like it?
Big smiles all round the Sapellé team as we unveil our sizzling hot Summer Lookbook.
We’ve really gone to town this time in sourcing some of the best of contemporary African fashion out there – everyday style that’s fit for you the modern woman. We’re proud to present looks from new designers coming on board this season and current season styles from our existing partners.
We’ve brought together styles for play, work and party. From subtle pieces with just a hint of African influence (check out Thula Sindi’s range, which has been designed with the ‘City girl’ in mind, and Tamboo Bamboo which uses jersey and linen with just a touch of print here and there) to bold statement pieces that marry African tribal print with stylish silhouettes such as KikoRomeo, Tina Lobondi and Kutowa Designs. We’ve got lots and lots in-between as well – all gorgeous, original and of course ethical. So you’ll not only look fantastic, but you’ll be doing good too.
Throughout the season we’ll be featuring our designer partners, giving you a little more insight into why we’re inspired by them, what they do and how they do it – so watch this space!
Our new Summer range will bring some sunshine to your wardrobe this Summer, whatever your signature style. See the Lookbook here.