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    Boutique Fashion News — wax print

    We’re Loving These Celebrities’ Afrocentric Style!

    Spring is making its tentative first appearances, with tempting sunny days drawing us out of hibernation. Ever the optimists, we’re here for it! We’re getting ready to break out all the vibrant prints that you love. In the meantime, we’ve been delighting ourselves with celebrity-spotting plus African print-spotting. We love it when a star and a print come together. Here’s who’s got our hearts fluttering.

    naomi campbell

    The ageless supermodel Naomi Campbell is the queen of elegance, and she’s been expressing her love of all things African recently, including showing off her elegant style in vibrant African headwraps and traditional facial markings used by some peoples across the continent.

    Image result for ledisi

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    Image result for ledisi birthday

    R&B and Jazz star Ledisi has inspired us with her bold create-your-own-success philosophy, from the time she launch her own record label when none would sign her, to crafting her individual and distinctive style, not to mention her amazing voice and talent. Ledisi has been our style icon for years, and this week released this image to celebrate her birthday – much to our delight. HBD Ledisi!

    Image result for nicole ari parker cicely tyson

    Actors Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe are the picture-perfect couple. We’ve followed the Kodjoe family’s  adventures including their trips to Ghana. We love their wholesome relationship, and their embracing of their African heritage. It was only going to be a matter of time before Nicole succumbed to the irresistable lure of Ankara print – we’re here for it!

    Image result for india arie
    Image result for india arie

    The visionary India.Arie has been preaching the virtues of self love and self care for many years, and has been celebrating African culture with scrumptious red carpet ensembles reportedly made by her Mom (hooray for Mom’s!)  for just as long. We’ve got her latest album, ‘Worthy’ playing on repeat in the office, so we’re a little biased. But what’s not to love about this gorgeous, unapologetic portrait just bursting with colour? Lead on, India!

    HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY
    To all the Mothers, Sisters, Aunties, Grandmothers, Godmothers and Guardians around the world, striving to create and nurture life and love in the best way they know.

    We Went to Ghana!

    Akwaaba!

    If you thought we’ve been quiet recently, it’s because we’ve been cooking up all kinds of projects for 2019. One of the highlights was our recent trip to Ghana!

    From that first, ‘Akwaaba!’ (‘Welcome’ in Akan) until we waved goodbye to Ghana, we were treated to the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality, our taste buds were tickled with delicious food (ask us about the Nigerian – Ghanaian – Senegalese Jollof Battles), we were kissed by the sun and experienced the vibrancy of a nation with a rich history and a purpose.

    We didn’t pass up on the opportunity to bring back a memento: a photoshoot with talented photographer, Michael Assenyoh and beautiful model Peggy Boateng.

    Peek at some of our gorgeous shots, taken around the iconic Independence Square and the Accra Arts & Crafts Market on a gloriously hot and sunny day (33 degrees!).

    Remember – our sale continues on these beauties, so don’t miss the chance to CLICK & BUY yourself the one you’ve had your eye on.

    What’s that you say? Of course we brought you back a little something from Ghana! We reckon you’ll love these cute tote bags in a vibrant classic ‘Flower’ print – perfect for books, groceries and other bits.

    They’re available online for just £10 – be a good friend and spread the word!

    Click here to bag yourself a tote.

     

    Q&A with our Sapelle x ADIRE Partner

    This summer, our fashion collection Sapelle x ADIRE celebrates the ancient resist-dyeing technique of Adire. We conceived of a collection that not only celebrates this heritage craft that dates back to the 11th century, but also the sights, sounds and smells of Abeokuta, Western Nigerian the Yoruba people and Nigeria itself. The collection is a mix of Adire textiles, Aso Oke (hand-woven textile) and Wax prints, all inspired by the hand-crafting traditions and vibrant colours of the region.

    For this, we went on the hunt for a reliable partner in Nigeria, the home of Adire, who could translate our vision into beautiful textiles that would not only look and feel fabulous, but be produced ethically by artisans who were treated and compensated fairly.

    The concept: an Adire viscose shirt dress for the Sapelle x ADIRE summer collection

    The concept: an Adire viscose shirt dress for the Sapelle x ADIRE summer collection

    We were very privileged to work with Cynthia Asije, who runs an Adire production workshop in Abeokuta, the historic origin and centre of Adire production in Nigeria. Cynthia is a busy woman these days, as the popularity of Adire textile is growing. We had a quick-fire interview with her to find out about about what she does and how.
    adire production for sapelle x adire

    The pattern is individually stamped using melted wax and starch on a template (typically made of sponge) onto plain fabric that has had some ‘blushing’ in light yellow applied to it

    Q: Cynthia, it’s been a pleasure to work with you. How long have you been doing Adire production?
    A: I’ve enjoyed working with you too! I and my team of artisans have been producing Adire for three years now.
    Q: What made you start on this path, and what has your journey looked like so far?
    A: I went to the University of Benin and then started a career in banking for two years, then resigned to focus on producing Adire full-time. The idea to start doing this came about when I did my mandatory one year National Youth Service Corp in Abeokuta (the capital of Adire production). After the Youth Service, I moved back home, bringing some Adire fabrics with me to sell to my friends and family. The fabrics sold out quickly, but my clients complained that the prints were too strong, and that there was not enough variety of fabrics and colours – at the time, most adire was produced on a fabric called guinea brocade – which is great for the traditional caftans and gowns, but not to much for wearing everyday. Also, the dyes used would run excessively when washed. With all these complaints, I decided to get involved in producing premium hand dyed textiles, sourced for unique fabrics, create unique designs, and ensure the quality of our fabrics is top notch.
    adire production for sapelle x adire

    The stamped fabrics being submerged into dye to soak into the parts that have not been stamped with wax

    Q: Tell us about your Adire production workshop
    A: Our production staff are employed full time. Most of the makers that work with us learned the skill at an early age, which has been passed down from generation to generation. They had the skills but no commercial ability to make a it a source of sustainable income for themselves.
    Q: What materials do you use for your production?
    A: We use a variety of textiles from cotton, to jersey, viscose, chiffon and silk. For cotton fabrics we use a little starch for the resist-dyeing, Candle wax dyeing is another technique we use for making our designs.
    adire production for sapelle

    Once dyed, the fabric is put into hot water to melt off the wax, revealing the final design, then hung out to dry. Any remaining bits of wax are removed with an iron

    Q: What have been your biggest challenges since starting up?
    A: We struggle with issues like other producers and designers copying our designs, getting access to a wider market and also getting financing for my business’ working capital and growth.
    Q: What is your vision for Adire textile production?
    A: I’m driven by preserving Nigerian culture and heritage, and I want to see more Nigerians wearing Adire textiles to work, school and special occasions. I’d love to open up an Adire production school and support the expansion of the craft to more artisans.
    Sapelle x adire african print shirt dress

    The finished product, part of the Sapelle x ADIRE Summer ’18 range

    Look of the Day: Geo-print Elegance

    lookA look that would turn heads in the capital of style itself, this is effortless yet impactful. Perfect for that day-to-evening transition look so many of us crave.

    Get the look from Sapelle.com:

    • Sleeveless geometric print dress in luxurious genuine Vlisco African wax print fabric, with amazing attention to detail such as contrast colour slash pocket, from ethical label Modahnik.
    • Recycled paper beaded necklace from Ugandan social enterprise, Nakate Project
    • Recycled brass statement ring made in Kenya for ethical label Made.
    • Layer it up with a tailored coat and glamourous matching bag and boots and you’re ready to stand out in the crowd
    • Coat, boots and bag from Orla Kiely, Sergio Rossi and Heritage Auctions Special