DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Fuzzy coats, loose bottoms, button up shirts and tartan prints are must-haves for autumn in this Fader Fall 2014 fashion editorial.

Styling Mobolaji Dawodu.
Styling Assistance
Elsa Lam, Anh Mai, Megan Soria.
Make-Up
Allie Smith using Nars.
Photography assistance
Chris Grosser.

SuRu: A Nigerian Street Style Brand in California by Amira Ali.

“My sensibility and idea of pushing diversity is grounded within my Yoruba culture and living in the Bay Area. Nigeria is the most populace African country and rich in its diversity. And on the other hand, living in the Bay Area, I’m part of a melting pot. Both make up ‘my’ culture,” Baba Afolabi says.

Baba Afolabi, a Nigerian-born resident of Oakland, California, is the founder of SuRu, a premium apparel brand gaining popularity in the local pop-up fashion scene. Through the brand he introduces a self-made identity, contributing in a major way to the emerging local entrepreneurship and evolving arts, culture, and style in Oakland. More than a brand, in its origin, it is said that SuRu is geared to promote a (new) cultural phenomena, a way of life. A vision that speaks to identity, personality and character, while breaking down (self) imposed cultural boundaries built around notions of identity and community

In the contemporary world, as many local settings are characterized by cultural diversity we are pushed into ‘globality’. As migration is frequented we find, not just in the African context but also generally, more formations of new identities –creations of new culture based on new experiences. While owning up to the integrity and richness of their indigenous culture(s), Africans, more than ever, are refusing to a fixed and narrow idea of ‘African’ identity. To a greater extent, more are claiming identities that relate to their ways of living, beliefs and outlooks, shaped by their environment they inhabit.

The word SuRu comes from the Yoruba proverb surulere, meaning, “patience is rewarding”. During the founding process of the brand, while traveling through Japan, Afolabi discovered that the word SuRu in the Japanese language translates to mean: ‘to do’.  A different meaning though, joined with the Yoruba ‘patience’ the phrase ‘to-do-patience’ became the impetus behind SuRu.

The first time I came across the brand I experienced a fresh idea with a cosmopolitan flavor. In an intriguing fashion, the SuRu letters construct the Japanese characters in an Arabic calligraphy-like style, blending aesthetically with a Yoruba (Nigerian) idiom, all in one. An effortless sense of cultural diversity intermixed in a fashionably urbanized flair.

The SuRu buzz styled in its local setting can be felt in Oakland. For Oaklanders, where street styled garments are becoming the new cool, SuRu seems to fit comfortably. We recently caught-up with Afolabi to chat about the emergence of SuRu, his understanding of the word ‘diversity’, and his brand’s relationship with Africa.

We met at SuRu’s new pop-up shop in Uptown Oakland. A space full of vibrations made up with a young group of Ugandans, Sudanese, Haitians, Americans, and Nigerians. Investing their creative time in the brand while creating a new cultural movement and affecting contemporary American popular culture.

In the store azonto music is full on. Bikes and skateboards are parked to the side. Burritos are on the lunch menu. The store is full of colorful tees and sweatshirts with prints of giraffe meets football meets the world cup. Everything is displayed with an Afro-Japanese essence. There even is a (re) creation of the African continent, merged and sketched over the borders of Japan, dubbed ‘Japrican’.

“As SuRu was being introduced to the world it was no more than a dream to me,” Afolabi said, recalling how the SuRu dream was underway while he was visiting his longtime girlfriend in Japan. It was then, his relationship with a woman from another culture necessitated the act of understanding and being patient. The story of an African man and a Japanese woman, and their practice of a shared culture found expression in SuRu.

SuRu’s message is respectable in its civility booster in a multicultural society. Not to mention the promotion of inclusivity on racial and cultural identity, alongside its rebel-like nature towards self-imposed borders. An idea, perhaps, that translates fluidly with young Africans in the disapora and on the continent.

“It made sense, it’s not forced. It’s who I am and part of my daily lifestyle. I comfortably live a diverse lifestyle. An authentic daily activity, from the music I listen to, to the food I eat, and the type of clothes I wear,” Afolabi explains.

Currently, a central part of Oakland’s pop-ups, SuRu is outfitted for the long haul, poised to add to a larger storyline of Oakland’s “collapsed boundaries among subcultures” and the proclaimed budding arts, culture and food scene. Amidst the wary, SuRu is positively eager to contribute to Oakland’s creative-capital in a cutting edge way and shape the supposed “Oakland-as-Brooklyn” narrative. He also has plans to enter the African market and connect with its creative capital in the near future.

“At the moment, in Lagos, we are test producing on a very small scale short collared men’s dress shirts inspired by the Nigerian Muslim men’s dress culture,” said Baba. “However, my plan for the future is to establish a manufacturing plant and open storefronts in Africa. Though Lagos seems realistic in its familiarity, I don’t feel restricted; I will go anywhere in Africa with favorable business opportunities.”

To learn more, visit SuRu

 

British Model Jourdan Dunn Makes History on Forbes Richest Models List.

Whilst 34-year-old German-Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen ranks highest on the list with earnings amassing to $47 million, before taxes and fees, over the past 12 months, 24-year-old Dunn isn’t doing too badly for herself with earnings of $4 million at this stage of her career, and being in an industry heavily dominated by white models - something Dunn has been vocal about.

Another reason to celebrate Dunn’s feature on this of 21 models, who made $142 million between in the past year, is that Dunn is the first black British model to ever enter the Forbes richest models list.

Before you bring up Naomi Campbell’s name, though she made a considerable amount of money during her peak days as both a runway and editorial model in the 90s and early 2000s, Forbes invented this list in 2006 after Naomi’s hey-day in the fashion industry. The list is put together based on a model’s earnings from fashion-related jobs and endorsements over the past 12 months. American model Joan Smalls was the only other black model to make the cut. Liu Wen and Adriana Lima*, who came in at number 3, make up the non-white models on the list.

However, despite the glitz and glamour that surrounds the life of a model, most models don’t get paid for runway gigs or editorial features and, according to Forbes, opportunities with top haute couture brands may not always pay as much as we think they do.

See the full list here.

(image via thelivepost)

*Lima identifies as both Afro-Brazilian and Mixed-race.

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Style Inspiration: Siki Msuseni Elle SA Style Diary.

Cape Town-based fashion insider Siki Msuseni let’s us into her wardrobe for five days and gives us these five fabulous outfits!

Photos by: Niquita Bento.

(via ELLE SA)

PRINTS / PATTERNS / COLOUR/ HEADWRAPS/ ACCESSORIES.

Lookbook for Either Way LA collaboration with artist Dane Johnson.

These hand-painted Dane Johnson garments modeled by Achok Majak are a perfect blend of youth and timelessness; the bold prints, a reminder of childhood and carefree sensibilities, the cuts and silhouettes, an echo of the flair and necessity of classic staples.

Makes the collection seem fit for anyone, regardless of age.

Mari Agory for Cedric Charlier Pre-Fall 2014.

Vintage cover photos of magazines that catered specifically to black women. 

"La Parisienne" - INYU Summer 2014 Collection Lookbook.

Inyu's latest summer collection, “La Parisienne”, merges classic carefree Parisian cosmopolitan feminine chic with bold wax print patterns that gives each garment a day-and-night wear flexibility.

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LEMLEM Pre-Fall 2014 Collection.

Modeled by Ajak Deng, the latest from Lemlem (a surprisingly affordable label, considering) can be describes as laid-back cool with subtle hints of masculinity that mixes breezy striped tunics, tie-dyed fabrics and loose chinos with classic unisex footwear.

Founded in 2007 by model, spokeswoman and entrepreneur Liya Kebede, Lemlem (which means ‘bloom’ or ‘flourish’ in Amharic) was born out of a need to inspire economic independence in Ethiopia and to preserve the art of weaving. Noticing that traditional weavers in her home country were losing their jobs due to a decline in demand for their art, Kebede established the label as a way of addressing this void and preserving an important part of Ethiopian history.

All items are handmade in Ethiopia from natural cotton.

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Some of my favourite Lupita Nyong’o magazine covers.

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"True Blues" - Tika Sumpter photographed by Nicholas Routzen and styled by Jason Rembert for Essence Magazine’s August 2014 issue.

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Lupita Nyong’o Covers Elle France’s July 2014 Summer Issue.

Despite there only being three picture, the best thing about these shots are how bold, positive, vibrant and unapologetic Lupita comes across in these photos. Too often, mainstream women’s magazine have women repeating the similar poses, with expressions we’ve seen time and time again, and with the same reserved or forlorn look in their eyes.

Lupita wears Giambattista Valli and was photographed by by Alexi Lubomirski.

(images via arthaemisia)

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Awa Ceesay & Binx Walton for Balmain Resort 2015.

Binx Walton models pieces from the Balmain Resort 2015 lookbook collection.