DYNAMIC AFRICA

African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. 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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Posts tagged "fashion"

The Limited Collaborates with Kerry Washington to Produce Olivia Pope-inspired Clothing Collection.

If you’re a fan of Scandal or if you’ve coveting the flawless professionally chic style of Kerry Washington’s “fierce and fabulous” fictional character Olivia Pope, thanks to this new collection by retail brand The Limited, you’ll soon be able to shop and style yourself in her likeness.

In just a few days, September 23rd to be exact, the 78-piece range designed in collaboration with Washington will be available for purchase and has a seemingly affordable price range. Pieces are priced between $49 to $250.

Watch a promo video for the collection here.

(images via e! online & The Limited)

"Femme" is a short black-and-white fashion film shot by Ghubar founder and editor-in-chief Sarah Diouf.

Filmed in Senegal’s capital Dakar, we are taken on a woman’s journey around the city - from the back of a taxi cab to one of the city’s markets - accompanied by poetic prose from writer Mufida Sedqawi whose words tell “the universal story of the rebirth of a woman who loved and hurt.”

William Okpo: Spring/Summer 2015 lookbook.
Photos by Jason E Hardwick.

In this short film by Harriet Fleuriot, Rachel King and Karen Bengo, as we encounter different elements of light, dark, wind and flora, model and dancer Karen Bengo takes us on a creative and beautiful journey of space, movement and freedom of expression.

So lovely!

A film by HARRIET FLEURIOT, RACHEL KING and KAREN BENGO
Movement and direction KRISTINA & SADÉ ALLEYNE
Camera and lighting assistant BEN NEWBURY
Make-up OLUBUNMI OGEDENGBE
Clothing GEORGIA HARDINGE
Accessories FLEET ILYA / ANNA PESONEN
Styling ERIN LAWRIE
Soundtrack: “Amsterdam (Sun Glitters Remix)” by LASERS facebook.com/lasersounds
Thanks SARAH COCKINGS and PRYORS FARM

karenonline.com

FASHION | POPPY NTSHONGWANA FOR SUPERGA SS 2014/15.

The official spokesperson for Italian shoe brand Superga in South Africa,  DJ and television personality Poppy Ntshongwana models her personally-designed footwear for the label’s spring/summer lookbook.

(all images via Superga SA)

Revisiting the “African-Urban-Man” Style: Sapeurs by Amira Ali.

“White people invented the clothes, but we make an art of it”, a phrase commonly used and referred to the Sapeurs, Congo-Brazzaville’s self-confessed modern day dandies. The phrase coined by Sapeur godfather Papa Wemba.

Sapeurs, French slang for “dressing with class” take their name from the acronym SAPE, for Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes. Gentlemen’s club for the dapper, it’s a sartorial subculture consciously emulating its colonizer, layered with ambience and new expressions. The Sapes profess “La Sape” is an “art for ‘real’ gentlemen”. Living by an agreed aesthetical rule, their savior faire and modish use of the body and expensive dress with meticulously matched colors is a radical yet subtle form of protest, which in recent years has received international attention. Seemingly, the symbol of the Sapeur par excellence receives more notice on its aesthetics and less on meaning.

 In this extravagance buzz, the Sape’s fashion statement and bold flair is producing a post-modern phenomenon of the “African-urban-man” style and elegance. Sapologists, “gentlemen who live by a creed with a strict code of honor and morality”, are said to contest circumstances poised through the beautification effect of chic dressing. A belief that “it’s not the cost of the suit that counts, it’s the worth of the man inside it.” A performance and embodiment of sophistication, Sapeurs are prototypes of vibrant icons consciously portraying the embracing of a subcultural lifestyle.

Fascinated by this culture, the western world, beyond its ahistorical representation of Africa, has taken on the Sape as its new ‘western’ media phenomenon. In 2011, though an oddly placed feature the Sapeurs stole the spotlight in Solange Knowles’ “Losing You” video, shot in South Africa. But discovered long before Solange’s video, they have been introduced to the world colorfully as a ‘society of tastemakers and fashionably elegant’ stylistic inspiration to photographers.

The latest is the Guinness advertisement campaign; a break from the prototypical brand marketer’s portrayal of Africa, its approach takes on the exposé of the urban-debonair-man. A post-modern embodiment of style and sophistication, and a commitment to the “Society of Elegant Persons of the Congo” (La Sape), yet again, they add style, charm and vividness to a campaign that would otherwise be ordinary. These gentlemen referred to by Stephen O’Kelly, Guinness’ marketing director for Western Europe, as a “truly inspiring and unique group of men” are the featured ‘stars’ of Guinness’ recent advertising campaign, “Made of More”.  

A fashionable depiction, the Guinness ad artistically captures the extravagance of the everyday working Sapeurs as they transform from their day job to a cigar wielding, European-three-piece suit, silk socks, and fedora wearing men. Aesthically well crafted, a fine image is displayed of the urban-elegant expensive-looking of gentlemen. Yet, on the far side of this captivating documentation and splendid dress there is another side to the story of the Sapeurs living in Bakongo. These men are described as not being economically wealthy, and in fact some are said to rent items of clothing in the name of ‘ambianceur’ and fashion ‘worshipping’ or even take small fee(s) in exchange for a photographer’s glory –a snapshot of their dapper image. So, besides the undoubtedly rich spirit it may be a wonder, “what of what of the image we see of the Sapeurs is ‘true to life’?” A contrast of their ‘real-life’ far removed from our sight, the world is nonetheless left to experience the Sapeurs through the lens of photographers and cinematographers who bring out their mode par excellence alive. And perhaps, such depictions can be representational of the (re) construction attached to African cultural movements that permeates the western mainstream landscape. 

 All photos by Ruddy Roye :: a Brooklyn (New York) based photographer specializing in editorial and environmental portraits, and photojournalism. You can find more of his work here

FASHION EDITORIAL: “All That Jazz” - Ajak Deng in Marie Claire Australia, September 2014.

Photography: David Gubert.
Styling: Valeryi Yong.

MaXhosa by Laduma AW2014 Collection ‘Buyel’mbo’.

"Buyel’mbo is a Xhosa phrase often uttered by Xhosa elders when they reminisce about the nostalgic rural lifestyle at the old Xhosa homelands."

Designer: Laduma Ngxokolo
Photography: Ulrich Knoblauch
Styling: Tammy Tinker

MaXhosa Website.

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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