MICHELLE OBAMA COVERS US VOGUE APRIL 2013

Michelle Obama consistently proves that she’s the epitome of Brains + Beauty + Buff Arms! Add the new Bangs to boot, and FLOTUS is truly unstoppable! Can’t wait to add this edition of Vogue to the magazine archive.

THROWBACK THURSDAYS | CIRCA 1960’S HAIRSTYLES IN NIGERIA

Photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere beautifully captured the Nigerian zeitgest of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s through his series of hair portraiture.

Our favorite is the Gogoro - what’s your favorite?

LOOKBOOK LOVE | MIMI PLANGE AW13 “LINE AND CURVE”

Mimi Plange never dissapoints when it comes to form and function. Comes as no surprise, as the Ghanaian born designer initially trained as an architect at FIDM in San Franciso. Feast your eyes on Mimi Plange’s AW13 collection!

AFRIKABLOG.DK | 7 AFRICAN FASHION PAGES YOU SHOULD KNOW

From Nigerian fashionistas to pan-African designer wear and South African street style, Afrikablog.dk has assembled a goodie-bag of African fashion bloggers, stylists and online stores, you should know.

Head over to Afrikablog.dk to check out their list of African fashion websites to bookmark today!

FINANCIAL TIMES | VISIONS OF A FAST MOVING CONTINENT

"International interest in art from the [African] continent has never been stronger. Prices for established artists from booming countries such as South Africa and Nigeria are escalating at auction and their art is increasingly visible in museums, particularly in the US, where institutions are investing in programmes relevant to their constituent communities."

Continue reading about the role of contemporary African art as a lead up to Art Dubai via Financial Times.

GO GO LOUIS PHILIPPE DE GAGOUE!

Louis Philippe De Gagoue is a fashion blogger, stylist, personal shopper…and all-around kool kat. Oh…did we mention he’s a law student as well? Being fashionably focused never goes out of style.

"When I put pieces together to make an outfit, I’m also mixing cultures, civilizations and travels through history."

The Ivorian-born Moroccan-based blogger shared 3 pieces of advice with Project Quality:

  • Be yourself.
  • Never be afraid of people’s look.
  • Dare and play - fashion is a play ground.

Check, check and check!

Fall further in love with Louis Philipe De Gagoue’s style through his blog and instagram page.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OBJECT IN SOUTH AFRICA

Every year, Design Indaba invites the public to nominate “The Most Beautiful Object In South Africa”. Beyond mere aesthetics, beauty is defined, amongst other things, as an object that offers “social significance, economic impact, usability, sustainability and even humour”.

11 semi-finalists were selected, offering a diverse range of beauty from a designer who uses everyday materials such as coloured rope and string, which she transforms into embellishments that are very sophisticated” to a landmark building that exemplifies "urban regeneration and a symbol of progress for all South Africans".

Ultimately, the winner was the “Pebble Dress” designed by Gavin Rajah [pictured above, first image]. Blogger Malibongwe Tyilo of Skattie What Are You Wearing? nominated the dress, stating:

“The Pebble Dress combines to great effect some of the most relevant design influences at the moment: leather, ombre, texture and craft. Their unity creates a completely resolved design piece. At first glance, your eye is attracted by the complete garment and it’s almost scale-like appearance. A closer look reveals the incredible amount of work and precision that has gone into creating not only the garment but also an entirely new fabric.”

The 10 other semi-finalists include [pictured above, clock-wise from the top]:

  • Aretha Dress by Sindiso Khumalo
  • Golden Fold Necklace by Katherine-Mary, Pichulik
  • Zanzan Umbrella by Gareth Cowden, Babatunde
  • Wood and Carbon Bike by David Stubbs
  • The Soweto Theatre by Lawrence Chibwe, Afritects Architects
  • Visibility Vest by Ronel Jordaan
  • Gustav Greffrath’s Interpretation of the 1975 Pipeline Gun shaped by Spider Murphy for Dutchman’s Delft Portfolio
  • Mechanical Bureau by Joe Paine
  • Slice Cutting Board by Jonathan Fundudis, Snapp Design
  • City Press Newspaper, 27 May 2012 Edition, by Editor Ferial Haffajee [not pictured above]

Read more about the semi-finalists and why they were nominated and the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa winner, Gavin Rajah, via Design Indaba.

IN CASE YOU MISSED DESIGN INDABA 2013…

Design Indaba is one of the foremost gatherings of creatives from around the world celebrating the best of South African creativity, all in one place! The Cape Town based event includes thought provoking discussions lead by industry insiders, an expo featuring South African fashion and design at its best, a film festival, musical performances and many other interactive segments.

In case you missed…

"…a cocoon descending from the ceiling containing one of South Africa’s most exciting contemporary artists, a music video of dancing sperm, a venerated typographer on creating a font for Yale University, a Smart Highway that responds to the prevailing traffic conditions, the complex and fascinating redesign of the UK government’s digital services, a social project encouraging designers to better the lives of individuals through fixing stuff, explorations in synthetic biology, a chef who evokes the deforestation of the Amazon by infusing burnt flavours into his food …”

…head on over to Design Indaba for a full recap of the festivities!

[Image Credit: Diary of Ward]

TINA TURNER BECOMES VOGUE’S OLDEST COVER STAR

Rumor has it, that at the gracious age of 73 years, Tina Turner is now the oldest beauty to grace the cover of Vogue! Appearing on the April 2013 cover of Vogue Germany, Tina is for sure proving that age ain’t nothin’ but a number! 

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" - Maya Angelou

Celebrating the leading women in our lives today, and everyday, with gratitude, humility, and respect. Three cheers for our mothers, aunties, grandmothers, sisters, friends, sister-friends, mentors, mentees, cousins, heroes, and she-roes..past, present, and importantly, future! xx

MS. AFROPOLITAN | WHAT DOES WOMEN’S DAY MEAN TO AFRICAN BLOGGERS?

Minna Salami of Ms. Afropolitan invited a group of female African bloggers to share their connection to Women’s Day, including Heritage1960 Founder and Chief Curator Enyinne Owunwanne. 

Minna started the discussion, stating that:

…[International Women’s Day] is the day that women collectively celebrate the full meaning of woman-ness in a profound, rounded, powerful, holistic and elemental way. It is also the day that we shed tears over the way that the world treats women. Today is the day when, more than any other, I viscerally understand that women’s attitudes towards life on earth, our perceptions of power and how it should be used and protected, our anti-patriarchal, anti-oppression attitude, is what keeps this world turning without loosing the very purpose of life, namely to live. Most of all, today is the day that reminds me of all the foremothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties and revolutionary women that have brought the world one step closer to ending the politics of hostility.”

Continue reading on Ms. Afropolitan to hear from some of our favorite bloggers, including Funke of Dynamic Africa, Spectra from Spectra Speaks and more!

GUARDIAN | INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: AFRICA’S TOP WOMEN ACHIEVERS

Guardian asked readers to nominate women from across the continent who are deserving of recognition for their achievements. Take a peak above for 10 Women Achievers, then head on over to the Guardian for the full list of Africa’s Top 25 Women Achievers being feted on International Women’s Day!

5 DISCUSSIONS NOT TO MISS AT SXSW INTERACTIVE 2013

SXSW kicks off in Austin, Texas today with thousands of events ranging from panel discussions to film screenings to music showcases. We searched through the event guide and pulled out 5 events not to miss if you’re reveling in the Austin fun.

The Promise Land: Can Africa Save The Music Biz?
Fri, March 15th, 5pm - 6pm

Africa is home to the largest youth population in the world and its growing middle class includes 313 million people or 34 percent of the total population. These trends make apparent Africa’s huge market potential. Consider the continent’s increased access to broadband and mobile music platforms penetration of the market, and it becomes clearer the opportunities that exist in doing music business on the continent. Hear about what Africa’s growing economy and youth population mean for the music industry, as well as the partnership opportunities that exist locally for foreign investors, artists and record labels.

Presenters include:

  • Ngozi Odita (Creative Director, Society HAE)
  • Michael Ugwu (CEO, iROKO Partners)
  • Colin Gayle (Billboard Africa)
  • Audu Maikori (CEO, Chocolate City Group)

Digital Media/Music In Africa
Fri, March 15th, 12:30pm - 1:30pm

In recent years numerous hot, new digital musicians, hip-hop artists, and DJs are emerging from across Africa, making a mark on the global music scene. They blend hip-hop, house, reggae and rock with various local musical traditions from around Africa, while addressing pressing issues in Africa. Find out why some of the most creative digital music in the world is coming out of Africa and how African artists are working with new media.

Presenters include:

  • Rab Bakari (President/CTO of Mixerpot)
  • Jesse W Shipley (Assoc Professor, Haverford College Dept of Anthropology)
  • DJ Black (Disc Jockey, aka Toontoom)
  • eLDee (CEO Trybe Records/Iman Entertainment) 

Africa or Bust! Content, Monetization, Opportunity
Mon, March 11th, 3:30pm - 4:30pm

A huge opportunity exists for content creators, service providers, brands, and media companies on the continent. In Africa, more people than ever have access to the internet, to the tune of 140 million, but this only represents 13% of the population. By 2020, internet penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach 24.7%, outpacing internet penetration rates across the globe and representing a virtually untapped market with unlimited potential. Africans are using their newly acquired connectivity to engage each other, launch tech starts, develop apps, create content and organize grassroots movements. From mobile money to “smart’ water pumps that send SMS messages when they need repair, Africans are using the web to solve local problems and diversify their economies. This panel will look at the growth, size and characteristics of Africa’s internet market, analyze country specific trends, discuss the content being produced, and outline opportunities for collaboration &investment.

Presenters include: 

  • Jason Njoku (CEO, iROKO Partners)
  • Matthew Dawes (Founder & MD, All Amber)
  • Nadeem Juma (Chairman, AIM Group)
  • Ngozi Odita (Creative Director, Society HAE)

The $100bn Mobile Bullet Train Called Africa
Sat, March 9th, 9:30am - 10:30am

Innovation in Africa is the purest form: innovation out of necessity. 
Not Angry Birds, the innovations emerging from Africa allow farmers to check where they can get the best price for their produce, fishermen to be warned about storms, people to check whether medicines they are buying have expired, and rural cellphone users to send mobile money to each other using text messages. Even the pay-as-you-go payment system was pioneered in Africa. Mobile phones are one of the great success stories of the world, and nowhere is this more evident than in Africa. They are the 21st century equivalent of the railroad. Except it’s a bullet train. Africa is the world’s fastest growing telecoms market, second in size only to Asia. More people in Africa have a mobile phone than electricity. Africa is a mobile-first continent, but it really is a mobile-only continent.

Presenters include:

  • Gareth Knight (Founder, Tech4Africa)
  • Toby Shapshak (Editor, Stuff/The Times)

Teaching Cheetahs: Disruptive Education in Africa
Friday, March 8th, 5pm - 6pm

Creating and expanding opportunities for youth engagement, education and empowerment is especially important in Africa since it is the youngest continent on the planet, with over 70% of its population under 30.The panel will use examples of institutions and initiatives with unique and innovative approaches to closing Africa’s education gap. Leveraging tools that range from text message based test prep to ‘pay-it-forward’ funding for higher education, these organizations will provide the audience with a glimpse into the rapidly evolving landscape of African education and how it will affect the continents leadership going forward.

Presenters include: 

  • Christy Pipkin (Exec Director, The Nobelity Project)
  • John Kidenda (Board VP, The African Leadership Bridge)
  • Nivi Mukherjee (CEO & Founder, eLimu)
  • Rick Reede (President, African Leadership Bridge)

For more events, check out the SXSW event schedule and also head on over to Blacks In Tech @ SXSW 2013.

THE ECONOMIST | KENYA ON THE CATWALK

GRACE NDUTA has never ventured far from Korogocho, the Nairobi slum where she lives. But her handiwork has. Bags she helped make were slung over the skinny shoulders of fashion models as they strutted the catwalks of Paris Fashion Week earlier this month.

Mrs Nduta belongs to a collective of Kenyan craftswomen that makes handbags and other accessories for designers such as Vivienne Westwood, a Briton. Their work could be one answer to Africa’s failure so far to manufacture much for export. Making consumer goods fast and in large quantities has proved difficult. But haute couture needs skilled hands more than speed, and these abound.

Continue reading about the economic impact of ethical manufacturing and traditional handicraft in Africa via The Economist.