What does a Rock star and Kenyan Artisans have in common?

An odd couple indeed or are they? Edun – The Fashion label with ethical credentials run by Ali Hewson and her husband Bono (and if you don’t already know – lead singer of U2 and all round Rock star) began in 2005 (before eco labels where all the trend) and have employed the skills of African artisans to craft their fashion conscious collections. For example Nairobi is where Edun fashion their Jewellery. Bono’s ongoing and passionate fight to bring countries such as Africa to the forefront has lead to many initiatives and one so being in Fashion. Edun’s mission is “to encourage trade with Africa and raise awareness of the possibilities there”.  Another aspect of their mission is to “build sustainable farming communities” through a programme set up by Edun in conjunction with the WCS and Invisible Children called The Conservation Cotton Initiative (CCI) In 2009 major investment came from French luxury conglomerate LVMH and in 2010 with the appointment of designer Sharon Wauchob as creative director Edun was all set to be accepted into the Fashion stable and grace the pages of Vogue and the Louis Vuitton Core values campaign. Doing business in Africa particularly in the cloth trade has increased no end over the last couple of years with design house’s such as Prada, Vivien Westwood and Suno having all had the ‘Made in Africa’ firmly stamped in their products. High street labels such as H&M and newer and emerging labels, Kenema, Chichia and Lalesso all preferring to use African artisans for their production.

Bono and Ali Hewson in Africa by Annie leibovitz

Edun S|S 2011

Posted in Autumn Winter 2010, creative thinkers, diy, Events, shorts, Spotted | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Suno venture into a virtual world

If you’ve got the ‘ca-ching’ and find great joy in shopping from your laptop or want to invest in a statement label than this may be the thing for you, mixing all you pleasures together and giving you a huge grin.

SUNO – the label which use Kenyan vintage fabrics and Kenyan artisans to produce the majority of the collections launched an online store in early April, the date has no significance, but what does is that concepts like SUNO are expanding as into the e-commerce arena which in its self has its own huge investment. Now a day’s top -notch designers from DVF to Miu Miu  have also jumped into the virtual world and launched online store making their ready to wear (after a steam) collections tangibly available to use mere mortals.

Credits: SUNO

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South Africa Fashion Week 2011

South Africa Fashion staged 8th – 10th April 2011 exists to promote local South African brands and designers which in turn allows for easier integration into the retail market as well as moving onto the International fashion stage by instilling professionalism with in the South Africa designer hub

If their mission statement is anything to go by “the Business of Fashion” Than the South African fashion industry could see a boom.

I feel their marketing overseas could have been a lot stronger as I must admit that I did find it hard to even find the official website for the show, or any official runway photos. (By the way if you’re interested its www.safashionweek.co.za) . Their blog for was not reflective of what was currently happening on the days and surprisingly no mention of the up and coming show, current photos or designers. Maybe they might have some lessons to learn from sites such as London Fashion week, which is like a feast for any fashionista and the ARISE Fashion week for example, who take the multimedia approach to keep global watchers up to date with news via affiliate blogs, newspaper and twitter, (unless I’ve been hiding under a rock than my opinion won’t count). But I hope that next year they will take a much more of an enhanched social media approach to the event. All in all I believe that the designers and production team done a Stella job.

Credit: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

Vasselina Pentcheva

Black Coffee


Gert Johan-Coetzee

Joel Vanse van Vuuren

Posted in clothing, Designer love, fashion, Runway Africa, Style focus, summer fashion | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fashizblack Magazine is back with the Afro luxury edition.

Stumbled across this mag (like a massive rock in the middle of the road) some time ago, I enjoyed the first few editions and then thought, ‘I wonder if they will last’ and yes they have taken the eternity pill and now in 2011 Fashizblack (Fash-iz-black) magazine – “French Online Fashion Magazine, based in Paris. About African related Fashion, Beauty, Gossip and culture” is back this month with their Afro-luxury edition.

This online magazine of all things editorially wonderful and greatly informative has pushed its head above the parapet and against all the online noise has managed to get noticed  by thousands.

Now I read my fair share of commercial fashion and off the shelf magazines but this one just helps with my inner diversity policy (like the one in your work place) wink. Fashizblack cool as it is takes an outter  look at the outside world by incorporating all things global, mixes and matches copywrite for those of African decent who have a vested interest in western culture. They state that “our magazine contents transcend every skin colors, because we want to be GLOBAL. Just as much as fashion” and I guess that’s all we have to know as their visually stunning editorials really do speak for themselves.

Credits: Fashizblack Magazine



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Solange Knowles – The rise of a style IKON

I can’t seem to keep up with Solange Knowles who has been on an upwards climb towards style icon territory. Here is her latest spring 2011 ensemble as seen at . There’s nothing not to love about Solange’s ease of wearable style, with a fresh organic vibe . The mix of a maxi pleat skirt in sunkissed yellow and the obliqutory batik ‘boxing kitten’ bra top really sums up what we here at Africa Batik – the blog portray – Fresh African ‘inspired’ contemporary design that is absolutely wearble for all and that will make you stand out in a crowd.

‘Sun silk and Batik’

Posted in clothing, fashion, Mixology, Style focus, summer fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ASOS Africa springs into action for S|S 2011

When Africa Batik – the blog was set up we never imagined that African inspired designe would capture the fashion the world the way it has, with its growing acceptance and commercialism it has found its way. Here at Africa Batik we are massive fans of the ASOS Africa brand (see previous ASOS Africa entries) and its contiued growing sucess. The labels exsistance literally keeps the underprivalaged in Fatuma, an Eastern township in Kenya employed . ASOS new season spring|summer 2011 has been relesed.

This collection has a fresh youthful, feminine feel, with soft light pinks hues, shorts and chilled out printed tops with a loose cut for all those UK summer days (fingers crossed).

Here are some of the pieces that inspire Africa Batik


Photos: ASOS

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Behind the scenes at ARISE Magazine Fashion Week (AMFW)

So ARISE Magazine fashion week (AMFW), one of Africas prominate fashion showcases has come to an end but the buzz that surrounded this event was amazing. Twitter was ablaze with real time photos from Backsatge to the runway.

I believe that this relatively new fashion show will grow to make its ‘stilletto shaped’ mark in the fashion season calender as the excitment of discovering newly emerging, as well as established African design talent is far to enticing to miss out on.

On many fashionistas schedules there will probably be New York, London, Milan, Paris and Lagos fashion week.

The backstage photos really bring to life this week and how much work goes into producing such a viberant, true fashion show.

More about AMFW to come.


One Nigerian Boy

Chichia – london

Oroma Elewa

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Posted in Designer love, London Fashion Week 2010, Spotted, summer fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Runway Africa. ARISE Magazine Fashion week – Lagos 2011

Fashion weeks are upon us and before I get my teeth into this years batch of Fashion weeks I thought that I would mention one that has been on the rise since 2009. ARISE Magazine Fashion Week (AMFW) is back on March 10th 2011 in Lagos, Nigeria. ARISE Magazine initially collaborated with New York fashion week in 2009, the success of that week left a thirst for African design talent on show. Than followed New York fashion week Feb 2010 where ARISE shone the spotlight once again on Africa and Fashion in a feature so coolly named ‘ARISE magazine African collective part three Autumn/Winter 2010/11  

ARISE Magazine have set the precedent in that they have created highly produced fashion shows based on showcasing african inspired designs. Now Feeding into the fact that the African fashion is on a growth curve and is set to become a staple diet for the Spring/summer session globally this is an excellent time to grow such a fashion show that is like no other.

The latest show will see 50 of the top designers from around Africa. From Chichia, NKWO, Jewel by Lisa, Christie Brown, Samantha Cole, Ituen Basi, Tiffany Amber, Mimi Plange, Bestow Elan and of course more with an added bonus of Estelle, D’Banu and Tine Tempah.

The count down begins.

arise fashion week 2011

Posted in chichia london, christine mhando, clothing, design & create, Designer love, Events, fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FASHION FLASH – Chichia and the collaboration with ‘Made by Africa’ – A/W 2011

Very exciting news, more exciting than finding out that the sale top your about to purchase that was reduced by 50% before you hit the till’s has a further 20% off. Yes EVEN more exciting then that.

This is a follow up from the post made earlier this week Chichia and the collaboration with ‘Made by Africa’. The collection inspired by ‘Made by Africa’ will be avalible outside of Africa.  Stockist to follow…

But in the mean time here are a few more shoots from the A/W 2011 collection 

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Chichia and the collaboration with ‘Made by Africa’ – A/W 2011

A maturing collection, an insight into the future of fashion Africa
Chichia (see previous post on Chichia) has grasped the importance of african inspired design and has fully understood the importance of adapting to the seasons as well as adapting the vibrancy of the East African fabric.

To have the creative skill and ability include elements for a winter collection is not easily aquired due to the African fabric known mainly for its bold colours but has been fully excicuted with this new collection.
This collabo brings East African designes of Chichia London, Khanga material,and the East African cotton of ‘Made by Africa’

This collaberation is even more emotive as 1 USD of all sales goes to SOS childrens village in Tanzania. The driving force behind ‘Made by Africa’ is their use of local talent which inturn produces unique fashion pieces with an added UPS (unique selling point..if your wondering) that it was sourced locally in Africa.  

Currently the collection is only availble in Africa but I will be keeping my eye out for avalibility overseas i.e London (wink, wink)


Photographer: Kerry Glanfield
Stylist: Chichia
Model: Beatrice for Blackfox Premier Models

Posted in Autumn Winter 2010, chichia london, christine mhando, clothing, Designer love, fashion, I think I'll wear....... | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment