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Fashion Focus: Taye Taylor – simplicity, garnished with effortless luxury and glamour!

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Taye TaylorLondon-based Nigerian designer, Taiwo Okunuga rocked the runway of the Africa Fashion Week earlier this year with her TayeTaylor luxury retail clothing brand, which caters to the needs of individuals with love for the African culture in an Africa meets West definitive style. TayeTaylor’s beautifully hand crafted and machine embroidery on carefully selected fabrics offer an unparalleled combination of class and style underlined by simplicity and African glamour Taiwo studied pattern making and sewing from Fashion & Arts Academy, House of Henri and also attended a fashion design course at the University of Arts, London College of Fashion. She also holds a Masters degree in International Business and Entrepreneurship from Essex Business School. She was recently in Ghana for vacation and I caught up with her to find out why she gave up on the world of real estate for the world fashion and more. So how did your label come about? In my third year, I studied Estate Management in the University of Lagos for my undergraduate degree, and I realized that I wasn’t actually cut out for Estate Management. I had always had a fashion and creative side to me; I sketch a lot and I put pieces together. I was also modeling at the time and I decided to venture into fashion and see how it pans out.  I started my line in 2007 and left for my Masters two years ago.  I finished earlier this year, and in February I started my label, Taye Taylor and it’s been beautiful. I did the Africa Fashion Week in London and the crowd reaction was crazy. So won’t say it’s been a smooth ride; there’s been ups and down but it’s been awesome all the way. How would you describe your designs and style? My designs are afro-centric based designs; you’ve got to love the African culture to love my stuff. It involves a lot of embroidery works, both hand and machine made embroidery on different kinds of fabrics. I mainly use Italian linen. So its embroidery work on tunics, jackets etc. I started off with the tunic collection, that was my debut collection, and then I ventured into jackets and dresses. I use a lot of embellishments. It’s all about simplicity, garnished with effortless luxury and glamour. What has been the response so far? I started the tunic collection in late March and I was able to sell over 500 pieces without any formal form of marketing. That was when people started asking me to get on fashion shows etc. I have got a lot of offers.  I have got a lot of celebrities who want to wear the dresses, both local and international, so the response has been great. Do you have a shop now? Right now I sell online, www.tayetaylor.com . I also sell on facebook use twitter a lot. It is basically an online shop for now and I have a couple of stores requesting to stock my stuff. But I’m taking it one step at a time. Taye Taylor collection Taye Taylor collection Taye Taylor collection Taye Taylor collection What is your client base like? I have got a few foreign clients but it appeals more to Africans. A lot of Africans like it because it’s a blend between African and Western styles. It’s something you can wear to work in London.  It’s something you can wear to the beach or to chill out with your friends. It’s not something you just wear when you are home, you can wear it anywhere.  I think that’s what people love about my clothing. I heard that you incorporated some Ghanaian elements in your Africa Fashion Week collection Yes! It was the Olympic period and everyone was ecstatic about the games. So what I did was, I incorporated the Ghana colours on the tunics with the Ghana flag and the Olympic logo on it. That got the crowd going gaga so I guess they loved it. It was fresh and nobody else had anything as regards the Olympics on the runway. So would you say such platforms are good for African designers? Definitely! It was my first fashion show, my first runway and it was big. Africa Fashion Week London is one of the biggest platforms for any African designer in London.  Buyers were there, we had celebrities there, as well as people who want to stock your clothes. It was a massive platform for me and I think any African designer who wants to go international should showcase at the Africa Fashion Week in London. So what is next for Taye Taylor? I am working on a new collection. I’m going to showcase at the London Fashion Week next year so I am working towards that already. I am also working on the Africa Fashion Week in Los Angeles, which is in October. Taye Taylor collection Taye Taylor collection Taye Taylor collection Taye Taylor collection Taye Taylor collection Taye Taylor collection Taye Taylor collection Did you pick up any fashion ideas from your visit to Ghana? I love the Ghanaian culture; I got a lot of inspiration from the beachfront in Cape Coast and Labadi which I will incorporate in my collections. So you guys will have to wait and see. Should we expect you moving back home to Nigerian soon? Very soon, we conquer the international market first and then we come back home. I sell my stuff in Nigeria, and soon I will be selling in Ghana. I have people I Ghana who want to stock my stuff so very soon Taye Taylor will be available in Ghana. I am sure I will move back home but for now I am based in London.]]>

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Fashion

Treat Yourself: Seven Stylish Accessories to Get Just for You This Christmas

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Christmas is a time of giving. A time to reward those you love and to show them just how important they are and how much you care for them. But wait a moment, what about you? Don’t you deserve something nice?

If 2022 has been a challenge, or even if it’s been a hugely enriching period, perhaps it’s you who really merits some great stylish treats this festive season. The best thing about buying yourself Christmas presents is that you’ll never feel that disappointment of seeing a recipient attempt to fool you into thinking that they are indeed very happy with what’s beneath the wrapping paper.

Do you consider yourself something of a fashionista? Do you attempt to keep up with the fashion cycle throughout the year? Do you find yourself struggling to meet the demands of the regular upgrades needed to keep up with the seasonal trends? Then maybe you need to adjust your way of thinking.

This Christmas, look to get yourself essential accessories that can act as the catalyst to your wardrobe. Either these new additions will give your existing outfits a new lease of life, or they could be the start of a whole new you. The critical aspect here is to let the accessories take the lead, thereby keeping your overall clothing costs down.

Here are seven stylish accessories to get you started this Christmas.

Personalized Jewelry

The gift of jewelry is, quite rightly, synonymous with luxury, and if you double down by selecting an item that has a personalized element, then you’ll find that the accessory you now hold in your hands is something of a Christmas miracle.

How about getting yourself a stylish custom name necklace that makes an impact the moment you walk in the room or breeze down the high street? This is the ultimate gift to give yourself, which will more than likely offer items in your closet a whole new perspective.

Stylish Extra Long Scarves

It’s no doubt gotten chillier in your area in recent weeks, and this accessory will keep you snug and warm as well as see you as a trendsetter. The key here is to be bold, and that means bright colors, and don’t be afraid to go long here. You can always wrap the scarf around yourself for extra protection from the elements.

Get yourself a lovely wool blend and consider an elegant checked pattern, and look for scarves that feel luxurious to the touch.

Classy Leather Gloves

This winter, why not make sure to show your hands some love? We can’t get enough of leather gloves, and there are a million and one different ways and styles to approach this winter accessory trend.

Dark colors are best here, and you should go for those with a faux-fur trim, which elevates these gloves to another stratosphere. Great for walks to work, a night on the town, and the occasional impromptu snowball fight!

Cashmere Beanie

Headwear is crucial at this time of the year for two reasons. Firstly, you’ll want to keep your head warm as the temperature drops (while also not ruining the way your hair looked when you locked your front door), and secondly, so that you can make the ultimate fashion statement.

We like these playful cashmere beanies, and they are actually great for daywear and for your cold trips into and back from the office. There’s no need to select darker colors here; a nice warm beige is a good starting point you should look to match the style to your gloves.

Oversized Sophisticated Sunglasses

Yes, the weather has gotten colder, but the sun will certainly still be making an appearance, and it can prove very crisp and awkward for your eyes. That’s why sunglasses should form a crucial part of your overall winter accessory approach.

Oversized is still very much in, and the chunkier, the better. Great for those post-Christmas party hangover days and also ideal when matched with many of the accessories we’ve mentioned above. All in all, your look may envelop you so that you’ll be akin to the invisible man or woman, albeit in a rocking outfit that people can’t ignore!

Snug Snow Boots

We absolutely love this playful accessory trend, which is very much back in for 2022 and 2023. These boots will not only keep your feet snug, but if you are doing it properly, they’ll stretch far up your legs, giving them all the winter protection they’ll ever need.

While these may look more ready for the skiing season, they are also hugely popular on the high street, so get involved. These are available from high-end designers like Stella McCartney, and Prada has got involved, but there are, of course, high street outlets that will offer excellent, less expensive alternatives that will be just as effective at attracting the right sort of attention.

Ear Muffs

Yes, you read that correctly. Retro fashions, as the name suggests, never go out of style, and the humble ear muffs are making a roaring return at precisely the point where you can’t live without them.

Here you want to really treat yourself and your ears, so the fluffier, the better. We suggest avoiding garish colors here, and if you want to go down the high-end route, then Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld have released sumptuous options to consider, but Zara and Ugg are just as delightful and, of course, a fraction of the cost.

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People & Lifestyle

Luxurious and Modern Watches To Gift This Holiday Season By Vincero

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We all know someone who appreciates the finer things in life, whether that be expensive cars or designer bags. During the holidays it can be tricky to find the right gift that not only exudes opulence but is heartfelt. A classic gift that never goes out of style is a sophisticated watch. Vincero, the world’s most innovative and eco-forward brand known for long-lasting and well-crafted accessories, has watches for sure to light up your loved ones’ holiday.

Kleio Steel (For Women) $190 USD- Crafted for a lady with sophisticated taste. The Kleio steel has immaculate features that are not only built to last but are a definite statement piece. The bold designs of this watch are ideal for many occasions from an exquisite holiday dinner to a boardroom meeting. With glass made from sapphire crystals, this watch is scratch-resistant and has a steel brush dial, guaranteeing to elevate your game.5SG1

The Reserve Automatic (For Men) $595 USD- This timeless watch has a modern yet refined design. With bold yet elegantly detailed features The Reverse Automatic is yearning to be placed on the most opulent of wrists this winter. Made with sapphire crystals and has ultra-reliable Miyota 9120 automatic movement this will allow it to be worn for years and years to come. The futuristic aura the watch exudes allows it to never go out of style and become a definite staple item.

Vincero is ready to up the game when it comes to not only luxury watches but the perfect holiday present.

Vincero has left a mark in the fashion industry since its launch, adding dozens of different products to their arsenal, including sunglasses, blue light glasses and bracelets. To find out more information, head to the website: vincerocollective.com and follow on Instagram @VinceroCollective for news and offers.

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Fashion

Sprayground Partners with Renowned Artists Ron English And Florian Reinhardt For an Unforgettable Art Basel Collaboration

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Expressive fashion house Sprayground, the most influential streetwear brand known for its thought-provoking and innovative designs, has teamed up with two of the most prolific artists, Ron English and Florian Reinhardt (EXIT ART) to launch two exclusive collections at Art Basel 2022.

Ron English’s highly coveted collection features 13 beautiful, eclectic, unique designs, with a high dose of energy through its vivid colors and patterns paired with Popaganda’s smiley face logo. These designs include an eccentric zebra-patterned elephant handbag, vibrant poodle pouchette, futuristic rabbit backpack, and Vincent Van Gogh-esque landscape backpack. This collection speaks to its audience in colorful inspirations with vibrant and bright pinks, teals, reds, yellows, and blues. The iconic smiley face can be seen on Sprayground’s well known bear bag, carry on, three additional backpacks, mini duffle, smiley sunflower tote, and hoodies in black, neon pink, and a vibrant blue. The Sprayground x Ron English collection will be showcased for the first time during a private event at The Museum of Graffiti, Wynwood, on December 1.783A8080

Sprayground’s collection with EXIT ART features Reinhardt’s signature eye-catching snapshots of exit signs on Sprayground’s new handbag style, duffle bag, and backpack. Reinhardt fantasizes of freedom and dreams of new beginnings, creating these vivid scenes of signs that provide hints of a way out. Each bag has an explosion of snapshots Reinhardt captured in eclectic and vibrant colors paired with Spraygrounds iconic and collectible art-piece – the Shark Mouth design. This collection will launch at the Rudolf Budja gallery on December 1, at an exclusive event sponsored by Rolls Royce.

Sprayground first captured worldwide attention when the ‘Hello My Name’ backpack debuted over 10 years ago. Sprayground founder, David BenDavid (DBD), had high hopes to create a brand that he felt represented his childhood and upbringing. Exposed to streetwear, art and a variety of cultures from a young age, DBD took all this inspiration and turned it into creativity that is now admired worldwide.

For more news and exclusive first looks, head to @sprayground.

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Fashion

54 Kingdoms Unveils Its Final World Cup Collection: Forward Ever, Backward Never!

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54 Kingdoms Unveils Its Final World Cup Collection: Forward Ever, Backward Never!

The 2022 FIFA World Cup just kicked off in Qatar, where Africa is being represented by Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.

For most Africans, the tournament is a platform that reinforces continental unity, helping bridge the gap between Africans on the continent, and Diasporans globally. Since 2010, when South Africa became the first African country to host the tournament, 54 Kingdoms embarked on a creative journey of designing collections inspired by the United African vision engineered by the honorable Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Forward Ever, Backward Never is the final World Cup collection by 54 Kingdoms as the company reaches the last phase of its unity design blueprint. The blueprint, which is primarily inspired by Pan-African giants, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Marcus Garvey ― aims to give the continent a larger vision of itself via four main themes: Educate, Unite, Build and Progress. Each collection is tied to a theme dating back to Homecoming in 2010 (Educate), Score for Unity in 2014 (Unite), and Goal 54 in 2018 (Build).

“This is a bittersweet moment for us. As storytellers, one of the hardest things is to write an ending for any story, and unfortunately the end has come for our World Cup collection series. This creative journey started with inspiration from Dr. Nkrumah and will end with him. Hence, a collection paying homage to one of his profound statements, Forward Ever, Backward Never” ~ Kwaku Awuah, 54 Kingdoms President.

In the Progress phase, the Forward Ever, Backward Never (FEBN) design seeks to echo Nkrumah’s larger vision of a united and developed Africa free of any form of colonial rule. However, ‘Forward Ever, Backward Never’ also means Africa shouldn’t bemoan its past misdeeds all the time; we should forge ahead, but when a similar challenge resurfaces, we look back and remind ourselves that we shouldn’t make the same mistake again.

Throughout this tournament, Forward Ever, Backward Never is a reminder to Africa’s representatives to push forward even when it seems impossible, and never look back!

The Forward Ever, Backward Never is a limited edition collection available for pre-orders on November 23, 2022 with expected shipment starting on December 9, 2022. More details will be updated on the 54 Kingdoms website soon!

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Fashion

Photos: Red carpet fashion from the 2022 MTV EMAs

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The 2022 MTV Europe Music Awards took place in Düsseldorf, Germany on Sunday night hosted by Aotearoa’s very own Taika Waititi and his partner, British pop star Rita Ora. (more…)

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Fashion

What your favourite Nigerian stars wore to ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ premiere in Lagos

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The filmmakers and cast from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever celebrated the film’s upcoming release earlier last night at the film’s first official African premiere at Filmhouse Cinemas IMAX Lekki in Lagos.

Director Ryan Coogler, along with Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Tenoch Huerta Mejía. along with local musicians featured in the film, Seni Saraki, Teni Zaccheaus, Bloody Civilian, P Priime, Cracker Mallo, Lady Donli, LMBSKN, Bolaji Williams, Olamiji “G-Lammy” Sodiya, Uzo Nwabudike and DBN Gogo joined dignitaries and guests at the black carpet premiere event.

Also present were some of the Nigerian showbiz’s leading men and women. Here is what some of them wore to the Wakanda-themed premiere!

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Marvel Studios’ Black Panther remains the number one film in both East and West Africa and, in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, fans will welcome back some familiar faces whilst being introduced to brand new characters. In the film, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, ruler of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theatres across Africa on 11 November 2022.

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