How cool is this African print baseball shirt from newbie streetwear brand Ubuntou Clothing?! I love how the two looks are styled. The first one has gone for the timeless sporty tomboyish style with a pair of trainers while the other is feminine and sexy with a pair of heels. Another alternative would be to wear a pair of shorts or a skirt. Both shirts are unisex and made from 100% cotton in France. Would you rock this baseball shirt before the summer runs out?
Photo credit: Ubuntou Clothing
When I visited The Body Shop head office a few weeks back, one of the staff kindly gave us some goodies to take home one of them being The Body Shop Body Sorbet before it hit stores so was exciting to get a sneak peek! There are six varities to choose from (peach, satsuma, mango, strawberry, pink grapefruit and moringa). I love transparent packing as you can get a peek of what’s inside. The moisturizer is exactly like a sorbet/smoothie but for your skin and claims to deliver a frosty burst of moisture freshness to skin, keeping you hydrated without the sticky feeling. It’s light and fruity and perfect for summer as it’s not heavy on the skin. If you love fruity skincare products this one is for you and I just love the way it melts into your skin and leaves an aromatic mango smell that’s not overpowering. To kick things up a notch a top tip is to store in the fridge for a more refreshing moisturing sensation which will give a cold, satisfying feeling. The price is at £8 which is slightly more than I would pay for a body moisturizer but this one is worth every penny and would recommend trying before summer runs out. Are you a fan of The Body Shop? Will you try out the body sorbet skincare range?
Africa Fashion Week London kicked off last week Friday for two days at Olympia London. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the first day so went for the last day on Saturday. This is my third time attending and was much better than the last two seasons. The lovely Caitlin who does Digital Marketing at Farfetch invited me along and went with my vlogger friend Maryam, Louisa from Afroblush and Emma from Friday Born Designs who I blogged about earlier in the week. Last year the exhibition and the catwalk show was split into two but everything was all in one place. What I love about AFWL is that there’s a lot of energy and the atmosphere is fun and exciting and everyone is so friendly. My favourite collections this year are G321, Koko Fashion, Njema Helena, Slyvia Owori. There were also returning designers and models which was great as it gives a chance to see how the designer has grown from one season to another. Here are the highlights!
Gnostic Jungle is an up and coming brand that launched four weeks ago so very new to the fashion scene! The footwear brand designs African print trainers in the UK and get them produced overseas. They showcased their menswear summer collection at AFWL and will be launching the womenswear collection later on in the year so will be looking out for that.
It was a very long and tiring day and left before the last show as I had to head back home. Overall it was an awesome day and although this is their fourth season, I still believe that there is room for improvement especially now that the event has grown in popularity:
- Press centre- It would be great to have a place where the members of the press (magazines, newspapers, bloggers and etc) can relax between shows and use the opportunity to charge their phones, camera and use laptops and etc.
- To have press who work for a magazine or have their own blog sit on the front row along with the VIP guests as opposed to having everyone in the press pit as the place was way too small.
- A larger exhibition with womenswear, menswear, children, accessories and home decor
- For the future shows an actual stage should be used as opposed to having a fabric placed on the floor
- Make the breaks shorter between shows. The breaks were an hour and a half long and after going around the exhibition twice there wasn’t much else to do. I think having fun activities like a nail station, photobooth and makeovers would be great
- Showcase menswear and childrenswear designers on the catwalk
- Have models with African inspired hair
1. My Asho African Print Crop Top, £30 | 2. New Look Blue Ripped Knee Skinny Jeans, £22.99 | 3. H&M Patent Black Loafers, £14.99 | 4. Osei Duro at Gather & See Maena Shell Top, £56 | 5. Topshop Black Baggy Distressed Jeans, £55 | 6. George Red Buckled Sliders, £10 | 7. FAIR + true at Fashion Conscience Black and White Peplum Top, £56.25 | 8. River Island Mid Wash Slim Boyfriend Jeans, £40 | 9. Zatchels Green Classic Saddle Bag, £30
Friday Born Designs is an African-inspired clothing and accessories label for men and women based in London. Founded in 2012, Emma Amoafo pays homage to the motherland with vibrant African prints with a fresh, young and modern twist. I actually met her during Africa Fashion Week London (post going up on Friday) wearing one of her designs and she was so lovely and currently in her final year at uni studying medicine.
She sent me her lookbooks last week and was blown away. I love the fact that it’s affordable as it’s very rare to come across with African designers and most importantly wearable. It’s perfect for print lovers out there and shows that you don’t have to be African to wear African clothing. All profits from sales are used to buy resources for Bless the Child Orphanage in Kwahu, Ghana. Here’s her lovely womenswear collection titled Top Button below and be sure to check out the menswear too!
Photo credit: Double E Studios
African gourmet food company Pepper and Stew has announced their sauces and spice kits are now available at luxury department store Harrods. I’m genuinely happy for them as it will bring diversity to Harrods and a taste of Africa to London’s doorstep. I actually reviewed their delicious Jollof Rice cooking sauce a while back and makes it easier and quicker to prepare African dishes. There will be a numner of varieties to choose from including the classic Jollof sauce, Cape Malay Curry and the award-winning Egusi Stew. The three aromatic spice kits include Cape Malay Curry, Kelewele, and Suya, are perfect for summer to use asmarinades for meat, fish, chicken and vegetables for barbecues, salads and other light dishes. The spices and sauces will be available on the ground floor Food Hall to purchase.
Cooking sauces: £4.95
Spice kits: £2.50
Photo credit: Pepper and Stew
Australian based fashion label Coconsa has created these super cute coin purses in collaboration with charity Wash House. Coconsa recently started supporting the charity with a percentage of each sale aiding their mission of improving the quality of life of women in the Mt Druitt community based in Sydney, Australia and reducing the impact of poverty, social disadvantage and violence in their homes. Each design is made from 100% genuine leather so you’re getting great quality and a vibrant African print. Check out the lovely purses below and let know which one you would like to store your change in.
When it comes to commuting, I never leave the house without my headphones. There’s nothing like blasting your favourite tune (mine is Ariana Grande Problem) as it eases the stress making the journey more enjoyable. This inspired me to create Shopping Trolley with 8 fashionable headphones that will bring music to your ears and your feet tapping.
1. Beats by Dr Dre Magenta Solo Headphones, £139 | 2. Frends at Luisaviaroma The Taylor Headphones, £191 | 3. Boompods Green Headpods Headphones, £28.76 | 5. Ted Baker at John Lewis Rockall On-Ear Headphones, £175.95 | 6. Molami Black Leather Headphones, £100 | 7. Skullcandy at John Lewis Red Headphones, £89.99 | 8. Hi-Fun Tech Gadget, £66
Solange Knowles has been on my radar ever since she revamped her style a couple of years ago. Although she’s known as Beyonce’s sister, she’s been in the spotlight over the years for her quirky style and has always has good hair – especially the waist length box braids and natural afro hair. She’s knows how to mix prints without looking over the top and bold colours. She’s not afraid to stand out and knows what suits her. I wouldn’t mind raiding her closet!
Photo credit: Google
Steal her Style
1. Carvela at Selfridges Blue Metallic Heels, £39 | 2. River Island Green Stripe Floral Print Wrap Skirt, £35 | 3. Ohema Ohene African Print Black and White Cape Dress, £110 | 4. John Lewis Metal Box Gold Clutch Bag, £59.99 | 5. Miss Selfridge Angel Sleeve Rose Shirt, £28 | 6. New Look Gold Overlap Wire Cuff, £4.99 | 7. ASOS Black Cat Eye Sunglasses, £12 | 8.Topshop Patch Utility Trousers, £38
I’ve waited forever to see what ethical African fashion brand Lalesso has to offer for Resort 2015 and I’m not dissapointed! You’ll find their signature East-African Kanga designs and a beautiful colour palette to keep you cool for the summer season. There’s a sense of effortless style, intricate patterns perfect for those who want fuss-free summer dressing. Each piece is modelled by Aluad Deng Anei and will be available in four print options. Are you a fan of Lalesso? Which pieces are on your wishlist?
The collection will be avaliable to purchase October 2014.
Photo credit: KOPE | FIGGINS
Last week Tuesday, I attended ionFashion blogger conference at Vibe Bar in Brick Lane . Although I’ve been to many events, I still get nervous and find it daunting entering a room full of people and trying to make small talk. The purpose of the conference is for bloggers and brands to connect and network. Before the conference started, everyone sat around tables in one of the function rooms having cups of tea, coffee and water to get to know each other. I met two lovely bloggers L’ amour de Juliette and The Fashion Antler. It was amazing connect with like-minded people who share the same interest as you and chat all things blogging. After an hour, we headed upstairs into another function room for the conference.
The first speaker up was Lela from BlueClaw. She spoke about her blog and how it’s grown over the years. The discussion moved on to Why Bloggers Do it Better discussing how bloggers influence internet purchases. This is because there’s transparency and honesty in blogging so readers trust bloggers for purchasing decisions and a source for information. It’s important to have good quality content that’s evergreen and has a purpose. I also learned that blogger endorsements wield more influencing power than celebrities! How crazy is that?!
After Lela’s presentation, beauty blogger Ree from Really Ree went on stage for her talk. I have never come across such a passionate, beauty obsessed blogger in my life. She could talk about beauty for hours! Her love for beauty started from the get go and during her uni days, she would save up money to get the latest beauty products. Before blogging, she was training to be a journalist and had an interview at The Independent but didn’t turn out so great as she didn’t have a clue about politics, current affairs and ended up being cut short! After the ordeal, she discovered blogging and felt it was the perfect place to be creative and share her passion for beauty without any boundaries. Fast forward to the future and she’s now a full-time blogger. Her typical day consists of trawling through hundreds of emails, attending meetings, looking through samples and deciding what to feature, promoting and writing posts. It’s a dream come true to do something you love. Ree made me realise that when it comes to blogging you have to make yourself an expert and believe in yourself as cliché as it sounds. There’s nothing like hearing someone speak about what they love.
We later spilt into small groups to speak to brands to see things from both perspectives. I met a lovely lady from Coast head office who kindly gave me their AW14 lookbook and gave my contact details. It felt short and didn’t get a chance to talk to other brands. It would be great to have events where brands and bloggers mingle around like speed dating or with various booths like an exhibition. This would be a better way to communicate as it’s in person and goes beyond a press release and bloggers being used an advertising tool.
Holly from Diary Directory was the next speaker on the agenda. I’ve spoken about Diary Directory before on the blog but in case you haven’t heard of it before it’s basically an online resource of contacts, news and events for brands, PR agencies, press and creative industries. Holly gave a brief history of the company followed by the rise of print magazines declining and a rise of vloggers/bloggers who are a new generation of celebrities.
After the presentation was over, it was time for a much needed lunch break. While munching away we were entertained by an acoustic pop singer/songwriter Alex Louise.
The next presentation was by Toni from Fashitects. I met him before the conference started and he was funny, friendly and has a unique sense of style. Toni took us on a journey starting with how he got into blogging and joined his love for fashion and architecture background to create his blog. His outfit posts are beautifully done. He reminds me of a Fashion Editor that creates editorials for magazines. He has someone who takes his pictures but controls every aspect of his photos from the locations and of course the outfits to make sure everything compliments each other. He’s hot on lighting too! He went on to discuss that bloggers are a beginning of something new. We’re so many things: editors, vloggers, writers, marketers. Bloggers need the following essentials in order for their blog to survive: clothes, photography (camera), computer, schedule, social media and of course the internet!
Kavita from She Wears Fashion was supposed to be the last speaker of the day but unfortunately couldn’t make it as she was ill so Rosie from Rosie Glow took her place last minute. She’s was so lovely in person and I regularly read her blog. Again her blog started as a hobby and loved fashion and writing. She works at Boohoo.com as a Social Media Executive which she got through her blog which is incredible. Talked about the campaigns she’s done including the recent one Experience Everything and Global Styler.
Each presentation was insightful, informative and really touched on brand/blogger relationships and how we’re both keen on working together. The same goes for the blogging community. It’s all about creating something beautiful wether it be through our writing or images. It’s all about inspiring and encouraging each other. If you want to really get yourself out there you have to go above and beyond. Being an ordinary blogger isn’t enough these days.
Thanks so much BlueClaw for inviting me and the goody bag. I look forward to your next event!
On June 27th, I took a three hour train journey (that was just one way!) to Littlehampton to attend The Body Shop Discovery Day. When you arrive at The Body Shop premises, you are met with a chinese resturant building. It’s some that you don’t come across everyday! The late Anna Roddick wanted the building to look exactly like a chinese resturant.
The purpose of the day was to bring publishers who are part of Linkshare to give an insight on the ethical aims of the brand, covering topics including The history of The Body Shop, Community Fair Trade, The Body Shop Foundation and ethical trading. Any staff that gets a job at The Body Shop go through a Discovery Day to get indepth knowledge about the brand and values.The day began with an introduction to the history of The Body Shop, focusing on the company’s commitment to it’s social responsiblity and its roots in activisim. This was followed by ethical trading which aims to be long term sustainble with mutual commitment with suppliers. Regular visits are made to factories to make sure everything is fine and workers are treated fairly. This is done once a year.
The Community Fair Trade programme started 30 years ago through which the company works with their suppliers to improve working condition of the workers who make The Body Shop products. Buyers go out to various countries to source ingredients and pay suppliers a fair price and also make sure that the ingredients purchased has a benefit to their community. For example, when honey is purchased from Ethipoia this helps to preserve 10 nectors of beehives every year. The Body Shop are true example of fair trading. It’s a genuine relationship that brings the best of both worlds.
One of highlights in the discussion was self-esteem which is one of their values. The Body Shop believes that true beauty comes from the heart. Beauty is more than just a pretty face. The Body Shop promotes positive female self-esteem and celebrates individuality. This is something that we need to be hearing more in the beauty world as I feel that women don’t feel 100% confident in themselves and a reminder that should be part of our daily lives. Last year, Teenage Cancer Trust joined forces with The Body Shop January 2013 to help promote self-esteem to help teenagers who are going through cancer feel confident about themselves by giving makeovers and support during an extremely difficult time. At the recepetion I saw the stand for the charity and just had to donate and felt good about helping make a difference in someone’s life.
After the talk and lunch, we had a site tour followed by a session where we had an opporunity to made our own foundation which went horribly wrong for me as I couldn’t get my skin tone and realised that I added to much. Whoops! After this we made our own shower gel which was a lot of fun.
At the end of the day we were given a two lovely gifts which I will be reviewing soon. Thanks so much The Body Shop and Linkshare for inviting me!