Thursday, 30 August 2012

Tribal Treasures: Nordstrom and Asos

Ankara, or the use of it, is well known in the fashion industry as 'Tribal', and featured within the 'Afrocentric' trend which was predicted in advance by Vogue for Spring/Summer 2012. 

Vogue prediction for spring/summer 2012 -
"Ethnic prints, raffia work and tribal sketched
abound in this season's Afrocentroc trend" - Vogue

Even as we approach London Fashion week and the launch of various new Spring/Summer collections for next year, there's no doubt that the Tribal theme is still going strong.

And whether a Tribal piece features Ankara or not, it most definitely encapsulates the colour and vibrancy of African print.

We came across these Tribal finds on Nordstrom, and Asos:

Cara Couture African print Necklace -
Cara Couture Necklace

The multi strand effect is quite common in textile jewellery but this Cara Couture Tribal Multi Strand necklace beautifully incorporates golden chains as part of the design...

Cara Couture Belt -
Cara Couture Belt

...whilst the beading in this belt is quite reminiscent of colourful Cameroonian beads.

Steve Madden tribal shoes -
Steve Madden

Having been in the footwear game for more than two decades, Steve Madden has incorporated Tribal weave into this 'Pammy-M' pump, which reminds us a lot of the traditional woven kente cloth.

Betsey Johnson tribal shoes -
Betsey Johnson
An even bigger veteren in the field of footwear Betsey Johnson's label B.J. Vines has been around since 1978. These 'Barrot' pumps present an aztec/tribal fusion.
Asos Hunt Super High leather wedges -
Asos Wedges

Our favourite on the Tribal treasures list have to be these ASOS HUNT Super High Leather Wedges with Egyptian Print. As wedges, they're very likely to be comfortable, those straps  will support your ankles and better still...these shoes are currently on sale (click the link below)!!!

More Tribal Treasures to come!


Cara Couture on Nordstrom
Steve Madden Pammy-M pump
Betsey Johnson
ASOS HUNT Super High Leather Wedges

Monday, 27 August 2012

BOYZ 2 MEN Af-Ccessory of the day: African print Nike's

You can tell a lot about a man by the shoes he wears #fact
And we're not just talking about the shoe size!

We appreciate footwear that tells a story, and that's why we love these vintage style, African print Nike's we found in the Netherlands based concept store 'Lock and Load'.

African Print Nike -

"...part of the Nike and Liberty Of London collaboration. The sneaker features suede throughout the upper and Liberty’s Lotus Jazz print on the Nike Swoosh, lace lids, sock lining, heel tab, and lower portion of the side panel. A volt tongue tab houses the Nike branding. The outsole completes the shoes’ overall vintage if y’all wanna rock something the person beside you doesn’t have, then these are a great sneaker to invest in."

What would these trainers tell you about a man?

Saturday, 25 August 2012

BOYZ 2 MEN: Man About Town

Men are sometimes left out when it comes to recommendations on fashion. We love our stylish brothers worldwide which is why ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the BOYZ 2 MEN edition. Our weekend of posts dedicated to men!

MAN about TOWN

From a presidential timepiece to a crisp ironed shirt, to the hems of a tailored suit - fashion often separates the boys from the men. The length and detail on a unique swarve tie, a delicately placed pure silk cravat, the silhouette hug of trouser suspenders to the intimate selection of hand picked cotton socks. Whatever the case may be, attention to detail is what makes a MAN about TOWN. 

Check out our favourite men about town:

Men with style -
Clockwise from top left:
Diddy, George Clooney, Jamie Foxx, Kanye, Idris Elba and Trey Songz

ILA TIP: Real men wear pink! Pairing a nice pink blazer with a paisley print tie or cravat gives an everyday outfit a different twist and keeps your look interesting and fresh.

Men with style in pink -
Clockwise from top left: 
Scott Disick, Terrence J, Jamie Foxx, Kanye, Tyson Beckford

If going for a more casual yet formal approach a pink shirt paired with cream fitted suit pants gives that 'I mean business yet I'm ready to walk on the beach in the South of France' look ;)

Man about town in pink -

Polo Ralph lauren
$135 -

Alexander McQueen Wool Trousers

Noah's crew compliment the pink trend with ankara, by accessoring a plain mens t-shirt with African print pockets:

Noah's Crew -

ILA’s MAN about TOWN Challenge: Try a new accessory everyday for a week, and not just any Af-ccessory.

This trilby from Babatunde Gerry could be a great way to kick start your challenge! 

Babatunde Gerry -
As featured in Vogue Italia

Also check out these interesting pieces by the House Of Tayo:

House of Tayo -

House of Tayo -

House of Tayo -

Don't say we don't help....happy accessorising!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Diary of a print-a-holic

With Af-ccessories (African Print accessories), the possibilities are endless. From earrings, to necklaces, to bangles to notebooks...
Yes, notebooks!

We think that Tribal notebook's are an essential for all Afro-nista's. Where else to represent print than at school, uni, college or work.

Take note:

Ankara draped Lovely Notebooks 
Lovely notebooks - African Print -
These notebooks are just lovely!
Lovely notebooks - Stylist Magazine -
As featured on BET and in Stylist Magazine London
Lovely notebooks - Chuka Umunna -
Carissa of Lovely Notebooks with London
MP Chuka Umunna

A selection from Eva Sonaike

Eva Sonaike - African Print -
So many beautiful prints to choose from!

Asakeoge - as seen at Africa Fashion Week London

Asakeoge - Africa Fashion Week London -
Asakeoge notebooks and shopper
- currently free with all orders over £40 from Asakeoge!!!

The Wastebasket African Notebook

Notice the Ankara symbols on this one

Tribal notebooks from Darkroom London

Darkroom London - Tribal print notebook -

Darkroom London - Tribal print notebook -

Colour blocking and tribal print all on one
fashionable notebook - genius!

All notebooks should look like these! Don't you agree?

And if you're already happily productive with your current notebook, why not check out these African Print notebook covers from Lanyap Studios:

Lanyap Studios - African print notebook cover -

Lanyap Studios - African print notebook cover -

Happy writing!

Image sources and links

Lovely Notebooks

Eva Sonaike



Darkroom London

Lanyap Studios

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sa4a: Ankara Patchworks with a designer feel

If like us, you can't get enough of African print, why decide on one fabric when you can have them all?!

Traditionally a quilting technique, patchwork involves putting small bits of material together to make a larger piece and it is all the rage where ankara is concerned. Especially in African countries such as Ghana, the home of Sa4a.

African Print Patchworks - Sa4a on
Cute animations from Sa4a

African Print Patchworks - Sa4a on
"Crafted by hand, fired by imagination" 

Sa4a use the patchwork technique in a unique way, taking the print-on-print trend and putting it all in one place as a covering. Their range consists of shoes and sandals but we especially LOVE their bags.

Their clutches are adorable.

African Print Patchworks - Sa4a on

African Print Patchworks - Sa4a on

African Print Patchworks - Sa4a on

Their satchels and weekend bags are vintage with an afro twist.

African Print Patchworks - Sa4a on
Ekem sling bag

African Print Patchworks - Sa4a on
Sa4a Ama K weekend bags
Their totes are like mini bags of sunshine.

African Print Patchworks - Sa4a on

The most interesting thing about Sa4a is how many of their pieces are very reminiscent of the designer favourites.

The Sa4a Envelope Clutch reminds us of Tory Burch Robinson's...
Sa4a and Tory Burch Robinson comparison on

...their chain bag of Chanel's vintage own....
Sa4a and Chanel comparison on

...their Ama K bag would be the African print version of Mulberry's Piccadilly leather weekend bag...
Sa4a and Mulberry comparison on

and their satchel the African love child of Ted Baker's!
Sa4a and Ted Baker comparison on

See what we mean?!

With bag prices from 80 GHC (about $41/£26) you can get the designer look for less...Ankara style!

So, if you've got some left over fabric, why not patch it up?!
For your own designer inspired Sa4a piece contact -

Bespoke and stock designs available.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Nadia Dafri: Statements that make a STATEMENT

Established in 2009, Parisian fabric jewellery designer Nadia Dafri began incorporating African Fabric early on in her second collection.

Inspired by the world around her, Nadia's command of textiles has been apparent since the brand was born.

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara

Stocked in Lebanon, Dubai, Turkey, Italy, England, Germany and of course her of native Paris to name a few, Nadia Dafri definitely puts Ankara jewellery on the global map.

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara

Never have pieces so exquisite been seen since Christie Brown. These statement neck pieces really bring out another element of the class and elegance in design which can be produced using African print.

"Rather than creative accessories, Nadia Dafri creates   distinctions" - from

Powerful pieces with an inspiring colour palette described as sculptural jewellery, all designs are hand sewn from scratch!

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara

The Nadia Dafri line features truly outstanding pieces which would be appreciated by the ultimate artisan and adorned by the most fabulous of afro-nista's.

Here are some of Nadia's most recent pieces:

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara
Photo by Jean Philippe Lacube

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara
Photo by Jean Philippe Lacube

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara
Photo by Jean Philippe Lacube

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara
Photo by Jean Philippe Lacube

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara
Photo by Jean Philippe Lacube

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara
Photo by Jean Philippe Lacube

With designs as sublime as these, we think brands like Nadia Dafri need more of the recognition that they deserve. 

We love how this piece beautifully
adds to this plain vest top... 

...and this plain bustier

Nadia Dafri - iLoveAnkara
The neck piece makes a great statement
on this outfit

To order, email