African-inspired design is permeating through all artistic channels: fashion, interiors, graphics, patterns, home wares and more. More so than ever, Afro bloggers are promoting and impacting Africa’s influence on global pop culture and design. They are also showcasing their versatile takes on design – from culturally rich to contemporarily cool. Much of this influence is due to these bloggers themselves. They are helping to spread the word on trending design within their nation and exposing the world to never-before-seen talent through inspiring imagery and local artisan studios. They are also absorbing and sharing their thoughts on global design, influencing their own readers with the versatility of their finds. Let’s take a look at two of the most influential Afro bloggers in the industry. What is African design? Ms. Kiwani writes an impassioned post on African style “being more than zebra print”.
Tradition Meets Future. That’s the tagline of Louisa Kiwana’s Afroblush, which has been nominated as one of the best lifestyle blogs by Cosmopolitan. UK’s Spell Magazine also gave it the title of Best Blog. Ms. Kiwana was born in Uganda and brought up in UK. She melds these African and European influences in her blog and calls the flavor “Afropean”. Afroblush covers Style, Beauty, Society and Culture as well as covering incredible design events in both London and Africa.
Events and exhibitions such as the ones for Graphic Africa, which celebrated contemporary furniture by African designers and Accessing the Mainstream, an evening of discussion on Africa’s influence in fashion and design; are frequently showcased.
Above: Emerging furniture talent Yinka Ilori designs vintage modernist one-off pieces inspired by traditional Nigerian parables which create meaningful yet humorous furniture designs.
Miss Moss, written by graphic designer Diana Moss, has been named one of the 20 best interior blogs by the UK-based Telegraph. Diana is based in Cape Town and covers versatile topics for her blog, including Fashion & Style, Vintage Finds and Living & Décor inspiration. She likes “sharing rad things that are nice to look at”. She covers global design as well as those found locally in Africa, focusing on the more modern and contemporary stylings the country has to offer. As a bonus, she writes about her local trips as well, such as her incredible one to the bush and also to Kei.
Above: Designer Karen Walker commissioned Kenyan artists for their talents in screen printing and beading. They modeled for the line as well! Afroblush also featured this United Nations-endorsed project.
Of her country, Miss Moss says there is so much to see on her own doorstep and that “we need to travel & experience & document our own country more”.
It’s very cool to see the diverse stylings of Afroblush and Miss Moss – and fascinating to read their take on both African as well as global design. The traditional leanings of South African design is glorious to see but it’s also wonderful to note where the future is taken by the new artistic (& writing!) talent emerging from this most diverse of countries. We hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into these incredibly versatile and diverse bloggers who are helping the world discover the African collective – and the revolutionary year their country and designers are about to experience.