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Afropolitan

Afropolitan

Top Blog Comment Of The Week: xocara.com

If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’ve been silent on the blogging front for quite a while now.  Why?  Well, to make a long story not very long, September was the toughest month I’ve had in a while, both professionally and personally.  And as much as I wanted to burrow a hole in the ground and hibernate till next summer, I had to keep my shit together because September was the month the filming of my TV show took place, I had to fly from Berlin to London to work, and then to Lagos for even more work…

But I’m only human and something had to give, and that something was my blog, I had to step away from my baby and blogging in general for a while.  During my Blog Hiatus, I did have my doubts on how to return to blogging…whether I still had the strength and motivation to say what I wanted to say through my blog…how to make my blog better content and layout-wise…

And then a few days ago, I got this lovely message from one of my fellow bloggers, Cara from xocara.com.  I’ve made it very clear that Blog Comments are the fuel to my blog and this one gave me L.I.F.E.  Big thanks Cara!

‘I have MAJORLY missed you. I know you are probably busy filming, but please hurry up and come back soon!!!! <3′

This fellow readers is why I blog…

I can’t finish this post without giving due props to Cara because hers is one of the blogs that I genuinely look forward to reading.  Instead of blabbing on and on about how much I like her blog, I’ll reel of some reasons why her blog keeps me coming back for more:

  1. For me blogging is a journey, and I’ve enjoyed reading about Cara’s through text and images.  Her posts show how she goes about balancing motherhood (she has the coooootest lil’ boys) and expanding on her passions, which include travel, fashion, photography….

How fab is her Afro?!

2. I really like her speaking voice, from reading her posts and seeing how she puts words together, its obvious that ‘This Girl Sabi Read Book O!!!’…erm, i.e. she is a lover of books.

cara33. I love seeing pictures of her two boys.

cara24. It’s interesting to see her fashion and photography grow from strength to strength.

cara5So now I’ve whetted your interest, read Cara’s blog here.

Afropolitan

Nigerian Fashion Bloggers That Inspire: The Fashion Engineer/Sayedero Enytan

Yes, I’ve been away for more than a minute and will go into more detail as to why later, right now I want to tell you a stylish tale…
Once upon a time, not too many moons ago, having decided that African Fashion would be the core of my blog, I decided to do some research to discover the popular fashion bloggers in Nigeria. Honestly speaking, I wasn’t expecting to find a voice or style I could relate much too…now don’t get me wrong, I knew there were Naija stylish babes, but it’s one thing to know how to put an outfit together and quite another to portray your looks on a blog creatively with a unique voice to boot. That’s why when I stumbled upon, The Fashion Engineer created by the fab one-of-a-kind-kinda-gal, Sayedero Enytan, I knew I’d struck, ‘Blogger-Gold’.

fa1What’s behind the name of her blog title?, I hear you ask. Well, like me, Sayedero comfortable straddles two (and then some) professions: electrical engineer and fashion & beauty aficionado.
Since she started her blog in January 2012, I’ve seen her blog grow from strength to strength: the photography got better, she’s a contributing writer for one of Africa’s leading retail sites, Jumia, her blog is now delving into health and fitness…

fa9I’ve wanted to meet her for a while now and a few days ago, I got the opportunity to chitty chat with her as we sipped on yummy Chapmans at my new favourite hang-out: Bogobiri House (V.I).

fa6MFSL: Hey Sayedero, first things first: where’s your name from?
Sayedero: It’s Yoruba and means, God has made my life easy.
MFSL: Powerful stuff, now, what made you start blogging?
Sayedero: At university, I was constantly asked where I got my clothes and accessories from, how I did my make up etc, so I decided to create a platform (via a blog) to show people where I got my pieces from, and how I put my beauty looks together.

fa11MFSL: How did your blog grow from that to the power-house it is today? Because it’s one thing to create a blog to show your style and beauty looks, but it’s quite another thing to run a blog as a business, which is what you today.
Sayedero: Well, when my blog began to generate a lot of traffic, fashion and beauty companies began to contact me to wear or try their products for free, and that’s how the business element of my blog began.

fa4MFSL: Following your blog for so long, I’ve seen so many changes.  Focusing on the design and tech aspects, do you collaborate with anyone in those areas?
Sayedero: I like to learn and do a lot of the technical stuff by myself, but I do have an I.T guy that I work with as well.

MFSL: Following on from that, how would you say blogging has made you more techy-savvy?

Sayedero: Oh my gosh, I’ve learnt so many things. For example, I now know how to code, which I never thought I would ever be able to do! I can also help people set up their blogs, making sure it features a decent theme, add plug-ins…I advise on SEO, how to increase traffic and so on.

fa2MFSL: That’s pretty impressive, how did you teach yourself all these skills?
Sayedero: By researching online, also a lot of bloggers write really helpful articles on the topic and share what worked for them.
MFSL: Out of all the measures out there to grow traffic like leaving comments on people’s blogs, making nice with Google Analytics etc, what tactic worked best for you?
Sayedero: Sharing my blog posts on Social Media. Especially when I share posts on the Facebook pages of various Nigerian fashion-related groups.
MFSL: So tell me more about the fab hairstyles you’ve been sporting made up of every shade of the rainbow.
Sayedero: I sell wigs, and when it comes to my coloured wigs, I dye them myself.

fa3MFSL: So you customize wigs, you can contour and strobe with the best of ’em, you have great style, then there is the electrical engineering background: so career-wise, what does Sayedero want?
Sayedero: Honestly, I’m still in the process of figuring that out but in the future, I would like to be a designer.
MFSL: I can tell from your blog credits, that you are all about online fashion, which are your favourite stores?
Sayedero: Konga and Jumia. That’s the great thing about African fashion now, with emerging and affordable designers now being able to sell on these platforms: there’s now a brand for every pocket.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
MFSL: A few stores have popped up in Lagos like Grey Velvet and Stranger which stock established and emerging African designers, do you shop in any of them?
Sayedero (laughs): Noooo, they’re too expensive!
MFSL: Before I discovered your blog, I thought that as a Nigerian blogger, it would be near impossible to be a personal style blogger who shows new looks on a weekly basis, because we don’t have a High Street here. But your blog forced me to take several seats in that department…
Sayedero: Funny you should say that, I’m actually going to start repeating pieces more to show my audience how to generate X number of looks from 1 item.  With regards to my access to clothes, a lot of the big online stores like ASOS.com and Boohoo.com ship to Nigeria. I’m also lucky to have fashion and accessory brands give me their products for free.

fa8MFSL: What challenges have you faced as a personal style blogger based in Nigeria?
Sayedero: I’ve been told that I should change my style to make it more mass-friendly, but my style is my style and I’m not changing! Also it can be hard when you put a lot of effort into your blog and you don’t see the rewards by way of traffic. There have been some weeks when I ask, ‘What’s happening to my traffic??!’  To partner with brands, you need that traffic, so it’s very important to me.

fa12MFSL: Who are your favourite African fashion designers?
Sayedero: I love Maki Oh.
MFSL: What blogs do you follow?
Sayedero: Atlantic-Pacific, Style Pantry, Olori Swank, Locks & Trinkets and Winston & Willow.
MFSL: Instagram Vs Blogging?
Sayedero: Blogging.
MFSL: YaaaaaY! Everyone I’ve asked that question to goes for Instagram.
Sayedero: But Instagram is where it’s at, I’m on it and have people who help me update it.

fa14MFSL: And finally, since your blog does so well at breaking down trends. What trends have you GaGa at the moment?
Sayedero: Full midi-skirts, cape blazers and gladiator heels.
MFSL: Gladiator heels, you mean that horrible contraption that come up to your knees and strangle your legs whilst doing so?
Sayedero: I love them!
MFSL: Well, they’re hard to pull off as they have a weight-limit, but I’m sure you can rock the Bo Jangles out of them! Sayedero, it was such a pleasure!

fa7Now, now, nooooow hard as it will be, which is your favourite Sayedero Look? For me, no diggity doubt, it’s her ‘All White & Tight’ look. I look at it and just think, ‘B.O.S.S’. I can also see Dame Cookie (Empire) rocking this look during one of the shows b.s Board Meeting meets Harlem Ghetto scenes. Urgh, I can’t stand that show, but I digress…

The Fashion Engineer in all its fab creative glory can be perused here.

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Sayedero and I @ Bogobiri House, V.I.

Afropolitan

He Got Style

This week, these men are giving me L-I-F-E.  From tailored street style to Nigerian trad to everyday eazynow casual wear with a twist; these men make me want to stand up and cheer, ‘Let’s hear it for the Boy!’

Fix Up, Print Sharp

Laurenceourac.wordpress.com

Laurenceourac.wordpress.com

Casually Stripey

mjandstuff.wordpress.com

mjandstuff.wordpress.com

Regal in White

Bella Naija

Bella Naija

Hey Shorty!

hegotstyle4Snazzy Print Tailoring

Toovia

Toovia

Mr Dashiki Fabulous

hegotstyle6Its a toughie, but I’m going for Mr Snazzy Print Tailoring, he has such a natural air about him: the way he paired his ensemble with those trainers and mix match necklaces & bracelets- Bravo!  I’d love to see more men experiment with colour, print and accessories like this…So who gets your vote? Do tell, I’d love to know!

Afropolitan

Latest Work/Style Mood Boards/Trends

Hey Everyone, I’ve been M.I.A from the blogosphere for a while.  As the filming date for my Silverbird TV (STV) Show draws nigh, my blogging will be more sporadic, but I’ll always come back. Between organising and shooting my TV Promo Images, working with STV’s Head of Marketing, liasing with the cameraman, trying to find a model to feature for the show, writing the script for the show, doing work for the school and then dealing with L.I.F.E, sheeeeeeEEET…

Now back to the Topic At Hand, recently I was the Style Consultant for a friend of mine- Ernest O Look- who has set up a casual wear line, ‘Ernest Look’.  To launch his online shop, he organised a shoot featuring male models and a female model wearing his custom-made T-Shirts.  As the models would be wearing his T’s incorporated with their clothes, part of my job as Style Consultant was to send mood board images and text to the team illustrating the various ways his T’s could be incorporated with smart and casual ensembles.

Strictly speaking, my To-Do list was overflowing but what really convinced me to do the shoot was the female model-Lisa aka Leeza- is a close friend of mine.  I love to do photo shoots with close friends and such opportunities come so rarely, that when they do, I’m on it!

With regards to the Menswear, my favourite look was the look modelled by one of the male models, Noah.  For one of his looks, I was inspired by this particular image I found online:

Blazer and Shorts Menswear Trend

ernest2I can’t tell you how much I adore this look and the model (that ‘caveman’ beard with that artfully messy ponytail…it really inspires me to do a menswear ‘Summer Tailoring’ shoot…but I digress…)

So imagine my delight when Noah told me that seeing this image, he was inspired to go to H & M and buy this blazer and shorts:

ernest10ernest7He nailed it, right down to the notebook and errrrryTING!

Black Blazer with Trousers/Leggings Womenswear Trend

With Leeza, I liked the ‘No Nonesense Sexy Vibe’ of this image I saw online:

ernest22On the day, I styled her in this ensemble:

ernest12Fitted T and Pencil Skirt Womenswear Trend

For summer, you can’t go wrong with a chic pairing of a pencil skirt with a fitted T, punctuated with fab statement accessories.  Write that down.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

ernest24On the day, I styled Leeza in these looks:

ernest14

ernest5

Photo by Philipp Primus

My favourite models together:

ernest17Random 80s Throwback Shot

If you’re a stylist, you know how it is: there are always looks you style on the day that weren’t on your mood board, on the day you get inspired and pull a look out of your ass…this was my hat/ass trick:

Photo by Philipp Primus

Photo by Philipp Primus

Photo by Philipp Primus

Photo by Philipp Primus

Crop Top and Ankara Print Skirt, Womenswear Trend

Since I discovered this image by Nigerian Style Maven, Folake Huntoon (Style Pantry), I’ve been longing to buy Ankara print material and get a midi skirt made.

Style Pantry

Style Pantry

And so I did, but I paired my Ankara skirt with a crop top and previewed the ensemble at the shoot:

ernest21ernest20

My Credits: Skirt (custom made) Crop Top (Random Teeny Bopper shop in Port Harcourt), Belt (Port Harcourt Boutique), Necklace (H&M), Earrings (Gift), Bracelets (Vintage), Butterflies (Claire’s Accessories), Shoes (Faith).

Behind The Scenes Shots

L to R, Leeza, Moi and Designer, Ernest O Look

L to R, Leeza, Moi and Casual Wear Designer, Ernest O Look

ernest13

L to R, Leeza, Ernest, Noah and Moi

All The Models Wearing Various Ernest Look T's

All The Models Wearing Various Ernest Look T’s

And with my girl,ernest18

It really was a great Berlin Day…weather was on point, and I was doing one of the things I love…

And back to you, which is/are your favourite trend/s here? What look would you wear or do you like men wearing? Do tell I’d love to know!

Afropolitan

African Designers Exhibit During Berlin Fashion Week S/S 16

On 9th July, I attended PREMIUM Exhibitions- an international fashion trade show- that takes place twice each year during fashion week in Berlin.  It’s a hell of an event, packed with various designers (fashion and accessories) from all over the world exhibiting their products in individual stalls.

I attended the event because I had been commissioned by Berlin-based, SUPERIOR magazine to interview the African designers who were showing their S/S 16 collections, under the initiative Africa Fashion Day Berlin (AFDB).

The 3 designers showing were: Adama Paris (based in Dakar, Senegal), Gloria Wavumunno (Kampala, Uganda) and Alexandra Tamele (Berlin, Germany).

I had a fun time interviewing the designers, learning about the inspiration behind their individual collections, their different journeys, obstacles faced and so on.

I can’t give too much away because it will all be broken down when the article is out, which I will post here for you Lovelies.

Until then, here are some of the pictures I took at the event.

Designer, Adama Paris and I. Isn’t she so beautiful, she’s been in the business for about 13 years, but doesn’t look a day over 21!  As I interviewed her, I was almost hypnotized by all that radiance…Bitch. Ha!

014In making her highly feminine collection rich in pinks and embellishment: Adama Paris was inspired by a cosmopolitan African woman who enjoyed going out.

020Designer, Gloria Wavumunno.

004Gloria told me that she was inspired by her rural surroundings in Kampala when making her collection. For instance she translated the marshmallow-white clouds into puffy white pieces and used ‘Nature Colours’ like moss green.

019Designer, Alexandra Tamale didn’t make the interview, nevertheless, here is her collection.

018I loved the colours used in her collection and I need her multi-coloured print jacket (featured below) in my life.

005Loving how the lady on the far right piled on her over-sized Ankara print bracelets.

009This lady’s style brought a huge smile to my face…I just love a woman who does a damn good job fusing African prints with a Western aesthetic.

001From the clothes racks, what do you think of the collections by the 3 designers?

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