Ankara Print Dresses


Nomi by Naomi- The Woman Behind The Brand

Jennifer Naomi Spieker, is the designer and founder of the label, Nomi by Naomi, which is based in Amsterdam.

Naomi on the left. Courtesy of AFDB.

The collection she showed during Africa Fashion Day Berlin, A/W 13, added a splash of vibrant colour to the catwalk.  Models walked down the runway in ensembles that were made predominantly from 100% African Ankara materials. In my opinion, what makes her collection wearable, for even those who are print-shy is amongst the full-blown colourful, printed pieces, there lies pieces that are more subtle in their delivery, for e.g. a denim dress with Ankara print detailing on the collar, or a cream coloured, sheer tunic.  And then there are her bracelets, which I adore- geometric cut-out  bracelets made out of Ankara print which the extrovert can layer up her arm, or which the introvert can use sparingly.

Courtesy of Coolfunpedia.blogspot.com

Courtesy of Coolfunpedia.blogspot.com

Courtesy of news.yahoo.com.

Courtesy of news.yahoo.com.

This combination is intentional by the designer, and she uses a mix of western materials such as denim, tweed and jersey with African textiles to create a look that is modern, ‘urban chic’. Her vision is to ‘bring colour into the European wardrobe and to generally introduce the Ankara material into the European fashion world’.

In my bid to find more about the woman behind the brand, I asked her some probing questions-

When I was a child I wanted to be… an interior designer.

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be…to be more focused.

Courtesy of Albinaonline.com

Courtesy of Albinaonline.com

 If I am having guests over and I want to impress them I cook…Peanut soup.

The last dream I had was about…I don’t remember…

  My favourite piece from my collection is…my hooded scarf.

Courtesy of Nomi by Naomi

 My favourite piece of clothing in my wardrobe is…a vintage LBD.

The ‘Nomi by Naomi’ customer is…outspoken and dares to wear bold colour and prints.

The greatest thing about being one of the Runway designers at AFDB was…getting out of my comfort zone.

The celebrity I’d most like to see wearing my designs is…Solange Knowles.

Courtesy of Midcoker.blogspot.de

Solange Knowles. Courtesy of Midcoker.blogspot.de.

If my house was burning and I had to rush in to save one thing, it would be…my husband.

My biggest trend prediction for A/W 13 is….statement prints.

To me ‘urban chic’ is…comfortable, wearable but still unique.

What inspires my work/collections the most are…the people around me.

 My biggest hope for my brand is…for it to be internationally known.

 The last album I bought/downloaded is…Solange Knowles’s latest album, True.

 The film, person or book that changed my life was…well, it was a quote in Sister Act said by Whoopi Goldberg’s character, ‘If you want to be somebody, or go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention.’

Courtesy of Albinaonline.com

Courtesy of Albinaonline.com

My biggest regret is…I don’t have any.

My proudest moment  so far in my life is…in general, following my dreams to become a designer.

The last time I laughed so hard, I cried was…(laughs) I do that every day!

 The advice I would give to my teenage self is…everything is possible, no matter how many times people tell you otherwise.

Courtesy of Albinaonline.com

Courtesy of Albinaonline.com

Nomi by Naomi will be introducing Spring, vintage shorts and a selection of scarves to its online store in late February, 2013.


Ask Biki...

Ask Biki- Civil Wedding African Style


Dear Biki

I am planning to have a civil wedding in NYC this Fall and would like my African culture to be reflected in my outfit.  However I don’t want to look like my parents, i.e I want to look youthful and stylish.  What do you suggest?

Thank you, Patricia


Dear Patricia

First of all- congratulations!  And now how to ensure that your African culture can be perceived in your ensemble without looking like you are a few decades late to audition for the Imani Izzi, ‘Barking dog, African princess’ role in ‘Coming To America’.

To suit the formality of the event, I would advise you to wear a fitted Ankara print dress, with a tailored jacket that has a matching block colour tone.  Jewel By Lisa, is a Nigerian label that has put a luxurious spin on Ankara print.  The brand’s modern take has seen it infusing cutting edge shapes, adding complimentary fabrics and embellishment onto the classic print, all of which will ensure that guests don’t confuse you with your mother on your special day-


Courtesy of Hauteafrica.comCourtesy of Hauteafrica.com

 A great way to bring out your African heritage in a subtle yet powerful way would be through accessories– for e.g. wearing coral beaded jewellery, an ankara clutch bag or an ankara print fabricator

Ankara print fabricator, courtesy of www.myasho.com


Courtesy of Akmosaic.blogspot.com

Etsy also do a unique selection of African inspired jewellery

Courtesy of Etsy.com

If you are feeling particularly creative, you could also arrange for a gele to be tied on your head-

Courtesy of Nairaland.com

Urbanknit also have a spectacular wide range of Ankara print clutches

Courtesy of www.urbanknit.com

Furthermore, African hairstyles like small braids or intricate cornrows will bring out your ethnicity in a subtle and very attractive way.

To crown your look, I would advise on opaque tights (preferably black) and vertiginous stilettos

Enjoy your very special day! x


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