I came across the Meme below on Instagram about 2 weeks ago and it wrecked my life; I was in hypothetical tears on seeing it. Once you see the outfit details, you’ll understand why. I am so ashamed of how much I now shop at H&M which used to be my go-to store only when I need an item or two urgently. Being the co-founder of The African Fascinator, a little Etsy store selling handmade jewelry and accessories with African fabric, you’d think I wear African print very often; the reverse is the case. And I think I know why.
Early into our venture, I separated myself from the products I so that I’d upload them to our store instead of keeping them for myself. It worked. Don’t get me wrong, I made one or two earrings for myself but I barely wore them. People, especially MyStyleOasis kept encouraging me to don my wares more often as a means of advertising them. I tried sometimes.
Another possible reason I distanced myself from wearing African prints often is Westernization. Before the Western world became obsessed with African fabric, we would only wear our custom made clothes to ceremonial gatherings like weddings, funerals, church. But upon Westernization, African fabric has become enormously commercialized and used not just to make clothes but accessories (like I do) and home decor. I’m happy that as much as Western designers source for our fabric and sell items at exorbitant prices, our indigenous designers have risen up to the challenge (like our store) and doubled their aptitude. In my next post, I’ll list some of my favorite African designers.
So back to Westernization, it is hard for me to get used to the fact I can walk into a store – I’ll use Forever21 as an example because I’ve heard they stock African print items – and see dresses in African print (also known as wax or ankara) being labeled as “tribal print” or simply “print”. This is where my rage at Westernization begins and ends. You wouldn’t toy with, say, Indian fabric and call it print. So why does everything from Africa have to be taken and torn into pieces without credit or reverence? My friend did a great job by blogging about the different types of African fabric. Please take a look here.
End of rant.
The rest of this post shows how I infused African print into my outfit with 2 different purses. The first purse was a graduation present. The second is from The African Fascinator’s Etiedo Clutch Collection.
Top: H&M || Pants: H&M || Shoes: Justfab || Bracelets: Express (old) || Purse: Gift
Because this week’s 4 Ways to Wear post was about how to style Cutouts…
See the rest of the Etiedo Clutch Collection by The African Fascinator
I had the pleasure of working on this photo-shoot with my friend whom I’ve recently turned into the official face of TheAfricanFascinator. Shhh! Don’t tell her that. She is really great to work with and we both took turns on the camera. Here are some of the pictures from the shoot and I hope you like the purses. See the end of this post for a link to the store.
Thank you for stopping by. You can buy these purses here.