Africans, friends of Africa, Fashionistas, B Boys will enjoy this collection!
Proud to be African? Well this one's for you. A new apparel brand was recently launched in the UK to showcase the beauty of African design and African clothing: Proud To Be African Clothing.
“Whenever one see’s images from Africa in the media the images are generally negative. However, this is a different reality from the Africa that I and others grew up in," says founder of Proud to be African Clothing Chidi, explaining the rationale behind the brand.
"Last year I saw a presentation by Chimamanda Adichie to TED on the ‘The Dangers of a single story' which covered the dangers of seeing a situation from only one perspective, so I resolved to put my money where my mouth is and put out a product that carried a positive message of Africa everyone could wear and relate to that gave the other side of the story.”
The London brand produces T shirts, hoodys, childrens clothes and baby apparel that is comfortable, trendy and has positive images of Africa everyone can wear and relate to.It aims to be more than just urban wear or casual wear, it aims to be a movement or a feeling; that warm, fuzzy feeling Africa evokes whenever she comes to mind!
Inua say’s “When I was asked to design for the project, I searched for a single iconic image to pair with the slogan ‘Proud to be African’. But nothing besides continent worked, confirming my belief that Africa is beyond a single story or concept and its narrative is beyond the sum of its parts”. This viewpoint is reflected in his designs one of which was eventually used as the Proud To Be African logo bringing together impressions of traditional African masks and tribal patterning. His other design is based on the theme ‘Born in the UK, Made in Africa’. “The brief essentially was to capture the reality and emotions that that statement conveys” said Chidi, “it’s essentially the modern diasporan African’s way of rendering to Caesar what is Caesars and to Africa what is Africa’s!”
Tayo’s drawing showed his Nigerian bias and was inspired by iconic images from Nigerian history and culture with a brief to visually represent the slogan ‘Proud To Be African’, in his own words, “Sketching this iconic posture has to date been one of my favourite drawings in its simplicity. The effect around his hands is my interpretation of Black Power”.
The garments are priced competitively in order to spread the Proud To Be African message as far as possible and also, move African designs into the realm of urbanwear.
The designers and founders hope that the African themed designs will find their niche not just in African fashion, but in ethical, hip hop and casual wear.
"'Business is on an upward slope with each months sales exceeding the previous month. Although we're still trying to achieve our targets the trend are very strong and positive for that to be fulfilled. The best things so far have been that everyone loves the brand and designs and is keen to get one and express that Proud to be African statement, which is exactly the brand is about!" says founder Chidi.
Proud To Be African Clothing s garments are ideal as a gift for friends or loved ones or as a little treat for yourself. And until 1st October 2011, customers can get 10% off all purchases using the discount code ‘Nigeria50’.