Ohema Ohene: African Men’s Fashion

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It’s rare to encounter a menswear line that has just the right mix of African and Western. Ohema Ohene is one of those African brands that has achieved just the right combination. This Ghanaian clothing range caught my attention with their Afro-urban hoodies.

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The label’s name, Ohema Ohene means Queen and King in Twi (a language spoken in Ghana). Founded by Abenaa Pokuaa, this brand caters for both genders without compromising on either. But without a doubt, their menswear takes the cake.

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And did I mention that Ohema Ohene also has amazing accessories? Ties, hats, shoes and even boxers.

For a sneak peek into their women’s range, check out the Jozichic facebook page.

For more Ohema Ohene, visit their website.

* all pics from Ohema Ohene

Tons of African LoVe,
Amandla

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Boity’s Bottom: an analysis

pic from sowetanlive.co.za

pic from sowetanlive.co.za

Just when I thought I’d let this one pass me by… Boity’s bottom has been the talk of the week since Marie Claire’s Naked Issue was launched this Monday. My significant other candidly suggested they make it a national monument; I’m sure South Africa’s heterosexual men agree. We all know that the Naked Issue’s purpose is to raise funds for charities, this year 36 celebrities went Full Monty for The Lunchbox Fund (check out their site).

Nothing wrong with that right? Well, personally it seems that the greater part of the population does not give a B’s ass why the shoot took place: all eyes are on Boity’s bottom. And what a bottom she has – Nicki Minaj ain’t got nothing on that! As I read comments and spoke to a handful of people I realised that all of them have no idea which charity the money was being raised for and now that the photo is out there, no one seems to care about going out and purchasing their copy of the magazine. As long as they have a print-out of Boity’s apple bottom, they are happy chappies.

On the other hand, I am grateful that Boity showed off her nude body and truth be told: if you’re sexy, you’re just sexy. And as much as her photo has succeeded in turning cute little puppies into rabid wild dogs, I do believe that once the testosterone wears out, our male population will learn more about the Lunchbox Fund and contribute, in whichever way they can. Boity’s bottom has really touched on many people’s morality: should one just disregard the campaign as a ploy to use sexuality for funds (like prostitution?) or should one regard it as using sexuality positively (to make a meaningful contribution in our impoverished societies)? This issue has helped me (and hopefully many of you out there) realise that we are living in very conflicted and contradictory times and sometimes the best way to stay sane is to have an open mind and focus on the end result. And keep our ears open for Marie Claire’s announcement on how much was raised for the Lunchbox Fund.

Apple Bottom LoVe,
Amandla

Whitenicious: White is the New Black

Black Beauty... image from that1960chick.com

Black Beauty… image from that1960chick.com

Before today I had never heard of this “international Pop singer”: I have no idea what her music even sounds like! But Nigerian-Cameroonian Dencia launched what her company dubs “a high-end skin care product” which has the ability transform black skin to gorgeous fair skin because they believe that black people have been marginalized by international cosmetic companies and endured decades of neglect. I’m not kidding you, that’s what it says on their website.

Aptly titled, Whitenicious, this product’s main aim is to make black people look white. After reading up on this product and encountering the baffling news that the range sold out within a day, I realised just how naïve I have been. The signs have been everywhere. Just watch Beyoncè’s videos and take a look at our very own Mshoza; she sees skin lightening as a personal choice, no different from breast implants or a having nose job. And honestly, I have to agree with Mshoza though. When have you encountered a black woman who had a nose job done to make it flatter, bigger, more black? There you go.

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Dencia

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It’s about beauty and our perceptions of beauty. It’s about wanting to live a certain lifestyle. It’s about self-perception. It’s the challenges faced by blacks which whites seem immune to. It’s about our history. It’s about following tends.

LoVe yourself,
Amandla

NV Hairstylists

NV Hairstylists

As a young girl my mom had to constantly remind me that “ubuhle buyanyamezelwa”, implying that if I wanted to be beautiful I would have to hold back the tears as the hairdresser burnt my scalp with the relaxer cream, then the hairdryer, then with the curling tongs. I hated visits to the hair salon. And that fear has stayed with me for years.

In December of last year I paid one of the many Joburg CBD hair salons a visit. All I wanted was a wash. Usually I do my own hair. That is how I have been able to avoid hair salons for the past 15 odd years. so I walk into this salon and calm myself down: it’s just a wash, how bad could it possibly be? Within a few seconds of the hairdresser touching my head I was teleported to my days as a young girl. The woman’s long nails dug into head, almost tearing my scalp open. This woman was not playing; she was literally fighting with my hair. Water was splashing on my face, crawling into my ears and trickling down my back. I sighed with relief once that was over. Then came hair drying time. My heart started racing and I could not help but cringe. I knew what was coming – and it came, alright.

My hair was pulled and tugged with a fine comb (how could this woman not have seen that I walked in with an afro?), the scalding brutality of the hot air stung my poor scalp. I recalled my mom’s words and I endured. Finally the woman let go and packed away the dryer. She then gave me a comb so that I could style my own hair – seriously!

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Nonie

With this daunting memory still fresh in my mind, I cautiously entered the Good Hair Today salon in Commissioner Street. Minimalist, spacious, chic and unbelievably clean, I was welcomed by friendly staff who took the time to look me in the eye and smile as they spoke. I introduced myself to Barbara, the NV Hairstylist I would have to trust with my hair.

“The NV Hairstylist concept came about when I partnered with a friend with the intention of starting up a salon”, shared Nonhlanhla ‘Nonie’ Nxumalo. In 2013 Nonie started a weave-selling business called Nuovo Hair. Because of the high quality and cost of the weave, many of Nonie’s clients worried that black hairdressers just didn’t know how to correctly install weaves. Nonie saw the opportunity to increase her income stream by providing her clients with experts to install the weaves. And so, NV Hairstylists was born.

While doing her salon research, Nonie came across Good Hair Today Salon. “The salon is owned by internationally acclaimed American hairstylist, Brian Warfield. Warfield has been in this industry for about 20 years.” As a company, NV Hairstylists rents out a chair from Good Hair Today and employ hairstylists. The NV Hairstylists started operating this January and already, judging by their facebook page, have accumulated a satisfied clientele. Barbara is currently the only NV Hairstylist but more are scheduled to arrive to meet the demand. Although specialising in weaves, Barbara let me know that NV Hairstylists do all kinds of hair and hair treatment.

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Before…

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Washing…

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Drying…

Scalp care..

Scalp care..

You’re probably wondering how I handled my salon experience with Barbara… Well, she started off with washing my afro. Unlike the ordeal of my past experiences, this time I received a head massage. Barbara’s fingers gently caressed my scalp and I felt so relaxed. From the basin to the chair and I watched anxiously as the dreaded hairdryer was pulled out of the drawer. I held my breath. But there was no need. Barbara used a big wide-toothed comb and not once did I feel the burn of the hairdryer. Because I had just removed hair extensions, Barbara informed me that my hair needed to recover and so she would not plait my hair, opting to style it instead. It’s touching how a hairstylist can have such a concern for a client’s hair – as Siphiwe, the salon’s manager stated “We do not chase after money, we ensure that the client is educated about her hair”. And this cements why NV Hairstylists is at this particular hair salon.

After Barbara announced that she would style my hair I had no idea that it meant that the bloody curling tongs would be whipped out. To be technically correct, the latest version of the tongs, the flat iron, is whipped out. “I really don’t like those…” I confide in Barbara. I briefly explain how previous hairdressers almost burnt my ears off with the thing. Barbara smiles warmly and assures me that all will be fine. And to my great relief, it is.

I couldn’t believe it. I had a genuinely good experience at a hair salon. I walked in nervous and petrified and walked out feeling confident and beautiful. Needless to say, Barbara has not seen the last of me.

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After…



Visit the NV Hairstylists

Good Hair Today Salon
35 Surrey House
Corner Commissioner and Rissik Streets
Johannesburg CBD
011 492 0484

Hot Designers 2014: Sindiso Khumalo

Sindiso Kumalo... image from elle.co.za

Sindiso Kumalo… image from elle.co.za

We kick off this year with one of the designers Jozichic fell in love with in 2013 and we foresee her becoming a household name when it comes to SA Fashion. This young lady combines her architectural background with her passion for textiles and chic style to produce fashion with an edge and class.

Of her brand, Sindiso Khumalo says: “I really want my brand to be more about a sensibility and an attitude. The woman I design for has an attitude about clothing and about how she puts things together in her life. She could be really young, or very mature, but still shares a similar sensibility with the brand.”

Sindiso has already accomplished quite a lot: she has worked with award-winning architect David Adjaye; was chosen as a finalist for the 2012 ELLE South Africa Rising Star Award; has had one of her dresses nominated as the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at this year’s Design Indaba; and this years sees her clothing stocked at Luminance, Khanyi Dhlomo’s luxury store.

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For more information on Sindiso Khumalo, visit the website and facebook page

With LoVe,
Amandla

Diesel Tribute: Re-imagining the Future

pic from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

pic from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Diesel has been one of those brands that has managed to retain its quality and creativity through the years. Now in its 35th year of existence, Diesel is re-inventing itself once more and in this digital age, #DieselTribute Collection is on point.

Diesel’s new artistic director, Nicola Formichetti said of the collection “I feel that digital communication is having more and more importance in our daily life”. Nicola collaborated with photographer, Nick Knight and the shoot was entirely shot on iPhone. You heard right. Using phone and video applications, Nicola’s vision is one that fully engages with social media and ultimately, the world we now live in. The #DieselTribute capsule collection, which is made from denim ‘taken from past collections with rock inspirations’ consists of 11 pieces of apparel, 7 accessories and 4 intimate pieces.

To order your #DieselTribute denim article, visit the website.

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*Pics from dazeddigital.com

LoVe,
Amandla Kwinana

Jozichic LoVes… Wooden Purses

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These architectural looking, artisanal “wood skin” clutches are constructed from 100% wood + leather lining. The geometric surface design provides necessary flexibility and is soft to the touch, at once both delicate and wear resilient. Timeless yet innovative, these clutches will never go out of style.

Who are Tesler and Mendelovitch?

As a Tel Aviv textile design and development team, we incubate and create totally original, never-before-seen materials, transforming them into high quality custom-made products for industry, art and fashion. Our recent work has resulted in the transformation of wood into a new textile.

By applying traditional wood craftsmanship to new technology we introduced our first original “Diamond Wood” geometric wood surface home furnishing pieces. We have continued to develop our geometric wood surface material into other products, recently launching “Wearable Wood” – a new series of totally original, limited production, luxurious clutch purses.

These architectural looking, artisanal wood clutches are constructed from 100% wood and leather lining. While the geometric surface design provides necessary flexibility, the wood texture is soft to the touch, at once both delicate and wear resilient.

Featuring a magnetic clasp and a soft underbelly for a comfortable grip, all wood used in our designs is hand-selected, individually and meticulously crafted to a high quality standard.

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* all content and photos from the website. Also check out their facebook page.

LoVe…
Amandla Kwinana