29 Jul 2011

My Asho Pop-Up Boutique– African fashion and flair emerges in West London

My Asho, the UK based online fashion store, which stocks items from leading African designer brands is proud to announce its first pop-up shopping event on the 13th and 14th of August in Notting Hill, London.

Available under one roof will be the latest collections from top Fashion, Accessory, Children and
Homeware designers from all over Africa including Tiffany Amber Ng, Christie Brown Ghana, Jewel by Lisa, Urbanknit, Ituen Basi, Nkwo, Kemkem Studio, Zedeye, Zebra Living, Kiki Clothing, Cocoabella and Aimas.

The boutique will be situated in the heart of Notting Hill at 47 Pembridge Road, and will offer stylish, limited edition pieces at affordable prices. These pieces will only be available to purchase at the My Asho pop-up boutique and will not be featured on the MyAsho.com site. On exclusive display will be:

  • casually tailored, off-duty chic clothing and whimsical accessories from TAN by Tiffany Amber Ng
  • the recently launched J Label: the diffusion line from Jewel by Lisa
  • beautifully embellished, hand-painted, t-shirts by Aimas
  • unique, handmade clutches and limited edition tie-dye batik shawls from Urbanknit
  • dazzling yet classic pieces from Zedeye including pieces from the Tribal Romance SS11 collection
  • gorgeous accessories and dresses by Christie Brown Ghana
  • clothing, accessories and homeware in stunning African prints by Ituen Basi
  • free spirited, nomadic pieces from Nkwo
  • signature styles infusing traditional woven African fabrics from KKS by Kemkem Studio
  • clean, practical and wearable pieces from the Zebra Living “Mara” Collection
  • stylish and fun casual wear by sport-chic brand Cocoabella
  • afro-centric designs for ladies and kids by Kiki Clothing
The event presents a unique opportunity to view in-person the detailed craftsmanship, vibrancy and
boldness of items typically sold via MyAsho.com. The pop-up shop will be available for a limited time only and collections will be available while stocks last with average prices ranging from £5-£85.

Femi Shobanjo, CEO My Asho says “this is a definite milestone. It is the first time a retail space in such a prime location has been 100% dedicated to top African designers. It just shows the demand is there for these pieces. We are very excited for our designers”

Join us at the My Asho Pop-Up Boutique

When: Saturday 13th August 2011: 10am - 6pm

Sunday 14th August 2011: 10am – 6pm

Where: 47 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill, W11 3HG, London, United Kingdom

Website: www.myasho.com

Email: enquiries@myasho.com

28 Jul 2011

Renegade Craft Fair London

Call for artists!
Applications for the first-ever Renegade Craft Fair London close FRIDAY!

The Renegade Craft Fair is headed across the pond to The Old Truman Brewery for our 1st Ever London Fair on October 8+9, 2011, from
11am – 6pm each day! Along with hundreds of today’s best makers of handmade goods, we’ll be hosting hands-on crafting workshops and planning a handful of fun surprises! This exciting indoor showcase of indie-craft is free-to-attend!

Applications for independent craft artists hoping to be a part of this fantastic event close this Friday, July 29!

Check out all the application details and
submit yours here!

At the Renegade Craft Fair you can expect to find only the best indie-craft and DIY artisans! Featuring both local and international talent, shoppers can anticipate a vast array of independently designed jewelry, clothing, paper goods, home + garden goods, posters, artwork, plush objects, bath + body products, and so much more!!

Learn more about the history of The Renegade Craft Fair here!

27 Jul 2011

MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week

In recognition of the abundance of creativity and business potential in the Nigerian fashion and design industry, Style House, in association with Lagos State, has partnered with MTN to launch the MTN Lagos Fashion & Design Week 2011 (MTN LFDW 2011). MTN Nigeria, being Nigeria’s leading telecommunications provider is the headline sponsor of the Fashion Week, thus harnessing their position in the Industry as leaders. According to Mr. Kola Oyeyemi- GM Consumer marketing, “MTN is not only in the business of selling airtime rather the business is committed to delivering her brand promise by enriching the lives of her customers via exciting and engaging platforms that connect with the passions of her customers. Fashion in Nigeria is a growing industry and there is a need to develop young talents who are vital in the development of Nigeria’s economy”.

The event will target an audience of young, socially conscious and upwardly mobile members of the society. Individuals from the fashion industry such as designers, models, stylists, photographers and make up artists, are also expected to attend.

This event aims to create a platform for Nigeria’s innovative designers and entrepreneurs to present their work before a focused target audience – a vital tool for the creative development of the industry and its positioning in the Nigerian economy. It will support:

  • Multiple daily runway shows from various designers who will present their new collections to a dedicated audience of potential buyers, retailers and the press during the four (4) day period
  • A Design Exhibition over the 4 Day period will also showcase the best of design – fashion, textile, jewellery, interior, product, photography and innovative products
  • MTN LFDW awards – co – sponsored by British Council, is an initiative that aims to promote the development and growth of creatives in the industry by nurturing, fine tuning and harnessing their skills as well as providing them with a solid platform for achieving their goals.

MTN LFDW 2011 awards

As part of MTN’s commitment to enriching lives, MTN, supported by British Council, is providing a learning experience and capacity building for people in the fashion industry. MTN LFDW 2011 awards is giving designers, fashion entrepreneurs and models a chance to compete for the:

  • MTN British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur of the Year Awards
  • MTN British Council Young Designer of the Year Awards;
  • MTN Model of the Year Award

MTN British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur of the Year Awards aims to promote entrepreneurship and provide support for the growing Fashion Industry in Nigeria. It is open to:

  • Fashion, textile, accessories or perfume design and production
  • Fashion promotion: shows, exhibitions, festivals, events
  • Fashion presentation: styling, photography
  • Fashion retail: buying, merchandising
  • Fashion product research, sourcing, supply chain management
  • Fashion marketing, PR, branding, communications, journalism, and publishing


  • Applicants must be between 21 to 40 years
  • Have at least three years of work experience in the fashion sector
  • Display entrepreneurial skills through promotion of the Nigerian fashion industry in either a commercial context, public context, or both.
  • Demonstrate leadership potential in the fashion industry through your character, drive and abilities.
  • Applicants who are primarily academics are unlikely to be short-listed or successful.


  • A star prize of N1,000,000 (One million naira) presented by MTN Nigeria to the winner
  • A tour of London Fashion Week and Design Week London by British Council
  • Networking workshops facilitated by British Council

MTN British Council Young Designer of the Year award


  • Designer must be under 30 years of age at the time of application
  • Designers will be required to send sample sketches of their work and samples of finished garments
  • Designers must be fully trained or have sufficient knowledge of fashion design
  • Designers must not have had an opportunity to market their own collections
  • Designers must be capable of developing and presenting their own designs for MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week


  • A star prize win of a brand new Hyundai Jeep valued at N4,000,000 presented by MTN Nigeria to the winner
  • Opportunity for 12 finalists to present a collection at MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2011
  • Master classes facilitated by British Council to harness skills of the 12 finalist for MTN LFDW 2011

MTN Model of the Year


  • between the ages of 15 and 22
  • must not be a registered model or have a modelling contract
  • 5 feet 8inches tall (minimum)
  • have photos to send
  • experience – a minimum 6 months and maximum of 12 months)
  • ready to be an international ambassador


  • N1,000,000 (One Million) cash prize donated by MTN Nigeria
  • Training and grooming session for the 12 finalists provided by Beth Models
  • Contract with Beth Africa Modelling Agency and winner also gets a chance to enter for Beth Model’s Elite Model Look Nigeria 2012

The call for entry to apply for any of the above mentioned award category is now on. Please log on to www.lagosfashionanddesignweek.com. Applicants have a chance to submit their applications between 30th of June and 24th of July when call for entry officially closes.

MTN LFDW Awards 2011 will have road shows across three states to screen short listed applicants from the Call to Entry process.

Port Harcourt: 25th and 26th July – British Council Office, 127 Olu Obasanjo Road, Port Harcourt GRA Phase 2, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Abuja: 28th and 29th July – British Council Office Plot 3645, IBB Way, Maitama, Garki Abuja

Lagos: 2nd and 3rd August – British Council Office, 20 Thompson Avenue, Off Bourdillon, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.

These applicants will be screened by a panel of judges, well respected in various fields within the industry. Following the road shows will be Seminars and workshops for successful finalists in each of the categories except the MTN British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur of the Year – winner will be announced shortly after the screening process.

For more information please visit the MTN LFDW website: www.lagosfashionanddesignweek.com

25 Jul 2011

Alien Batik Megasnap Clutch

Alien Batik Megasnap Clutch, originally uploaded by Urbanknit.

My love for Batik continues. I have many favourite fabrics but this one holds a special place in my heart.

22 Jul 2011

TAFA- The Textile And Fiber Art List

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List is an international membership organisation that seeks to help its members find larger audiences and markets for their work. Launched in January, 2010, TAFA's first members and supporters were art quilters who quickly understood the potential TAFA offered in bringing together small businesses with a fiber art and textile focus. The membership now includes weavers, dyers, and the whole spectrum of contemporary and traditional textile techniques from around the world. As of May, 2011, we have 273 members from 23 countries.

As the web has increasingly become central to finding an audience and sustaining a business, more and more time and energy goes into learning how to promote via social media and other trends. TAFA helps centralise these efforts and provides tools and communities for the members so that they can be found more easily by the larger audience. Several niches have developed within TAFA. We have communities on Facebook, Etsy, and Flickr. Member blogs are streamed together on our site and on to our Facebook page. Coming together in these ways means that there is a much greater chance of being found rather than swimming out there in cyberspace all alone.

Now that TAFA has grown to a decent size, our Blogger platform has become unwieldy, making it hard to explore what our members really have to offer. Aside from the gorgeous products that our members have for sale, we also have a gold mine of expertise and talent that needs to be accessed. Many or our members offer workshops, have published books, give lectures, and several have fascinating global tours that focus on textiles. We want our audience to have access to these gifts. We also want to centralise our knowledge and have a place where members who need help can find mentors and guidance as they build their businesses. During this first year it has become clear that although many of our members are tech savvy, others are completely overwhelmed with new technologies. Our new website will provide tutorials or referrals to help them learn some of these skills.

TAFA has unique potential both for its members and for the community at large. The new website offers tools that we cannot develop on our current platform and we hope that YOU will help us achieve this vision. TAFA's New Website.

We have contracted with a talented tech team, Horizon Media Group, which can deliver our dream site. The site will have a powerful search engine with image based results. Each member will have their own landing page which they can edit at will. Their presence on the web will be documented there and they will submit images which will show up as search results, linking back to their member profile. There will be separate pages with streamed information for their member blogs and events. A member only section will have tools and links for the members. Users will be able to search through a menu of categories, by key words, location, and price range. The site will integrate fully with social media sites.

Who will benefit from the new site?

  • TAFA Members are the obvious first benefactors, but there are others.
  • Shoppers: Members and their products will be easily found. TAFA aims to become THE destination for anyone interested in textiles and fiber art. Those looking for handmade gifts, a new textile for their wall, commissioned work for churches and corporations, functional quilts, ethnic textiles, wearable art, toys, and other products made by our members will be able to find them. Galleries and boutiques will find new suppliers. Museums will find new artists and sources.
  • Writers: Book and blog authors who write about textiles and fiber art will have a place where they can come and readily find people and product to write about.
  • Other artists: TAFA already is a source of inspiration for the fiber art community. But, perhaps many do not know that our members are also a great source for supplies. We have members selling dyes, fabric, textile stamps, vintage textile remnants, ribbons, roving, yarns, along with many other tools and products that are phenomenal. Many of them follow fair trade or green practices and combined, they are an invaluable resource.
  • Students of fiber art: Many TAFA members have been leaders withing their niche for years. They offer workshops and have authored books. Site users will be able to see current projects, shows, blog updates, workshops, and watch videos made by or about our members.
  • Peer Organizations: The textile and fiber art community has scores of organizations around the world. Some are better known than others, but members will be able to add their affiliations as live links. For example, TAFA currently has 46 SAQA members. A TAFA member recently posted on our facebook group that she would be attending the conference and was wondering who else would be there. On the new site, visitors will be able to click on an affiliation and all TAFA members will pop up. Half of our members have shops on Etsy. Click on Etsy and members pop up, all illustrated by visual icons.
  • Travelers: One TAFA member recently traveled to Paris from the US. She looked up another TAFA member there and they had a great time! Most of our TAFA members have studios or workshops open to the public. We also have several galleries who are members. Visitors will be able to search members by location and find people they would like to visit. Isn't that the best way to learn about a new place you are visiting? The TAFA Connection!

What We Need and What You Get

Our Geek Team (said with affection) has estimated that our new site will cost $5,000.

We decided to use a crowd funding approach to move forward on the new site, so here we are!


What do you get? Well, if you are a textile/fiber art fan, you will understand the importance of what we are doing and will certainly benefit in one or more ways that were listed above. If you support the arts in general, you will know how hard this economy has been on the whole industry. Many of us who are trying to make it in the arts really feel like survivors as we have watched our normal supporters struggle with their own losses. We are living in chaotic times with financial, human and ecological disasters happening worldwide. If you have the financial ability to support us and decide to do so, you will definitely have the feel good reward for helping us move ahead so that we can help ourselves. And, of course, we are offering some perks to thank you as we can. The perks on the sidebar give a general outline of what we can offer. As some members are offering perks which are limited in quantity, we are creating a page on our site which will be updated with available donations. The most important thing we hope you will get is enjoyment and use of our dream site when it is launched. How will your money be used? Our Geek Team has broken down the site into phases which can be launched as we move along. The first phase is the hardest as it builds the background of the site and its search engine. This first phase will cost around $3,000. We will post updates here and on our site as we move along. If we exceed our goal with this fundraiser, we will use the money to promote our site in other places where we can start finding those markets we long for.

What does it take to raise $5,000?

Money is the obvious answer and we have broken it down:

104 New Members ($48). Do you know of other people or businesses who could benefit by joining TAFA? Have them take a look at our criteria on this page. The membership fee is a one-time fee with no renewals. It will be going up to $75 when the new site is launched.

23 Non-Member Sponsor Ads ($215/yr). Similar sites to our future one charge about this per week! Just 23 people advertising for one year could make our dream site come true. Sponsor info is on this page. Current ads will transfer to the new site.

50 $100 donations, 250 $20 donations or 500 $10 donations. It all adds up and we appreciate every penny.

Other Ways You Can Help

Share, share, share! Send the link to this campaign to specific people whom you think might be interested in what we are doing. Then, do the social media thing: Share it on facebook, twitter, and blog about us. Spread the word and make this happen! Stay involved: Sign up on our mailing list and follow TAFA as it grows. You will find a MailChimp box on the right sidebar of our website. Get to know our members. Explore our member profiles (long list on the right sidebar, scroll down quite a bit or explore through the Themes and Places index below that). Crowd funding options have become a popular way of funding so many dreams and it was hard to know which site to pick. We believe that IndieGoGo has the base that can understand and support our dream and we appreciate having this opportunity to share TAFA and its growth with you. Comments or suggestions? Use the Comments tab here and let's have a dialog!

21 Jul 2011

See you tomorrow at the Sale

Don't forget, we will be in Islington on Saturday the 23rd of July.

New shawls, clutches, totes, pouches, starting from £5.00. Great discounts and prizes to be given away, including a holiday!

Date: Saturday 23rd July, 2011
Time: 11am to 5pm
Where: The Johnston Room, St Mary's Church, Upper Street, Islington, N1 2TX.

18 Jul 2011

FELA! is back in London

Following its sell out success at the National Theatre and a triple Tony Award-winning run on Broadway, FELA! arrives at Sadler’s Wells this summer, bursting with colour, infectious live music and exuberant dance.

The show has recently finished a short run in Lagos, Nigeria the birthplace for of the man himself. The energy, the music, the dance, this is show is highly recommended as there is simply nothing else like it!

Ticket office: 0844 412 4300
Where: Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN
Performance times: Tue - Sun at 7.30pm, Sat and Sun Mats at 2.30pm
Tickets £15 - £50

9 Jul 2011

A Splash of Colour from Urbanknit

We are launching our new limited edition line of tie-dye shawls. The Splash Shawl, as it is called, comes in nine unique colour combinations: Indigo, Earth, Night Kite, Night Cube, Alien, Mint Choc, African Violet, Wild Berry and Olive Autumn.

This is a very exciting line for us as we diversify our range of scarves. It is a unique accessory that injects spirit into one’s style with vivid patterns and hues.

Browse the current collection here.

7 Jul 2011

Cool Tees Thursday- Dirty Face

Brought to you by Dirty face who I came across over the weekend at Artsmart. Fab in-your-face graphics, right up my street! This one is called Mr Silverster and The Sockmonkey.

Sadly they do not make female tees, but they are pretty cool all the same. Do browse their site and look at the work of the great artists that collaborate to produce these fun tees.

5 Jul 2011

Independent Designers Summer Sale

We are teaming up with Bena Clothing, Esska Shoes, Labour of Love and Sonya Kashmiri for a day of retail therapy. Come join us and get some great deals on Urbanknit pieces.

Please save the date and drop by on the day. Prizes to be won as well as great discounts on offer.

Date: 23rd July, 2011
Time: 11am to 5pm
Where: The Johnston Room, St Mary's Church, Upper Street, Islington, N1 2TX.

This is a one day event, so make sure you don't miss it. See you there!
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