If You Love Stunning African Inspired Accessories, Here Are 5 Companies You Must Check Out [Giveaway]
30 May 2015
I’ve always loved fashion, thanks in large part to my mother who used to own a seamstress shop in Uganda and continues to be a fly fashionista! Although my siblings and I grew up with an appreciation of our culture, it’s not until I became an adult that I really began to appreciate the vibrance, creativity, uniqueness, and just overall fly-ness of African fashion. In recent years, African inspired clothing has become the next hot trend—but given how even celebrities are rocking these threads regularly (think Estelle, Solange, Nicole Ari Parker), I have a feeling it’s less a trend, and more a statement: African fashion is here to stay.
But once you have the perfect outfit, where can you then find the perfect accessories to complement it? After combing the web to find African-inspired accessories that are unique and beautifully handcrafted, here are five which I highly recommend you check out:
Mak Bijoux Africains
If you’re looking for some really unique beadwork and chunky necklaces, this is definitely one site you should check out. Mak Bijoux Africains is a brand of jewelry created by Mak Samichou, a Cameroonian entrepreneur passionate about African culture. Her hand-made pieces are for those who love Afro chic style. I am loving these gorgeous necklaces and just about everything else in her collection. The company is based in Cameroon and orders currently don't ship to the U.S., but it’s worth it to check out her page just to be inspired by her creativity at https://www.facebook.com/pages/MAK-Bijoux-Africains (Photo: Mak Bijoux Africains)
Gifts With a Story
This company is run by husband and wife team, Mas-hud and Taliah Adam. The two entrepreneurs started Gifts With a Story to help artisans in remote parts of Africa gain access to the U.S. marketplace through retail and wholesale channels. I love the fact that they support fair trade and are giving exposure to creatives whose beautiful handiwork you may otherwise have never seen. The Maasai beaded bangles pictured here are one of my favorites. You can check them out at www.etsy.com/shop/giftswithastory. (Photo: Gifts With a Story)
One of the reasons I’ve come to love Instagram is that you can find some really talented artisans who would otherwise be difficult—if not impossible—to find in a Google search. Nzingah is one of those companies I found by doing a search in Instagram and I’m so glad I did! Her work is fierce (check out that super fly necklace). Nzingah Oniwosa is influenced by her Haitian heritage and appreciation for African and Asian culture. Of her work she says: “Jewelry for me is a sculpture whose pedestal is the human form.” Find out more at www.nzingahdesigns.com. (Photo: Nzingah Designs)
E. Turner Couture
Ankara necklaces are all the rage right now. I’m seeing them everywhere. And you know, once you start seeing something everywhere, it can all start to look alike. But what I love about Ellana Turner’s style, is that she gives a fresh spin on this popular accessory. Her Etsy shop features a colorful, creative collection of must-have necklaces, earrings and headbands. Besides one of my favorites pictured here, there’s so much more to check out at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ETurnerCouture. (Photo: E. Turner Couture)
Bijoot (pictured top)
Founded by Christelle Gorman in 2011, the company goes by the motto “Bijoot yourself. The joy of life is in the details…” Christelle’s love for African fashion was fostered at a very young age in her native home of Cote D’Ivoire, West Africa. She created the company with the mission of presenting Africa in a unique light and making people aware of its rich and diverse offerings. Lucky for you, Bijoot is giving away one of their beautiful “South African Ambassadress” necklaces! Enter below for your chance to win this one-of-a-kind accessory and visit www.bijoot.com to find out what other fabulous accessories you should be checking out for the summer. (Photo: Bijoot)
*BONUS LISTING: Ankcara
So what happens when you're about to finish a post and you jump on to Instagram? Yeah, kinda like that. I thought I was done and then discovered yet another great site. Ankcara is a kind of Etsy for African-inspired fashion and accessories. It's a great way to find fabulous products, designers and inspiration all in one place! Here's just one of the items from Enyo Jewelry, a designer who showcases their work on the site. See more at www.ankcara.com. (Photo: Enyo Jewelry)
Leave a comment letting us know what you think of this list. Are there any other designers we should check out?
We're having a month of giveaways to celebrate our re-launch! Check out our natural here doll giveaway here!