Thursday, 2 June 2011

Zed Eye showcase brings fashion excitement at the Afro Hair and Beauty Show.

The last weekend of May saw the Zed Eye presents ... fashion show and Pop-Up Boutique return to the Afro hair and Beauty show with an array of African and African inspired designers showcasing their latest collections on the Catwalk and in the Pop up Boutique.
The show saw the likes of press, buyers and the general public in attendance on both days. It was also a celebration of 30 years of the Afro Hair & Beauty Live shows.

 The show kicked off on Sunday the 29th  May with a fashion show at 12:45 which featured collections from upcoming designers who included Adopted Culture, Monsura Bags, Lanyero, Yaa Ataa bags and Yummi Kouture. The next show on the Sunday was the 2:45 show which featured more established designers like Afro-Chique, Ayi Kai couture, Tina Lobondi. Celebrity stylist and designer Zed Eye opened the show with her gorgeous floaty pieces.

The Pop Up boutique was open on both days selling items from the designers who showcased on the Catwalk as well as others like Dre Designs, Dionne Goodings shoes, Bubushiiky, Ohema Ohene and Bianou whose jewellery sold like hot cakes.

The show was a huge success with many already looking forward to next year’s show.
The show would not have been possible without our amazing sponsors being Sensational Hair, The Award Winning Josh Hair & Beauty Team and Stacey Okafor from Mac. 

Here is the Show in Pictures.

Picture Credits: Lawes Filips Photography and Kat Francois

Monday, 9 May 2011

Introducing AyiKai Couture

Tell us a bit about your brand?
Ayikai Couture is  an up and coming afro-fashion label established in 2009 by Antoinette Ayikai Amuzu a Ghanaian born living in the UKAntoinette’s vision for Ayikai is simple: To create a distinctive range of clothes that represent a fusion of contemporary design and African textiles. The result: a stylish collection of innovative, vibrant and unique fashion garments.
Ayikai Couture is quickly becoming the home of distinctive African fashion and accessories with a inimitable African feel.  Ayikai Couture [pronounced A-yi-kai] was inspired by the collection of rich & diverse cultures of Ghana, West Africa and the current fashion trends of the Western world.  Armed with a host of luscious shades and beautiful floating hemlines, Ayikai Couture is fresh and feminine, hoping to bring a touch of Ghana to everyone’s wardrobe. Belted maxi dresses, cute frill skirts and mid-length one-shoulder pieces offer stunning variety for every occasion. Ayikai Couture is proud to cater for all shapes and sizes, ensuring that anybody can feel like an African Queen in a batik wrap-around dress or floral mini.
How did you come up with the name of the brand?
Ayikai is actually my middle name.  A name given to the third girl from the Ga/Ewe tribe of Ghana, West Africa.  According to the elders, those named Ayikai are meant to be spiritual, creative and intuitive. I thought what better name to use than something that represents who I am and where am from.

Who are your designs aimed at?
Ayikai Couture is designed for women who want to showcase their feminine charm and express vitality, passion for the African Culture and individuality.  The collections are meant to flatter a women’s figure whilst retaining an individual edge. The prints are key to creating an alternative look.  The latest collection dubbed “dare to be different” does just that!

What main difficulties do you face as a bespoke brand?
You always have to make sure you produce creative pieces that would churn interest.  As usual we have to compete with the bigger high street retailers.
What do you love about Ghana?
The peaceful nature of the country, the rich and varied cultures, warmth of the people and most of all the tropical climate!

How have you incorporated Ghana into your designs?
Yes indeed. I have spent most of my childhood and adult life living in different parts of the UK, despite being born in Ghana.  My family always encouraged me and my siblings to always hold on to our heritage and culture so that we don’t forget where we coming from.  Although am being “spoiled” with the lifestyle in London, my heart still belongs to the motherland.  The concept of Ayikai is based on ancient Ghanaian style and fabrics with a modernised twist.  I wanted to create a fashion house that would represent where am from, my heritage and what I stand for as well as putting Ghana on the fashion map and to bring Ghanaian fashion to the streets of the Western world.  Most of my work is informed by my keen obsession with local culture, graphics and music and the Ghanaian ideology of design which is described to have an edgy style fused with visual poetry.

What sets you apart from other afro fashion designers?
I would say my shear dive and dedication.  I would say Ayikai has a Unique Selling Point that sets her apart from other designers which is her choice of fabrics and sewing techniques.

What kind difficulties do you face as an afro designer?
There are quite a few prominent designers within the UK AfroFashion scene who are making names for themselves within the UK and internationally. I must say it’s pretty competitive and one has to have a vivid and varied imagination to stay in this game.  On a positive note, I must say that the media buzz surrounding African fashion has never been louder or more exciting that it is now. We are increasingly seeing African influences not only on glittering catwalks around the world, but also in the designs of popular high street stores and boutiques. The current Fashion Climate is ideal for bold African designers to establish themselves as desirable global brands, harnessing their vision and creativity by delivering unique, quality fashion for the twenty-first century. 

How has your brand changed since 2009?
I believe with everything you should or you do get better with time.  I started off making a lot of maxi dresses but have moved on from that to create more tailored fitting clothes be it knee length of flowing garments.  Since 2009, I have extended my line and introduced a range of clutches made out of fabric and fine straw.  I try to keep with fashion trends to give Afro lovers an Afro alternative to what they see in the high street shops.  I am thinking about also introducing a men’s range this summer.
Describe your style in one sentence?
Ayikai is a luxury designer brand for the elegant, sophisticated and casually glamorous woman.

African fabrics are known to be very vibrant in colours does your design accentuate this?
Most of my fabrics have a cultural significance.  I started off using a lot of batik and tie and dye fabrics with most of the patterns depicting the adinkra symbols of Ghana, each with a significant meaning. My collections are guaranteed to catch the eye with Rich warm earth tones of genuine Afro-wax prints to glorify the intensity of African style!  The garments feature natural fibre, hand dyed exotic batik fabric and elegant tailoring punctuated with carefully selected accents for multi-ethnic flair.

When you're not designing you're...
I am studying for a Phd in Public Health and working in the field of medical research.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


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Oh Yes Magazine! Readers are upscale consumers who have a strong interest in high Fashion and finding out about new products ideal and suitable for women of colour.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Introducing Afro-Chique

Why did you decide to call the brand Afro-Chique?
I decided to call the brand Afro-Chique as I wanted a name that represented the brand. Afro-Chique is a play on the term Afro- Centric which describes a trend both in clothing, style and attitude.

Who is Afro-Chique targeted at?
Our target customers are mainly women but we also have sections of the business dedicated to mens-wear, childrens-wear and home wear.

Your designs are made from African fabrics, what have been some of the challenges you have faced?
The main challenges have been the fact that African fabric mainly comes in cotton, therefore you’re unable to make certain items that would need stretch.
I understand you also design for men.  Is it easier to design for men or for women?
I guess it’s easier to design for women because I am one! Also, women have so many different types and styles of clothing so the design scope is broader. Men’s wear is less varied but we still enjoy the challenge.

The brand was launched in 2008, how has it evolved since then?
The brand has gone from strength to strength, we now have a studio and website selling online, we’ve taken part in so many events and shows and our client based increases daily. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I love art, culture and travelling so they would be my main inspirations. Also London, as it’s so creative everyday I’m inspired by the trends and people I see.

Your new collection is called Trelawny. Why is this?
Trelawny is the name of the parish in Jamaica where my mother was born. It’s a part of my roots and so I decided to name a collection based on this.

Name one celebrity you would like to see in one of your design.
I would love to dress Shingai from the Noisettes, as she is daring, creative and experimental which sums up the Afro-Chique muse.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Introducing Monsura Boutique

What inspired you to become a handbag designer and as a bag designer, what steps do you follow to create your master piece? 
My designs are characterised by a fusion of classic lines and avant-garde sophistication. I describe it as the melding of 60’s seduction with Modern elegance. In terms of what inspires me I’d say it is beauty in all shapes and forms. My inspiration comes from persons, places, nature and various works of art. I’ve just launched my latest handbag collection which I named  Electric Candy which is also the name of one of our Clutch pieces, I love visual impact and try to incorporate this into my designs.

What made you decide to name the brand after yourself?
Monsura’ has a number of meanings which can be tricky formulising into one word, however, the essence is extended wealth, Spiritually protected…. In all is very positive and strong and to many the name itself is unusual! like my designs.
How do you want the lady carrying your bag to feel?
Special and unique! Proud to be one of the limited number of people worldwide to own a Monsura Boutique statement piece and to know that they are making an impact all eyes on them.

Describe the outfit you would like someone who is carrying your bags to wear?
We have such a range of bags and clutches, I envisage the women wearing them are trendy/trend setters, sexy but elegant. Hugely confident and appreciate quality in what they wear and carry, whether it be a plain white T’ with a pair of jeans or a made to measure bespoke evening gown.

You said you get inspiration from you local community. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
I often walk through my local area and nearby market/stalls, it’s so buzzing and full of vibrancy, a lady pushing her toddler in a bright green buggy passes a stall and in an instant there is this immediate attraction of colour which would just grab my attention and an idea would start to formulate. It’s so weird! Even for me how my mind works. I could be anywhere and creation would emerge in my head which excites me and then I just can’t wait to get home and start sketching away.

Describe your bags in 3 words.
Bespoke, Limited, Edition.

What materials/fabrics do you enjoy working with?
Anything and everything viable, no favourites I’m afraid (lol)

You will be taking part in the Afro Hair and Beauty Show next month. How did this come about?
I’ve always loved the Afro Hair and Beauty show, its such a great event! Through my fashion network, I heard that LGN Event organisers were on board this year and witnessing the success of their event first hand at London Fashion week, I literally jumped at the chance to get involved.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Highest points this year has been London Fashion Week. I was able to contribute to the VIP goody bags for key industry players at the LGN ‘A La Mode’ show at Charing Cross Hotel. It was an amazing show and we hope to grace the catwalk ourselves next year. In addition to this, one of our current stockist’s took our product to the ‘International Trade Show in Accra’ this February, that left a big grin on my face and most recently we were lucky enough to grace and contribute to ‘DivaScribe Magazine’ and will feature in there next issue so keep a look out!
We sent our Safari Black bag and Glitter Zebra clutch which was present on Asos Marketplace to Award winner Jessie J, We recently had Kele Le Roc on board for our Spring Collection shoot which we broadcasted on our website and is still getting continuous hits and praises. Our first collection Sold out in 4 months so very excited about this new collection future events and shows.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Zed Eye Presents... Fashion Show and Pop- Up Boutique returns to Europe’s biggest showcase for Afro hair, beauty and fashion

London, April 2011. This May Bank Holiday will see the return of the Zed Eye Presents Fashion show and Pop-Up Boutique at the Afro Hair & Beauty Live show, Europe’s biggest showcase for Afro hair, beauty and fashion!
After the success of last year’s show which was held at the well-known Business Design Centre in Angel Islington, Ngozi Pere Okorite, celebrity stylist and designer behind one of Africa’s most sought after brands ‘Zed Eye’, will be back with her team for another fashion showcase which will involve a number of great African and African inspired designers, not only showcasing but also selling their collection pieces via the Pop-Up Boutique.
       The Zed Eye show and Pop Up boutique will feature a range of established and upcoming designers which include but not limited to Anggy Haif, Re Bhaia, AyiKai Couture, Monsura Boutique, Afro-Chique, Yummi Kouture , Oheme Ohene and Ngozi’s own brand Zed Eye.
Anggy Haif is an eponymous label by self taught Parisian designer Anggy Haif who has an immense creative background, which includes music, dancing and hair styling. Anggy’s designs are extremely creative and pay tribute to his homeland of Africa with the use of materials like Raffia, wild seeds and weaved fabrics.
Re Bahia is a label set up by a mother and daughter team due to their love of fashion. The label abides by the rule less is more and their main focus is on the fabrics which they produce using the ‘Uma’ threading detail.

 Ayi Kai Couture is a bespoke label which was established in 2009 by Antoinette AyiKai Amuzu. The label focuses on mixing fashion and culture to illustrate the culture of Ghana.
Handbag designer label Monsura Boutique is known for their beautiful and elegant designs which provide exclusivity, confidence and attitude to its vast costumers.
Since launching in 2008, Afro-Chique has gained recognition from industry officials like Hilary Alexander, fashion director of The Daily Telegraph. Combining vibrant African prints with contemporary designs, Afro-Chique is set to bring a splash of colour to the western streets.
Newly emerged label Yummi Kouture is acknowledged for their intricately designed bib necklace. Since the bib necklace came in fashion for S/S 10, Yummi Kourture’s bib necklace has been selling like hot cakes. The label will also be showcasing their clothing range during the fashion show and will be selling the necklaces in the Pop-Up Boutique.
Oheme Ohene which means Queen and King in the Ghanaian language Twi is the label set up by British born Abenaa Pokuaa. She uses the well known Ghanaian fabrics Kente and some she created herself to design western influenced designs which she hopes will give the wearer a sense of glamour.
Last but not least is the highlight of the show Zed Eye. Zed Eye is the brainchild of Celebrity Stylist Ngozi Pere Okorite whose work has been featured on many platforms ranging from Metro Newspaper to Arise Magazine Fashion Week. Her work has been worn by singers Kelis and Shingai Shoniwa( The Noisettes) Praised by British Designer Henry Holland and Fashion and Style Guru Caryn Franklin.
The show which targets young black fashion conscious women will also feature the successful Pop Up boutique from last year. The boutique will be selling products from the showcasing designers in addition to Gloria WavaMunno T-shirts and Dionne Gooding Shoes.
Gloria WavaMunno recently showcased her A/W11 collection during London Fashion Week
at the LGN event’s A La Mode show. Since then the Ugandan based designer has received numerous press coverage about her quirky style which combine African fabrics with contemporary designs. Her contemporary African designs have been worn by the likes of Supermodel Oluchi Onweagba.
Dionne Gooding Shoes is the self tilted label by Dionne Gooding which was founded in 2008. The label offers menswear and womenswear as well as traditional wear and bridal shoes.
The Afro Hair and Beauty LIVE show will be taking place on the 29th and 30th of May 2011. Tickets are now on sale for £10 when brought in advance otherwise £12 on the door.
For more information on Zed Eye Presents Fashion show & Pop-Up Boutique visit:
For more information on the show visit
To take part as a designer, please email for a full information pack.