I think it’s incredibly important to take the time to recognize people in the fashion industry that are using their talents to influence and affect real change in how African fashion is regarded in the industry. So from time to time, I have decided to feature a “Game Changers” article; that will bring awareness to those individuals that are truly making strides either by their persistent and proactive efforts, or by simply being themselves (it’s amazing how once you fearlessly accept to you are, and do what you are meant to do in life, people respond and follow your lead). For my very first article I’m shining the light on some of my favorite bloggers, Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs of “Street Etiquette” and Pholoso Selebogo of “The Singing Stylist.”
The men of “Street Etiquette” Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs have been documenting their unique style since 2008 and subsequently have elevated the standards of menswear fashion. It’s no longer OK for men to wear ill-fitting pants with baggy shirts and sneakers, and we have these guys to thank. Say hello to tailored jackets, structured clothes, clean lines, leather jackets, vintage and thrifted clothes, unique jewelry, prints and whole lot more. With an incredible understanding of fashion history and cultural influences within fashion; Joshua and Travis have tapped into the undertones of multiple cultures and found ways of blending them with contemporary styles. The final product? A polished and refined fashion forward look…that is…dare I say it?!?…SEXY!
In one of my favorite posts by them, “Print Etiquette: African Tribal Print” the boys looked at Ghanaian and Nigerian fashion influences from the 1970′s and incorporated those elements into contemporary styling. Pairing a bright fitted print shirt, with cuffed khaki pants, a solid brown leather belt, white penny loafers and African beads on the wrists and neck. The look was bold, African inspired yet preppy. Meshing the very different styles together beautifully.
*All images by Cleon Grey of The Aveder Outfit
Featured in a multitude of fashion magazines, including menswear powerhouses like GQ and Complex, and news outlets like the Huffington post and New York Times; these men are truly re-defining ALL of menswear fashion.
*Images courtesy of google images
Pholoso Selebogo “The Singing Stylist” has become the sweetheart of the Dutch fashion circuit. Hailing from South Africa but living in Antwerp Belgium, she has used her daring fashion choices to position herself in the middle of fashion elite. If her outfits weren’t enough to peak the interest of fashion heavy hitters, the silver dots she sports on her face from time to time definitely do the trick. With a style entirely of her own, and each look more daring than the one before, Pholoso’s style cant be defined
Interviewed for Vogue Black, styling shows for Bruno Pieters and Dries Van Noten (both Dutch fashion royalty), and eleven shows during the 2011 Lagos fashion week; Pholoso is well on her way to becoming one of the most influential stylists of our time. It’s bloggers turned stylists like Pholoso that show us fashion has no bounds…that there are “No Rules”, and there are “No Mistakes.” So take a page out of Pholoso’s book, be as daring has you can and never apologize for your choices.
Author, Noelle Bonner, Owner and fashion blogger of www.fashionfixxation.com. “Challenge the status quo, cover the truly inspiring & aim to make an impact. Live…Fashion. Beauty. Style.”
A talented writer, with a love of all things fashion, she has signed on to write for Orijin Culture to bring awareness to the artistic talent, beauty and history of those in the African Fashion industry.