Excuse Me, Miss Fufu: Celebs Rocking That Hot African Gear!

October 26, 2010  |  

Gwen Stefani proves that Japan is not the only source of her fashion sense as she poses in a strapless dress with multi-layered ruffles and wrist full of bangles.

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  • SaHaRa

    Victoria (page 6) is wearing a khanga.  Infact it looks like she took the piece as is, pinned it – it comes as a pair and you cut it so as to get two pieces. 

  • SaHaRa

    Estelle’s dress (page 5) is made from khanga. 
    “The kanga (or khanga) which comes from the old Bantu (Kiswahili) verb ku-kanga to wrap or close, is a colourful garment similar to kitenge, worn by women and occasionally by men throughout Eastern Africa. It is a piece of printed cotton fabric, about 1.5m by 1m, often with a border along all four sides (called pindo in Swahili), and a central part (mji) which differs in design from the borders. Kangas are usually very colorful.”

    Khangas are also used as communication vehicles …
    “One of the longer edges of the mji features a strip which contains a message in Swahili, or less commonly in Arabic or Comorian. Other countries which produce their own Kangas write the Kanga messages/names in their main languages: in Madagascar (Malagasy Republic) where they are known as lambas, they feature ohabolana, traditional proverbs written in Malagasy; they are also produced in Zambia and Malawi. This message is called the jina (literally ‘name’) of the kanga. Messages are often in the form of riddles or proverbs. Some examples:
    Majivuno hayafai — Greed is never useful[1]Mkipendana mambo huwa sawa — Everything is all right if you love each other[1]Japo sipati tamaa sikati — Even though I have nothing, I have not given up my desire to get what I want[1]Wazazi ni dhahabu kuwatunza ni thawabu — Parents are gold; to take care of them is a blessing[1]Sisi sote abiria dereva ni Mungu — We are all passengers, God is the driver[1]Fimbo La Mnyonge Halina Nguvu — Might is right[2] (wrong translation)Mwanamke mazingira tuanataka, usawa, amani, maendelo — We (women) want equality, peace, and progress[1]Naogopa simba na meno yake siogopi mtu kwa maneno yake — I’m afraid of a lion with its strong teeth but not a man with his words[1]”

  • SaHaRa

    Tyra’s dress is VERY Asian!  Not African inspired at all!

  • SaHaRa

    Vlisco is not a designer.

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  • mark

    Looks cool even do there is a paradox with what the patters mean and who makes the patters and come up with them. Vlisco, the True Original

    Since 1846 Vlisco has been designing and producing colorful fashion fabrics that form an essential part of the lively West and Central African culture. this is a western company based in Holland since 1846. how ironic that there is not a Africa company behind the most large produced Africa fashion product.

    You would exspect this not to be so because the Africa people in fashion now more about the culture and meaning behind the Africa fashion and fabric

    Vlisco made the exclusive look at their Haute Maroquinerie choice leather items to be showcased at their boutiques in Togo, Cote d’Voire, Congo DRC and Benin.

  • kay kay

    Its funny how some people claim to be so sophisticated, educated and civilized, but still they don't know that Africa is a continent… Amazing outfits…. am totally loving them..

  • Sonya Stew

    Isn't Tyra's dress Asian

  • T.O.B.Y

    Now african print is special Because white folks and rich Americans are wearing it!! Who cares that none of those styles are new, and have been rocked by commoner nobodies for hundreds of years!! Whew Finally Africa is valid! Thank You Gwen Stefani!

  • Olamide

    I am Nigerian and love to see this online however I beleive they are using us because these western designers are overshadowing the great African designers . Anyways In case anyone love African designers you check out. Both websites have great African designers . Love ola

  • fashionfriend

    pages 3, 7, 11, 14, 20 were all designed by boxingkitten her stuff is amazing http://boxingkitten.com/

  • asha13


  • datgidigirl

    Vlisco is not a designer. They sell fabrics.

  • greatelect


  • SLAbron

    I also wish that information about the designers were given (some names maybe?)

  • SLAbron

    What theINTELLECT says makes sense a may also be true, but it is nice to see these fashions being appreciated by the mainstream. Ironically, the very first time that I saw these types of dresses were on my friends from Ghana. My friends would come back to the states from visiting their homeland with all of these funky fashions and it gave me a new appreciation for it. It was refreshing to see that all African fashion is not dashikis and mumus. Maybe that is what INTELLECT is referring to as history because I usually see the modern African woman rocking these types of African styles from African dressmakers. And, I for one will not wear either of those.

  • Aunt Viv

    Love love LOVE it!!!


    Although I am happy to see the prints of Africa being brought to mainstream fashion, I think these designers need to do a little history. Just as in other cultures, the cut, color, and pattern of African print all mean different things. Therefore, I do feel some type of way about these designers breaking up signature African design patterns without understanding that they may be cutting out a line that my represent something to a certain African culture.

    • SaHaRa

      Many the fabrics used are called kitenge – and the patterns have no meaning other than just being beautiful patterns.