New Wave of African-Influenced Design

ethniciti was created to offer a sensual, African-inspired collection of products and services to connect with, inspire, and indulge the modern African-American consumer.  We were pleased to note in the recent New York Times article, “Designing to an Afro Beat,” that the African-influence is now permeating many forms of expression throughout the arts and design world.

The beat goes on

The Times cites the success of the movie “Avatar,” as an indication of the mainstream appeal of African style, reflected in the clothing, beads, face painting, and hairstyles of the Pandorans.  However, this is only the mass-market expression of the trend.  Fashion design, music, theater, retail collections, and the art world have all been affected by the Afro beat.

The success of the play “Fela,” celebrating the life and music of Fela Kuti, is giving rise to a new appreciation of Kuti’s music, inspiring a new compilation of his music entitled, “Best of a Black President,” and a new film based upon the career of the sometimes controversial musician will be released during 2010.

Kenyan kangas

Perhaps the hippest reflection of the African-style movement is to be found in the fashion design of Max Osterweis, who says that the number of stores selling his Suno collection of women’s wear has tripled in the last year.  The waistline-free dresses, often accessorized with a turban, are made from Kenyan textiles, featuring bold prints and colorful patterns.

ethniciti has created a visual experience of the various manifestations of African style influences for your enjoyment in the video above.

Will you be part of the new wave?  See our catalog.


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