Last year I was featured on Shelley Chapman’s blog as a Naturi “Beauty of the Month” . We discussed my EARTHCANDY clothing line and particularly the Khepra Obi by Earthcandy. She asked ‘what inspired my design?’ (a question that kept me pondering my design influences long after the interview). My response to Shelley was:
“…What inspires my design is bold colors, using embellishment techniques, exotic textures and patterns that blend…”

Those of you familiar with my hand-crafted pieces know that my designs are inspired largely by traditional garments from a variety of cultures, which I adopt and embellish by mixing fabrics, textures etc.

Imagine my delight when I recently discovered WAFRICA by Serge Mouangue. This Cameroon-born, Paris-raised, Tokyo-based interior and industrial designer and artist combines African fabrics with traditional Japanese kimonos to create his ‘WAFRICA’ series. After partnering with a Japanese kimono maker he produced the line using 18 limited-edition African prints sourced in markets from Nigeria to Senegal.

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Says Mouangue, “I pursue and observe the complexity of different values and cultural identities in search of threads to weave a fabric which is a blending of these differences, and African Kimono are world heritage”.

I think it’s genius! The color combinations used are not found in traditional kimono fabrics and the West African printed wax cotton used doesn’t exist in traditional kimono materials. Though I may call it ‘fusion’, Mouangue doesn’t.

“I want it to be something else. It should transcend the boundaries of both cultures. It is a third aesthetic.” states Mouangue.


For more info, visit:


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