The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘West Africa’

THE ANKARA FABRIC

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An Ankara print dress by RED MUS that I wore during a fashion shoot at the Kuona Trust Art Center in Nairobi

 

Did you know that the famous African Ankara fabric originated from the Netherlands under the name “Dutch Wax”?

In Nigeria, Ankara (also called the “African Wax”) had only been used by low class citizens as a cheap alternative to special occasion outfits.

 

Brian in a blue shirt with touch of Ankara print

Brian in a blue shirt with touch of Ankara print. For special occasions

 

This was the case until the then Nigerian President Obasanjo embraced Ankara for his official wardrobe. He was known as a Nigerian cultural ambassador. Importation of foreign fabrics was banned and so Nigerian designers had to make do with what they had available; Ankara.

Susan in a dazzling orange dress and clutchbag with a touch of Ankara print

Susan in a dazzling orange dress and clutchbag with a touch of Ankara print

 

After years of modern day expression of the African Wax, this beautiful print made it’s way to international fashion runways and a massive following by Hollywood celebrities.

 

Hollywood songstress Solange Knowles rocking an Ankara print outfit

Hollywood songstress Solange Knowles rocking an Ankara print outfit

 

Also, much as the capital of Turkey is called Ankara, this has got no relation with the wax fabric.

 

Kevin in a red shirt with a touch of Ankara print. Casual wear.

Kevin in a red shirt with a touch of Ankara print. Casual wear

 

Regardless of it’s production in the Netherlands, what matters most is the history and level of importance associated with the Ankara fabric by Africans. It is our pride and we wear it bold!

 

I totally loved wearing this Ankara outfit with heaps of retro vybe.

I totally loved wearing this Ankara print outfit with a retro feel

 

How’s that for a quick history lesson?

Viva Ankara Fashion!

 

Love,

Ayuma.

 

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