Out of Africa

Thandie returned to Africa in 2011 and 12 to help V-Day to prevent violence against women in Democratic republic of the Congo and to film “Half of a yellow sun”. While in Africa, she immersed herself in the local cultures and explored the vibrant colors, fabrics, and cuts fashioned by some of the great designers from the continent. For example, she was seen visiting Lisa Folawiyo’s studio and attended the launch of Tebazile’s collection in Lagos, Nigeria.  In fact, it looks like Thandie is helping in what seems to be a resurgence in African fashion in the West. Most recently, she attended the Stephen Lewis’ Hope Rising benefit concert for AIDS wearing an embellished jumpsuit by Lisa Folawiyo, perfectly accessorized with Jimmy Choos and a high bun.

Thanks to Thandie for introducing me to these amazing designs with bold patterns and rich fabrics. Here is a brief summary of the designers that Thandie has been wearing:

Lisa Folawiyo

Lisa Folawiyo, source: shaddersLisa Folawiyo started her journey into fashion in 2005 after the birth of her daughter.  She has had no formal training in fashion design and in fact studied to be a lawyer.  This however did not stop her from building a successful line.  When Italian Vogue asked her to describe her style in three words, she replied: ”Well thought out”.

Lisa has mastered the perfect balance between traditional and modern day fashion, resulting in some of the most unique and refreshing designs to grace the fashion world.   Her creative use of hand beading and modern tailoring using traditional Nigerian fabric, Ankara is what makes her designs standout.

jewel-by-lisa-spring-2012, source:fashionbombdaily

Thandie Newton Hope Rising! Benefit Concert, source:culturaltoast








Thandie in ‘Jewel By Lisa’

Fati Asibelua

Fati Asibelua, source: zimbioThe ASIBELUA label is a fusion of African inspired designs and luxury European fabrics.   Fati Asibelua  studied fashion styling in Milan and London.  It is her passion for these cultures that allow her to create harmony between bold African and contemporary prints, making her designs internationally appealing.

Thandie wore an ASIBELUA skirt and a simple cream top and blush color cardigan during a press junket for ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’.  This is a perfect example of how ASIBELUA can be worn with everyday fashion.


Asibelua, source: fabmagazineonline

Thandie-Newton-wearing-asibelua, source:stylehousefiles








Thandie in ASIBELUA skirt.

Tebazile Jewelry

Elizabeth-Dankaro, source:morsipr.blogspotTebazile is the creation of Elizabeth Dankaro.  She named the jewelry line after herself (Elizabeth spelled backwards, minus the ‘h’).

Before starting Tebazile, Elizabeth was a jewelry designer for the movies. Her frustration of not being able to find unique pieces was a driving force behind the birth of Tebazile.  The line consists of a variety of looks from bold colorful pieces to minimalist pieces that can be layered.



Thandie was spotted early this year shopping from the Tebazile collection.

Thandie-Newton-tebazile1, source:tebazilejewellery.blogspot.com

Thandie-Newton-tebazile2, source:tebazilejewellery.blogspot.comThandie-Newton-tebazile3, source:tebazilejewellery.blogspot.com




It would be great to see more of these talented designers become global household names in the fashion industry.   Recent articles around fashion have shown a promising move in this direction.  For example, earlier this year, Style.com wrote about Enyinne Owunwanne (founder of online African fashion retailer Heritage 1960) who is  promoting up and coming designers like Lisa Folawiyo.  Hollywood has also been slowly growing a celebrity following for these designers.

Fashion may be the next big thing out of Africa!

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