Is anyone else completely over the Balenciaga Triple S sneakers? I feel like they’re so 2018/2019. They were never going to be a staple shoe, in my opinion, they were forever going to the shoe of that moment aka the shoe of 2018 and 2019. Don’t get me wrong I still love dad trainers, I’m just not a fan of the Triple S’ anymore, they served their time in fashion and now it’s time for another sneaker to take the crown. Any guesses on what it will be? Personally I think this year the show of the moment will for a fact be the Dior B23 sneaker but I could be wrong. It’s just a hunch.
This summer with sneakers it’s all about colours, just as it has been with clothing, the last summers we have seen bright colours take over runways, fashion campaigns, our wardrobes, shop floors and most importantly our hearts. We’re deep into this 80s fashion vibe and I could not be more obsessed. I know coloured trainers are not the most versatile but they are a show that you won’t regret purchasing. If you only own black or white sneakers then you’re boring as hell and need to get a life. But it’s okay because I am here to give you a helping hand by providing you with 10 shoes I am loving this summer and will be purchasing as new editions to my ever-growing sneaker wardrobe.
Here are some of my favourite sneakers atm;
Nike Air Force 1 Shadow SE
Nike Air Force 1 Sage Green Suede Trainers
Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 Inertia
Puma Future Rider
Nike LD Waffle Sacai
B23 DIOR AND DANIEL ARSHAM HIGH-TOP SNEAKER IN “NEWSPAPER” PRINT
Comme des Garçons Play
Puma rs-x 3
Jordan 1 Retro High Zoom White Racer Blue
Is it just me or is Bottega taking over the fashion industry! Last year it was their heeled sandals that were dominating summer and now their clouded clutches (officially known as the pouch) are taking over too. Bottega Veneta is known to be the hothouse of the minute and I could not agree more! The pouch is the bag of the moment, everyone either has one or wants one. It’s nearly impossible to scroll through Instagram without coming across the bag, it’s that popular. Never in a million years did I ever think that that this bag would be as successful as it is with the concurrent trend for structured top-handle totes. Kering, the conglomerate that owns Bottega Veneta, reported that it is the brand’s fastest-selling bag in its history, with hundreds being sold every week!
When did you decide to pursue music professionally? What was the driving factor that led you to the decision? Was music always part of the plan?
“Well, it was just a discovery that actually this is one thing that I really excel in and that I am great at. Also, it was like I was looking at the industry and I felt like there was no one like me cause I was always myself growing up and I knew that if I were to ever be in this industry I would fully be myself and that was a good enough reason for me to try it because if there is no one like you then that’s the best shot you can take to pursue your dreams so that was my leading motivation.
Even growing up I never fully was focused on music, I wasn’t a kid that said I was going to be a musician but I always had a love for it, for example, I would never miss any musical film or anything. It was just later on when I was 21 that I was like okay, I think I want to do this. That was it, that was when I had decided that I wanna do it professionally.
I did have a plan b, I did accounting, I didn’t finish it, however, I will go back and finish it but what I wanted to be – anything else on the side, I was fascinated by doctors or psychologists, just being in a space where you can help someone. My family were more supportive of my musical career than me, I was the reluctant one. I was like these people were crazy, they’re supportive over something that they don’t even know will work out. I was the one who never believed in myself, they were always there to push me and be like no Ami you can do this!”
After being in the top 16 of the voice, did you ever think that your career would be where it is today? What did you to after the voice and how did the experience help you as an artist?
I am grateful for the experience because I managed to get context whilst being on the show and it taught me that the industry is very difficult – it’s not only your voice that counts and it taught me a lot of confidence as well. when I got eliminated I was calm because I don’t like to stress or fight so I’m not gonna ball my eyes out and be depressed because at the end of the day these are just normal people, they cannot dictate my life. It’s like a random person telling you, you can’t sing, no this won’t happen, they can’t have so much power over you. I was okay but I was worried about my next step, that’s why made sure I spoke to James, that’s why I visited him in the studio after my elimination just to be in spaces where there we higher chances of people discovering me because I couldn’t keep recording from my home town.
Why did you decide to call your debut album “imali”? Does the world hold any significance in your life?
“It holds a huge significance in everyone’s lives, it’s a tool that we need to function every day. It just sucks that not all of us can have it, I just wanted people to find other ways to be happy, you know and sustain their emotional well being because money can be so depressing, its such a toxic thing but also good at the same time. That is what the song speaks about, I didn’t want people to forever be so hurt and broken because I know that not everyone finally gets a break-in life, not everyone gets to experience everything they want to. I wanted people to appreciate what they have, to try to build something that cannot be taken away and try to promote happiness because for me the music really made a difference in my life in terms of happiness, I found that although life may suck sometimes but going to the studio and recording music was one place where I could be in control and be happy, that’s what I want for people. Even when I wrote the song, I didn’t have money, at all so it’s like I just want people to find happiness.”
What is your favourite song from the album and why?
“All of them are my favourites, they all hold some sort of significance for me, I can choose just one. NEVER! I can’t.
But one song that I began with in my first ever single that I am forever proud of is Ndikethe Wena, I feel like it’s the start of it all and for that reason only it’s my favourite song. When we released it I never imagined that it could lead to this, so for me, it will always be special.”
You have collaborated with some of the best artists SA has to offer over the last year, which of them is your favourite and why. Also, if you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive who would it be and why?
“It’s obviously Sun El Musician, in the studio, we have a connection that is insane, I get ideas that I would not get elsewhere, he’s such a humble being and I learn so much from him. He has this urge to grow as a person and as an artist, I love that about him, nothing is ever enough for him and that’s why I love him – he’s not like those people who think they have made it and have nasty attitudes but personally, I could never work with those types of people anyway.
I am so thankful because he also invited me to the studio when hardly anyone knew me, it was after Ndikethe Wena and for him, no hype matters, you don’t have to prove yourself to him. He sees what you are without needing confirmation from the rest of the world. That is why I am such a fan of his.”
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? What is the big idea in terms of your career and personal life?
“Uhm 5 years, I don’t know in terms of my personal life, that one is tricky, it’s a hard one to manage, but in terms of work, I would say I just wanna grow more and grow, grow, grow. I want to collaborate more, not necessarily things we put out in the public – I could write more songs for artists and of course travel more, gig more and grow as a writer, performer, collectively as a band and as a person. Also, be able to take the journey of life and put it into music as I did it before because I am adjusting to this new life so I know that it will be more difficult than before but I will do my best to be able to put my life in paper for every song, album and single I do.”
If there is one thing that you want people to remember you for as a musical legend, what would it be?
“I would say my vocal approach in songs, my writing and my melody. I guess those are the three that people will remember me for.”
Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring musicians who want to make it in this industry? What are the dos and don’ts?
“Try not to be a superstar in your personal life, try to be as normal as possible, that’s important in order to keep your peace because, in the long run, it will mess with you so try to balance both lives. In this industry, you work with your brain and in order for it to work efficiently, you need peace.
Then the dos would be to collaborate more, listen to a lot of artists in order to get your inspiration, let’s say you listen to Rihanna a lot, you will end up creating an album that sounds like Rihanna. There’s so much to learn from taking something from different genres and different artists!”
Thank you so much Ami! I urge you all to go and listen to her debut album IMALI available EVERYWHERE
Follow her on social media;
Insta – https://www.instagram.com/ami_faku/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Ami_Faku
There’s something so incredibly beautiful about listening to music in your own language. For me I never really deep lyrics when it comes to songs, I just listen because I vibe with the song but listening to SA soul just does something to me, I feel every single word and so much more! So it’s no surprise that I adore Ami Faku’s voice.
I first discovered Ami in June last year whilst watching an episode of Uzalo (my favourite SA soap), her song Ubuhle Bakho played as Lindiwe walked down the aisle. It was at that moment that I knew I had found my first dance song! Regardless of where my husband is from, this will be our song, forever and always. You truly have to listen to it to understand where I’m coming from! This was the first time in a very long time that a song had brought me to tears. Her voice, the lyrics, her sound, the melodies, everything about it was just breathtaking. To this day I can’t go a week without playing the song, it’s on repeat none stop. I’m probably one of the huge reasons why she’s SA’s most streamed female artist of 2019, she’s without a doubt my most played SA female artist!
Ms Faku has collaborated with some of SA’s biggest and greatest musicians I.e Amanda Black, Sun el Musician and Prince Kaybee just to name a few! She released her debut album in September and the more I listened to the album the more I fall in love with her, I kid you not, this woman will probably go down as one of SA’s greatest and I honestly cannot wait for her to get the global recognition she deserves. Within the first day of her album being released, it hit #1 on Apple Music, her album was #1 in physical sales of music for 4 weeks, she had 5 songs in the Top 50 of Radiomonitor Top 200 chart of 2019 and she was the ONLY newcomer on Spotify’s top 10 most streamed female artist. Imagine all of this was achieved within the space of a few months, so imagine what she could achieve In the next 5-10 years!
I had the privilege of interviewing this incredible woman on Monday and here is what she had to say;
How does it feel to be named SA’s most streamed female artist by Deezer? How did you hear the news?
“It feels great, I keep saying all of these things are a blessing because at first, I did not think that all of this was possible so I’m very happy and grateful.
I found out whilst I was alone at my place and I called to confirm because I was like there should be a mistake but thankfully it was an actual thing and there was no mistake.”
How would you describe your music in 5 words and why have you chosen these particular words?
“Modern, Soulful, Truthful, an Experience and Quality music. Every time I think about it I would say those are the elements that my music has.”
Obviously, as an artist, you take inspiration from so many things, for example; your surroundings, life experiences and other artists. How did you discover your sound, how long did it take you and what advice would you give to other artists looking to find their own sound?
“It took time because if I look back to when I was 18 I wouldn’t have done this, I was not exposed/ around people who played live instruments but I always knew that I had this deep love for instruments and soulful music but unfortunately I couldn’t – It was just this experience of doing all these other genres to actually make this decision to say, no this is the music that I really love the most. It was just experiencing and looking at the music I connect with the most – afro soul and RnB but mostly very youthful, nothing old or anything, that’s why I incorporate youthfulness in my afro soul because it’s part of what I like so it had to be part of my music and sound.
To new artists, I would say just be sure that this is the sound that you want because it’s not easy to write on, it’s not easy to create a melody on because it sort of has to compliment cause the production is always so great so it’s quite intimidating, you have to really work hard into making sure that your delivery is just as good. Make sure you know what you want, don’t do it because everyone says you should do it and stick through what you believe in and just always be you because I am me in my writing and everything about this journey. I am fully 100% myself so I would encourage them to do the same.”
Most of your songs are related to the idea of love, is this romantic love? Have you yourself ever been in love, or are you in love right now?
“My music involves platonic love as well as romantic love, because I myself am such a lover. I express love even in songs I dedicate to friends and family so It can be however you interpret it.
I was definitely in love at some point, it’s always so weird when people ask me this, I’m like no why??? but I am grateful for the experience as it helped me to create songs that people love, so I guess it was worth something in the end, I got something out of it at least, so yeah I have been in love! My experience is very limited tho, so in order to broaden my audience I always also write in other peoples perspectives and tell their stories too.”
I can’t lie to you guys, I honestly think that I’m psychic. I kid you not I started buying in on this trend in late 2018 when I still worked in Topshop, the leather pants in that store sold out within a week, I originally thought it would be a trend to dominate 2019 but it seems to be more popular this year! I am so obsessed I am with leather at the moment. Everything leather I need in my life; shirts, jackets, trousers and dresses (of course all faux leather before you all get on to me). Every-time I go out I literally have to restrain myself from buying another leather item.
Leather has been shown on the runway for two consecutive years at fashion month, last year for the fall 19 shows we saw designers add their own twist by presenting us with colourful leather as it was predicted that leather would replace our beloved faux coats/jackets and wow was that prediction was 100% correct! For me leather is known as a staple item, everyone from when they were a child has owned a leather biker jacket? Am I right or am I right? So in retrospect leather is nothing new to the fashion scene, I mean it was pretty prominent in the 80s/90s so in a way it makes sense that the next big trend during this nostalgic era of fashion would be leather. It’s only right, I mean we’ve been through denim, mom/dad jeans, shoulder bags, halter necks so of course you need at least one leather item to complete your 90s wardrobe. The only difference between leather now and how it was in the 80s/90s I’d say is the fact that a lot more people probably wear faux leather due to the growth in consciousness among the public on how clothes within the fashion industry are made and social media. Another difference is the fact that that era was dominated by leather trousers and long leather jackets, however, now we’re seeing leather mini skirts, leather dresses, cropped leather jackets and colourful leather etc. Additionally, we can now consider leather a more versatile fabric, which before was not the case; leather trousers were known to be too biker, leather dresses gave dominatrix vibes – leather was always associated with sexiness or toughness until now. 2019 and 2020 leather became FASHIONABLE in all forms!
If you don’t own anything leather, then I hate to break it to you but you’re doing life all wrong honey because leather is where it’s at this year! Here are some of my favourite leather items rn;
So the other day I was out window shopping in Topshop when I came across this cute ass denim co-ord that literally reminded me of the infamous denim corset dress produced by Fenty when it first launched last year in May. And then I just started recollecting all of the things that I’ve seen in the past year that are literally Fenty Dupes so I thought why not share it with you guys and we can all do you luxury on a budget together!
Last year I did a blog post on the difference between constructive criticism and hate, this was all in relation to the release of Fenty because I’d seen so much backlash from black people giving their opinion on the brand on Twitter: I saw people saying that the designs had been done before, that the prices were too high all because people didn’t understand that this was an LVMH brand so of course, this makes sense, it makes sense for me to do a blog post on some of the things that are offered on the High Street for those people who can’t afford Fenty. #luxuryonabudget
If you look up the definition of dupe on Google, this is what you get:
dupe: verb 1. deceive; trick.
noun 2. a victim of deception
In the fashion world, it still means a similar thing because in a way you are deceiving people by copying a luxury item and making it highstreet. In less harsh terms a dupe is basically a duplicate of another product. (Duplicate. Dupe. you see how the link?) Dupes will obviously not be 100% accurate as much as they look the same to the real deal because then, of course, that would be Copywrite infringements. Here are my fave Fenty dupes atm;
For those you that don’t know I am Zimbabwean and this is my beloved hometown! Full of wide tree-lined avenues, parks and charming colonial architecture, Bulawayo is truly hidden treasure in my motherland! For years, ever since I could literally crawl my mum has always gone on and on about how beautiful the city of Bulawayo was and I could not agree with her more. I have been going back to Zim every year, sometimes even twice a year since I was 5 but it wasn’t until my latest trip in December 2019 that I truly got to appreciate the beauty of my city. Nothing much has changed from the early 20th century and I guess that is what I love most about the town, the buildings give me such New Orleans vibes! Honestly, if any of you are ever in Zim please stop by Bulawayo because I promise you, you will not regret it!
Fun Fact; Bulawayo’s claim to fame is that it had electric lighting (switched on in 1897) before London did! The population today remains majority Ndebele.
Before my mother became a nurse, she was a primary school teacher in Zim and naturally she has been to all these places on school trips and she has also promised to take me since I was 5 and 14 years later I still haven’t been to any, however this year I wanna explore more of Bulawayo so I plan on going home for at least 5 weeks just to tour my city and see everything that it has to offer!
Natural History museum
Bulawayo Railway Museum
National Art Gallery
Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage
Where to stay
Cresta Churchill Hotel
Where to drink
Zimbabweans are known to be big drinkers so of course, I had to recommend to you some bars to drink at! Be warned tho, Zims don’t play when it comes to alcohol, these people drink alcohol straight with just ice, they don’t know what mixers are, it’s horrendous but I kid you not, the nightlife is short of boring. My best nights out were in Bulawayo, as in nothing can compete!
Where to eat
I am such a foodie and when I tell you, the food not just in Bulawayo, but in Zimbabwe, in general, is the best. NO CAP! There is no other country that provides flavour as this one does, whether you go to a restaurant or take away shop, you will not be disappointed with the food, ITS THAT AMAZING
For decades, if not centuries African fashion has been the root of inspiration for numerous Western brands and fashion trends. I mean it’s pretty evident considering the topic of cultural appropriation vs cultural appreciation on African fashion has been a hot subject for the last couple of years now. When you take a look at African fashion over the years, you’ll realise just how much it has influenced the fashion industry worldwide, look at the Dior show from last year in Morocco. From the vibrant colours to the eclectic prints and traditional accessories handcrafted by different African tribes, there is no better source of inspiration than Africa!
South Africans and Zimbabweans have been using Machangani bags for years, we used to use it for storage and carrying things, its basically like a huge carrier bag. Back in 2007, Louis Vuitton came out with their Machangani bag lookalike retailing for over £250. Wow, can you believe that fashion enthusiasts were out here buying this bag for over £250! TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUND! I can’t decide if this funny or what, because they literally could have gone and bought one for less than £3 in South Africa. This is a perfect example of how people will buy anything with a designer name.
Louis Vuitton again? Are we seeing a pattern here? I can’t decide if I’m for all of this or if I’m just angry that they are profiting from African Culture when there are so many home brands that aren’t making a profit yet, LV can charge £3000 for something you can get a lot cheaper in South Africa?
The woollen Basotho blanket is traditionally worn by the Sotho people in Lesotho. The blankets date back to pre-civilization in Lesotho. They were traditionally made from only animal skins and are a part of Sotho life from birth to death. A newborn receives their first blanket before they are even born, for many events throughout their lives, and eventually will be buried in one.Despite being largely unavailable outside of Africa for their 100-year-plus existence, their blankets are of such quality and have such a colourful, storied history that they are easily comparable to brands of a similar vintage, including Pendleton, Woolrich, and Hudson’s Bay Company.
Now, this is how you do cultural appreciation! Everyone else pleases take notes. In 2016 Christian Louboutin collaborated with Senegalese artists to launch the Africaba Tote Bag. Each handcrafted bag incorporated bold Ankara prints that originated in West Africa. Louboutin contributed 10% of his proceeds to the La Maison Rose, a refuge for women in difficulty in Dakar.
In 2017, English fashion designer Stella McCartney received criticism for using Ankara prints in her spring 2018 runway show in Paris. And then they had the audacity to include only ONE African model the show.
This is a message to every other brand out there that takes inspiration from African fashion, the difference between appropriation in appreciation is this. If you include African designers, help the community, credit your inspiration and do more to raise awareness, then you would not receive so much backlash.
The headwrap, also known as a dhuku or a doek, depending on the region, is a colourful piece of fabric that embodies Africa’s rich culture and is deeply rooted in African history. For his spring 2018 collection, Marc Jacobs sent models, such as Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber, down the runway wearing head wraps that resembled those so inherent in the African culture.
The doek for me is very symbolic, for us Southern Africans it holds a lot of tradition and means a lot of things to a lot of people so I don’t think that brands like Marc Jacobs should ever have it on their runway. To me, it’s disrespectful because you can almost compare it to the hijab
For this post I took inspiration from
The rise of African fashion
In the last couple of years, we have seen the rise of everything African thanks to this educated generation of the diaspora (which I can happily say I am a part of) who are open to the world and proud of their dual culture. These days everyone is proud to be African, I remember when I was growing up so many people growing up were ashamed to say which country they were from (this may or may have been because I grew up in a predominantly caucasian area) and it wasn’t until I got to 6th form that I saw just how proud people were of their culture and how keen people were to learn about their cultures. The older I get the more I realise just how important it is for me to know about my culture and go back home to Zimbabwe regularly because after all I am Zimbabwean and I want to teach my children the same things that I have been taught so they can pass it on it to their children and so on.
The world has never been as creative as it is right now, our generation has access to resources that we did not know even existed 100 years ago and this helps to explain why there are so many breakout Africans in various categories from Arts to Music and of course Fashion etc. The reason as to why African fashion has become a phenomenon is because our generation, one of which hasn’t waited for outside interest aka the western world, but instead we have taken matters into their own hands by creating our own businesses, brands, media and blogs to validate what has not been validated up until now and I could not be more proud to be a part of something so beautiful, to be a part of history! It’s no surprise that the western world wants Vogue Africa! We now live in a connected and engaged generation that dares to denounce acts of racism or even ordinary stigmatization by putting up a united front against all of it taking on, for instance, the use of blackface and the absence of black mannequins in fashion, the lack of diversity within the fashion industry etc and most importantly cultural appropriation. A conscious and responsible generation that wants to contribute, in its own way, to a renewal in how the world sees Africa. In other words, every single day we are changing Africa’s narrative!
To summarise – African fashion is riding a wave of creative output and recognition, gaining global press and an international clientele after being ignored and copied for decades. Our time as Africans to show the world what we have to offer has finally come!
The Brands you need to know
I’m going to be completely honest with you, before 2015 I knew NOTHING about African fashion. I was completely oblivious. I think my love for African fashion was initially an accident (I know it sounds crazy right).
I remember I was on Instagram and I came across an influencer in one of the first brands I ever discovered – Grass Fields. Once I clicked on their page a whole new world opened up for me, I was falling in love with fashion all over again! From then on I was OBSESSED and I kept coming across more and more brands alike. This completely changed my mind on the idea of African fashion – in my head, it had always been the typical traditional attire we see our mums wear to weddings and on special occasions or just around the house, basically the Ankara prints. Can you believe I was ever this naive and IGNORANT? Little did I know that African Fashion just like every other type of fashion had evolved with the times and also catered to the younger generation.
In many aspects, African Fashion has changed drastically over the years but it still somehow remains traditional with western influences, African designers have gone way ahead to experiment and create beautiful designs using fabrics from all over the world and I am so excited to share with you my favourite brands;
Maxhosa by Laduma
Leandi Mulder Designs