OkayAfrica's 100 Women
Photo by Darren Bandeira

100 Women: OkayAfrica's Vibrant New Capsule Collection Is Here

Our new Ghanaian-made limited edition collection features vibrant kimonos, headwraps and obi belts in collaboration with 100 Women honoree Abrima Erwiah.

Throughout the month of March, OkayAfrica has celebrated the contributions of African women across the diaspora through our annual 100 Women list. The month is coming to a close, but we're still not done celebrating.

Today we present our 100 Women Capsule Collection in collaboration with 2018 honoree Abrima Erwiah of renowned New York and Accra-based fashion house Studio 189, who drew inspiration from women across the African diaspora to create her vibrant, fluid designs.

"All of the items are made by hand—hand-batiked in Ghana," says Erwiah. "The fabrics are very colorful and the prints are tropical. The reason we liked to do that is because it's consistent with the idea of the global African narrative. I like to imagine a world where you can see a tree or a flower and you can see it just as well in the Caribbean, Ghana, South America or LA. It's further proving that we're all connected."


The three-piece capsule includes patterned kimonos, head wraps, and obi belts, each designed in colorful, earthy fabrics all crafted in Ghana.

This collection was conceived with the African woman of the world in mind—the many women who work, wake, and wander finding their likeness in communities throughout the continent and diaspora. It's the effortlessness of a patterned layer Kimono, the accent of an Obi belt, and the command of a seamlessly tied headwrap that makes this collection unequivocally our own.

Check out the collection below, along with some behind the scenes images of the production process. We hope you enjoy the collection just as much as we enjoyed brining it to life.

SHOP OKAYAFRICA'S 100 WOMEN CAPSULE COLLECTION HERE.

Red & white leaf kimono and obi belt.Photo by Darren Bandeira

Navy & turquoise leaf kimono and 'camo' obi belt.Photo by Darren Bandeira

Black & white leaf kimono and obi belt.Photo by Darren Bandeira

Pink, navy & green leaf kimono and 'camo' obi belt.Photo by Darren Bandeira

Navy, turquoise & white kimono and 'camo' obi belt.Photo by Kofi Anokye

Navy & turquoise pineapple headwrap. Photo by Kofi Anokye

Red & white pineapple headwrap. Photo by Kofi Anokye

Turquoise & white pineapple headwrap.Photo by Kofi Anokye

Navy & blue pineapple headwrap.Photo by Kofi Anokye

The Making Of

Photo by Victor Raison

Photo by Victor Raison

Photo by Victor Raison

Photo by Victor Raison

Photo by Victor Raison

Photo by Victor Raison

Photo by Kofi Anokye

Photo by Kofi Anokye

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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