Design

An African Minute: Rwanda's House of Tayo

 


What is House of Tayo and why has it got everyone talking? Elegant and chic with a taste of local flavour, House of Tayo is the latest clothing brand hitting the fashion blogosphere by storm. Featuring bold colours and scene-stealing prints, their first collection proves why Rwanda’s Matthew Rugamba is this year’s designer to watch. We spend "An African Minute" with the man behind the scenes. 

1. House of Tayo uses stunning African wax print fabrics. Where do you get your supply and how do you choose your fabrics?

I source all of my fabrics locally. When I first decided that I wanted to use African wax print I made a trip to the marketplace in downtown Kigali. I met a group of lively middle-aged women who have been dealing with these fabrics almost all their lives. For some of them it is a family business and something that they will hand over to their children. They understand this fabric more than anyone else I have met. They are able to tell you the significance about certain patterns and colours in a more cultural context, and as a result I was immediately drawn to their stories.

When it comes to my method of picking the fabric, I actually just stand back and look at hundreds of prints stacked up in these ladies’ stalls and I simply pick the ones that stand out to me the most. I look for a special dynamic in each and every piece of fabric. If I have a bright and powerful colour I try to have a less complicated print on it and when I have a highly complicated print I prefer to have it on softer colours. There is always the danger of creating a piece that is too loud and I try to keep an eye out for that.

2. What inspired you to launch House of Tayo?

Having completed my second year of college in the United States, I found myself reflecting upon the fact that I repeatedly found myself in a position of answering questions about the food, music, style, culture, and history of my home continent of Africa. Through this, I realized that dispelling myths and sharing anecdotes of life growing up in various parts of Africa has—in fact—been an equally enlightening experience for me as it has for those with whom I have shared my stories. It was through this realization of my growing affinity for the sights, sounds, experiences, and aesthetics of his home continent of Africa that House of Tayo was born. It is a creative vehicle through which I can capture, interpret, and purvey the bright colours, rich fabrics, intricate textiles, poise and elegance of African fashion.

3. How would you describe your own personal style?

I would describe my style as classic. A year or two ago I was going through my albums looking for pictures that I was going to put up on my dorm room wall and it was an absolute cringefest. I winced at the pictures of me in my early teens wearing doorags, oversized T-shirts and huge “diamond” encrusted belt buckles with my initials. Granted everyone else has these kinds of pictures, but I just felt that didn’t accurately display my personality and character. It was simply a phase, a fad, a trend. I wanted to be able to look at a picture of myself and not be able to date it based on what I was wearing and this is the state of mind I was in when I started House of Tayo. I wanted to create pieces that were unique but more importantly ones with longevity.

4. Which style icon(s) would you love to see wearing your designs?

Oh wow. I mean there are so many that I could think of— Theopholis London, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Mark Ronson, David Beckham, Spike Lee, Andre 3000, D’banj, Solange Knowles, Janelle Monaé, Ozwald Boateng. I’ll stop there for now.

5. So far you have a wonderful collection of print fabric accessories. What can we expect to see from House of Tayo in the future?

Thank you for your kind words. Well there are a couple of different accessories that I am working on with my team right now but we definitely have plans to make actual clothing in the near future. Be sure to follow House of Tayo on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.

Check out more OKA's African Minute interviewees- folks whose work reflects a new perspective of Africa:

Congolese superstar rapper Hugo Million

South African fashion designer Gareth Cowden

Nigerian songstress Zara Gretti

Zimbabwean celebrity hair and make up stylist Jackie Mgido

Kenyan comic artist Chief Nyamweya

Style

OkayAfrica and B4Bonah Share New 'B4Beginning' Capsule Collection

We've teamed up with the Ghanaian artist ahead of the release of his debut project for some colorful new merch.

Rising Ghanaian star B4Bonah, premieres his catchy debut track "See Body," and to mark the song's release, OkayAfrica has teamed up with the artist to share a new collection of tees, that'll fit nicely into your summer wardrobe.

The artist's latest track is a party jam, that sees him flowing "over an earworm flute melody and afrobeats percussion," using "his rasping flow to celebrate the girl of his dreams." The track was produced by J.Rocs.

B4Bonah - See Body www.youtube.com

In conjunction with the song's release, two new shirt designs are available for preorder at our Okayshop. The vibrant shirts feature the artist's image on colorful blue and green colored blocks, with the words "B4BONAH B4BEGINNING," on the back—referencing the artist's debut mixtape, which is slated for release in late July. The project features Medikal, Mugeez (R2Bees), Amaarae & Ivy Sole.


B4Bonah is an artist to watch, as he continues to make his presence known in the Ghanaian music scene.

Watch the music video for "See Body" above, and head to shop.okayplayer.com now to pick up to pre-order a shirt (or two). You can also preorder B4Bonah's B4beginning mixtape here.

popular

Watch EL, Joey B and Falz' New Video for 'Ehua'

Ghana meets Nigeria in this hilarious new clip.

Ghanaian rappers EL and Joey B connect with Nigeria's Falz for this addictive new collaboration and music video for "Ehua."

"Ehua" is built on energetic afro-electronic beat work produced by EL himself. Joey B handles the hook while Falz kicks things off early with a solid verse.

The eye-catching and hilarious music video for the single, directed by Yaw Skyface, features EL as a policeman, Falz as the 'oga' bossman, and Joey B as a worker for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Falz takes Joey B's woman by showing off his money and status, so Joey B enlists policeman EL to get back at Falz. The plan backfires however as the officer decides to stick around and party with the rich instead of helping the everyday worker out.

For more GH hits check out our Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month roundups and follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Watch the new music video for EL, Joey B and Falz' "Ehua" below.

EL ft Joey B & Falz - Ehua (Official Video) youtu.be


News Brief
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

Nigeria's Super Falcons Were Forced To Threaten a Sit-In Protest Over Unpaid Bonuses After Women's World Cup

After negotiations, the Nigerian Football Federation have agreed to run the players their money.

Nigeria's own Super Falcons had a great run during the Women's World Cup. But instead of the players heading back home or to their respective professional clubs after losing to Germany 3-0, they were forced to strong-arm the Nigerian Football Federation to pay what they're owed.

According to ESPN's initial report over the weekend, the Super Falcons threatened to stage a sit-in protest at their hotel in France until all of their unpaid bonuses dating back to two years ago were paid, along with their World Cup allowances and bonuses.

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