Style

Hervé Léger At NYFW

Designer Herve Leger's Fall/Winter 14 runway show during New York Fashion Week.

This was one of our favorite New York Fashion Week F/W 14 collections so far. Okayafrica favorite Hervé Léger  captured his audience with outstanding designs. It looked like a female army took the runway by storm in his latest show, as the models strutted down the catwalk with a powerful presence. Paired with immaculate staging, the collection featured corset belts, leather jackets topped with fur, and feathers as sleeves, amongst other genius statements. The collection follows Leger's  previous one with another level of je ne sais quoi. From head-to-toe, meticulous attention had been paid to every detail— from the high long ponytails to the high-knee boots. Most of the dresses and skirts came to the knee, showing some skin without feeling absolutely out of winter control. As to the fashionistas who wore bare legs with stilettos in the snow... no comment. Overall, it was a great collection presented by a great designer  that'll certainly be a great asset for next season. Scroll through our gallery to above. If you want to talk about it, tweet @okayafrica with #herveleger and #newyorkfashionweek.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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