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Ikea Enlists Distinguished Group of African Creatives To Design Its New Collection

The Swedish retail store has commissioned a renowned group of African creatives to design its 2019 flagship collection.

The next time you psych yourself up to take the day-long trip to Ikea, you may be delighted to find furniture and home goods created by African designers lining its never-ending shelves.


The Swedish retail giant, which owns 392 stores across 48 countries, has enlisted a noteworthy group of creatives from the African continent to produce its 2019 flagship collection.

The collaboration came about after, Marcus Engman, Ikea's Head of Design, and Ravi Naidoo, founder of Design Inbada—an annual conference for African designers— met to discuss and map-out a plan to spotlight the work of African architects, illustrators and designers, through Ikea's global platform, CNN International reports.

"The creative explosion which is taking place in several cities around Africa right now is something IKEA is curious about. We want to learn from this and spread it to the rest of the world," said Engman.

While it might seem like Ikea is simply hopping on the "Africa is now" bandwagon, many in the creative community recognize the benefits of the partnership for the African artists involved.

For locally based designers, the project is a way to garner international recognition, and promote an "African aesthetic" on global markets.

"Japanese minimalism once inspired a lot of design projects and the philosophy permeated the design community. Certain approaches in many urban African environments could benefit or contaminate the international world of design," said Ivorian architect, Issa Diabate.

Preliminary designs will be on display at the 22nd  Design Indaba conference in Cape Town, and will feature the work of renowned Rwandan architect, Christian Benimana and Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane, to name a few.

The full collection hits stores in 2019.

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Photos by David Pattinson.

First Look: This New Collection from Art Comes First Is Peak Black Yeehaw Aesthetic

The design and brand consultant duo previews the SS20 collection displayed during their residency at The Mandrake Hotel in Paris.

Following their wavy Surf Afrika collection, Art Comes First (ACF) shares with us a preview of their SS20 collection that is all things Black Yeehaw Aesthetic.

Dubbed El Charro Negro, the collection features neutral colors and an array of textures—from leather, embroidery, fringed denim and ponchos, to vests, suede jackets and straight flyness.

Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh of ACF are known as the "Travelling Tailors" where their ventures around the world influence their designs. This time the nomads, who hail from the West Indies, Ghana and Angola respectively, have landed in Paris.

Earlier this month, ACF curated a week-long event-filled residency at The Mandrake Hotel in Paris that encapsulates their ethos of taking cultural influence from around the world and only staying still long enough to create. There, Lambert and Maidoh presented an installation, live musical performances and DJ sets, a film screening and a pop-up shop leading up to Fashion Week. The residency also showcased the duo's latest collaboration with London mainstay Fred Perry.

El Charro Negro will still be showcased in Paris at another location from June 18 to 23. Keep up with ACF on Instagram to stay tuned for details.

Check out our favorite images from the collection below.

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Design
Photo courtesy of IKEA.

IKEA's ÖVERALLT Collection, Featuring Designs by Notable African Creatives, Is Finally Here

"This is how design makes the world smaller and brings people from different cultures closer together," Senegal's Bibi Seck says.

Back in 2017, we got wind that a new IKEA collection was in development, spearheaded by renowned African designers across disciplines.

After a meet-up at Design Indaba, Marcus Engman, IKEA's head of design, and Ravi Naidoo, Design Indaba's founder, discussed a plan to highlight work coming from African architects, illustrators and designers—ultimately releasing the ÖVERALLT Collection 2 years later.

The limited-edition collection features sleek home goods and furniture items from the minds of eight designers hailing from five African countries—Issa Diabaté, Selly Raby Kane, Studio Propolis (Naeem Biviji and Bethan Rayner), Bibi Seck, Reform Studio (Mariam Hazem and Hend Riad2019 OkayAfrica 100 Women honorees), Renee Rossouw, Sindiso Khumalo and Laduma Ngxokolo. According to IKEA, it seeks to "build bridges and note walls—ultimately creating room for better habits together."

"This is how design makes the world smaller and brings people from different cultures closer together," Seck says.

Virgil Abloh also designed for the fifth short-term collection—IKEA Art Event. The mind behind Off-White designed what he considers to be an ironic take on the Persian rug. Using shades of gray and his signature labeling with quotations, Abloh gives commentary on the parents who protect their furniture at all costs (anyone else had plastic coverings on their couches?).

Check out the collection along with Abloh's rug below, with all images courtesy of IKEA.

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Kizz Daniel in "Eko" (Youtube)

The 9 Best Afropop Songs About Lagos

Featuring city odes from Kizz Daniel, Wizkid, Teni, Maleek Berry, M.I Abaga, Brymo and more.

The best afropop songs about Lagos, Nigeria's most populous city, are as much about the city as a whole as they are about select areas of special importance to individual artists.

Read on for our selection of The 9 Best Afropop Songs About Lagos. Listed in no particular order.

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Still from YouTube

Watch Joeboy's New Music Video 'All For You'

The buzzing Nigerian artist shares his latest single from his debut EP 'Love & Light.'

Rising artist Joeboy shares his new song and video "All For You," one of the standout tracks from his debut EP Love & Light.

The track follows the release of the artist's breakout singles "Baby" and "Beginning," and sees the artist dealing with a love interest who's facing an abusive partner.

"The song is basically about a girl in a relationship plagued by domestic violence," says Joeboy of the song and video. "The girl ends up falling in love with someone else who actually treats her right and therefore she ends up breaking up with her boyfriend because of him. It's a twisted love story between a girl and two guys."

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