Style

Kitschai's Unicorns And Bullet Wounds

This is an interview with designer Andrea Ushedo, founder of Kitschai about her first collection called "Unicorns and Bullet Wounds".

When we came across Kitschai's collection, we were amazed by the diversity and creativity of each piece. Some pieces are classic, some are casual, some are purely bold — and we love all of them. Regardless of fashionistas' rooting interests, there's sure to be something for everyone in this West African safari-inspired collection. Emerging designer Andrea Ushedo, the founder of Kitschai, plays with costume design, high fashion and ready-to-wear. She also has a vintage 90s feel with a modern touch, demonstrated her fabric choices. Ushedo previously garnered buzz with her edgy fashion short film "The Initiation" (below). She clearly resides in a universe filled with unbridled imagination and, you'll see in the interview below, that she's totally in sync with her first collection. A little extra: the printed fabrics were hand dyed in Guinea and Mali.


Poundo: Who is Andrea Ushedo?

Andrea Ushedo is just a girl, a girl who wishes she was a giraffe, but a girl nonetheless.

P: What is the label name?

A: The name of my entire brand is called, Kitschai. The collection is called Unicorns And Bullet Wounds.

P: What is your favorite animal print?

A: It would have to be giraffe!

P: Can I call you "bubu"?

A: Most certainly. ^_^

P: What is cool?

A: Cool is a word, a word that's describes Salvador Dali.

P: Bubu, could you tell Prêt-à-Poundo a secret that all the fashion world doesn't know about you?

A: Ermmm, I truly believe in utopia. I intend on creating my very own utopia called 'Zybatron.' It will take many years of spiritual, mental and financial growth but I will one day, build my land of perfection.

P: What do you think of the term "African Fashion"?

A: I think it's a box, it automatically makes me think of Ankara, which isn't too great because fashion in Africa means so much more than that.

P: What are the trends for A/W 13?

A: Whatever you feel like. I'm not a fashion guru, sadly. I was going to google it but, that would be cheating. I personally love layers, stripes and dark colours, so if you're reading this Mr. Trendsetter, please make it happen.

P: What's an accessory/trend/print or outfit you can't stand at all?

A: I'm not a fan of wedged trainers, at all!

P: Stylistically, what is your favorite movie?

A: Alice in Wonderland.

P: If I say Prêt-À-Poundo, what do you say?

A: I'm not too sure what I'm ready to do [laughs]. Or, I'd say 'yes please.'

P: Describe Andrea Ushedo in one word.

A: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

P: A word about Okayafrica. Okayafrica is ...

A: ...A great platform, very encouraging and supportive. But if you literally meant a word, then is go with... Amaze!

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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