Style
Image courtesy of Maki Oh

The New Maki Oh Collection Brought Sensuality and Yoruba Tradition to New York Fashion Week

The Nigerian brand's Fall collection, Ala Kobe, was one of the week's standouts.

Amaka Osakwe's latest Maki Oh Fall 2018 collection Ala Kobe, which translates to "someone that gets you into trouble," brought the flare and sexiness New York Fashion Week needed.

She opened the show with a full-body coat, made of "Adire" fabric—the signature dyed, indigo cloth crafted by Yoruba people in the southwestern part of the country—alluding to the very essence of her brand.


The Nigerian designer presented subtle but sensual pieces that illustrated mystery, sophistication, and elegance with details ranging from intricate lace fabric, to open necklines, and shimmering, yet muted colors of Fall.

Image courtesy of Maki Oh

Image courtesy of Maki Oh

Asawa experimented with hair, scarves, and makeup to add more dimension to each looks—much like the layers commonly worn in of Fall. Her collection makes it clear that sexiness doesn't have to be overt, it can be as simple as a quarter length white lace dress with a shimmy on the inside—after all, lingerie isn't only for intimate settings. As the "lazy sensual"pieces fully unfolded throughout the show, it was clear that Osakwe is a woman who likes to play—and that, is precisely why her designs are globally known.

Image courtesy of Maki Oh

Image courtesy of Maki Oh

Maki Oh is a womenswear brand which fuses traditional African techniques with detailed, contemporary construction. Founded by Maki Osakwe in 2010, the Maki Oh design ethos challenges prevailing notions of beauty and explores cultural norms through a womanist lens.

The brand is centered in a strong sense of identity and culture, creating narrative pieces that function as direct channels of communication. The Maki Oh vision extends beyond physical beauty into a textured, layered, and three-dimensional aesthetic, embodying the philosophies of sustainability, preservation, strength and complex simplicity.

Image courtesy of Maki Oh

Image courtesy of Maki Oh

Image courtesy of Maki Oh

Maki Oh has been seen on style icons like Mrs. Michelle Obama, Lupita Nyong'o, and Solange Knowles. Other Leelee Sobieski,Alek Wek, Thandie Newton, Azaelia Banks and more.

The brand has shown during New York Fashion Week and has been featured in a number of major publications including Vogue, Elle, the New York Times, The WallStreet Journal, W Magazine and several other publications.

View more pieces from Maki Oh's latest collection below.

Check out more Nigerian street style photos at Lagos Fashion Week 2019 here.

Image courtesy of Maki Oh

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Pictures courtesy of Maeva Heim

Maeva Heim is the Founder the Beauty Industry Has Been Waiting on

The 31-year-old founder of Bread Beauty Supply is changing the conversation around haircare for textured hair.

It's nearing 9 p.m. in Australia, and Maeva Heim is dimly lit from behind and smiling warmly at her computer screen, ready to talk shop. We're here to discuss hair care, namely her brand Bread Beauty Supply, and how black beauty has made the globe smaller.

The 31-year-old is the founder of Bread Beauty Supply, a haircare line that encourages all textures and curl patterns to come as they are. "We don't want to tell you what to do with your hair. Enough people do that already," Heim says of Bread's brand philosophy. "We are just here to provide really good products for whatever you want to do with your hair at any point and not dictate to you how things should be. We're just women making the good products. You're making the good hair, and that's it. We're not here to define the rules."

But it's impossible to talk about recent strides in beauty products for textured hair without talking about the summer of 2020. In the weeks following the murder of George Floyd in the United States, a crescendo of cries rallied through global streets asking for not just equality but equity. The world watched with scrutiny as black boxes filled social feeds and brands made pledges to diversity. Those calls pinged from executive boards to the shelves of some of the world's largest beauty retailers. Meanwhile, after years of formulation, fundraising, and perfecting formulas and ingredients during a global pandemic, Maeva Heim introduced Bread beauty to the world in a perfect storm of timing and execution. The July 2020 launch filled a wide gap for Black beauty between homemade beauty products and behemoth beauty brands as Heim focused on an often under-explored direct-to-consumer middle.

Lauded on social media for their innovative packaging and nostalgic scents (the brand's award-winning hair oil smells like Froot Loops), Bread is a brand that makes hair care basics for not-so-basic hair. Typically, women with textured hair have not been included in the conversations around the idea of "'lazy girl hair" with minimal and effortless maintenance and styling - something Heim wanted to change. Part of Bread's mission is deleting category terms from the brand language – e.g. 'anti-frizz — that the brand feels unnecessarily demonizes characteristics that are natural to textured hair.

Photo courtesy of Bread Beauty

Born and raised in Peth, Western Australia, to an Ivorian mother and a French father, Heim grew up as one of the few Black kids in her neighborhood. Her days weaved between school and helping her mother run her braiding salon, one of the only of its kind in 1990's Australia. From sweeping floors, answering phones, and assisting with product orders, Heim's introduction to the world of beauty was rooted in the practice of doing.

Heim would go on to study business and law at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, before working in marketing at L'Oréal, followed by an internship at Procter & Gamble in Singapore. But it wasn't until her relaxer exploded in her luggage during a flight between New York and Chicago that she began to think seriously about not only her personal hair journey but also about the beauty industry's gaps.

After ditching chemical hair-relaxer and returning to her natural texture, she pitched her idea to Sephora and, in 2019, was selected as one of the first-ever Australian participants in the Sephora Accelerate program, securing a launch deal for both in-store and online.

But what's most striking about Heim, aside from her penchant for focusing on the brand and the consumer, is her focus on the innovation gaps for Black beauty products. Uniquely shy on social media but poignantly focused on every nuance of her brand and serving Bread's prior overlooked customer base, Maeva is the founder the beauty world has been waiting for.

*This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity

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