News Brief

This Nigerian Designer Was Awarded an MBE from The Queen For her Inclusive Underwear Line, Nubian Skin

Ade Hassan, the creator of Nubian Skin has received one of Britain's highest honors for her contribution to the fashion industry.

Ade Hassan, the innovator behind the one-of-a-kind under garment line, Nubian Skin is now a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

The designer—who created Nubian Skin in 2014 in response to the lack of truly "nude" underwear and bras available to black and brown girls—was awarded the honor for her indelible contribution to the fashion industry. She accepted the award last week with her parents by her side.


"When you take Ijebu to Buckingham Palace," wrote the designer in an Instagram post.

"As the owner of a small, independent brand it is an incredible validation of my goal of 'Empowering Women. Embracing our Colour' to receive this Honour, said the designer in a statement on the Nubian Skin blog."I feel so fortunate and am very grateful for all the people who have supported my vision and Nubian Skin and made it what is today."

Hassan was also recently named one of Ebony's Power 100 entrepreneurs.

Congrats to the designer for receiving the honor, and also for being a trailblazer in the fashion industry.

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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