Afro-Inspired Textiles Give Dreary London a Splash of Colour [VIDEO]

New designers, inspired by their roots, are combining techniques to create traditional African designs with a Western twist.

For Eva Sonaike, what started out as a venture to furnish her own home, became a flourishing business.

From her studio in North London, she draws on her background and cultural identity for inspiration:

“I wanted something that represents me, I’m of Nigerian origin and I grew up in Germany, in the South of Germany, in the Black Forest, so I wanted to have something that almost represented both cultures.”

I kind of think because English weather is really dull, it kind of brightens it up a bit.

– Eva Sonaike

Eva on Aburi bench small

Individuals and design collectives in the UK are combining western fabrics with vibrant African patterns and techniques, for a new take on African design.

Creatives like Banke Kuku, say the Africa theme is very on trend and London, as multi-cultural city, gives designers the opportunity to bring their take on Africa to the market.

“I kind of think because English weather is really dull, it kind of brightens it up a bit. It’s also unique, especially in this economic crisis we’re going through, you know, when you buy something you want to buy something that’s really special.”

From production to peg, many of these designers are showcased in both big department stores and specialist designer shops like Soboye in Shoreditch, East London.

For many african-inspired this is the ultimate dream – to have their own boutique in one for the trendiest parts of London. Proof perhaps that the capital can be a real platform for designers to get their collections out to a wider audience.

-eNCA