African-inspired Ankara prints get modern makeover

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Saturday, October 31, 2020
African-inspired Ankara prints get modern makeover
African-inspired Ankara prints are getting a modern makeover, thanks to these bold designers!

HOUSTON, Texas -- African-inspired prints are getting a modern makeover. Ankara, a fabric from West Africa, isn't just considered cultural attire anymore - it's taking the spotlight on catwalks and red carpets across the world.

Onyii Brown, a Nigerian-born designer from Houston, has always admired the bold, bright colors of Ankara. She first started her brand, Onyii & Co., in her garage, turning vibrant African prints into figure-flattering wrap dresses, skirts, and jumpsuits. Since then, she has shown her colorful styles at New York Fashion Week and even received recognition from Martha Stewart.

Yetunde Olukoya, also from Nigeria, first started sewing designs for her label in her living room in Fulshear, Texas. Like Brown, she drew inspiration from her African heritage, fusing the traditional Ankara prints she loves into Western looks. Her brand, Ray Darten, is manufactured in Nigeria and supports educational and health initiatives in that country.

Localish went behind the scenes with these bold designers to see how they're turning African-inspired prints into a global trend!

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