In early October we gathered with friends at one of the hippest new spots in Brooklyn for a launch event to celebrate our company’s first licensed collection – The AphroChic Collection by Guildery. To make it even more fun, we decided why not do a photo shoot with one of our favorite home decor outlets, Elle Decor, to add to the festivities. The celebration, held at Ode to Babel, provided a way for guests to experience the AphroChic brand on a number of levels, from decor, to food and music. Gathering a diverse group friends representing fashion, art and design, it was truly a magical Brooklyn night.
Epitomizing our focus on global culture and style, we designed the evening with unique elements from several cultures within the African Diaspora in mind. The dining table was lined in one of our latest designs, Ndop. The pattern is based upon Ndop cloth, a traditional relief dying method used by the Bamileke of Cameroon. Napkins had a specifically African-American touch made with our Silhouette fabric featuring women with afros. Beneath the tables a collection of Moroccan rugs from Woven Accents were lined to create warmth, and add a sense of coziness to the intimate fall affair. The geometric prints of the Beni Ourain rugs were also a perfect complement to the textiles and origami dinnerware on the table. Behind the tables, to add texture, we created a Juju Hat wall installation with a collection of neutral and natural feather hats from Authentic Africa in Harlem. Stemless glassware from World Market added to the festive celebration. Metallic gold paint on the bottom of each glass added a glow to the table. And soft light was provided by ILLUME’s majestic glass, and demi and pillar mercury glass candles in a mix of gold and silver metallics on the table. The final element, gorgeous floral arrangements by Phileanor that added a sophisticated pop of color.
Taking a page from our book REMIX, where music playlists were featured for each house tour, we wanted guests to not only see what AphroChic is in terms of design and styling for the evening, but to hear it in the music as well. We invited our friend, Grammy-nominated progressive soul R&B recording artist, Maiysha, to perform songs that represented the AphroChic vibe. She serenaded guests, accompanied only by acoustic guitar, with songs from her first album including Alchemy and You Don’t Know, as well as covers of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer. The Minneapolis native also included a nod to her hometown with an inspiring cover of Prince’s When You Were Mine.
The final element of the evening was the food which endeavored to allow guests to literally taste what the AphroChic brand is about. Chef Rashad Frazier of Pulled Together, created a savory soul food menu for the evening, reflecting the brand’s soulful aesthetic. Dishes included: braised pork shoulder atop cornbread, a sweet potato puree and apple ginger chutney, and for dessert, a warm apple cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream that excited all our tastebuds.
The evening was not only special because we launched a new collection, but because of those we shared it with. It was absolutely one of our favorite evenings – a celebration of diversity and culture that we don’t see reflected too often. It was truly an AphroChic night. Read more about the evening on Elle Decor.
Photographer: Patrick Cline