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Amelie Mancini’s Desert-Inspired Prints

Amelie Mancini is a French artist currently based in Brooklyn, New York, creating desert-inspired prints.

AphroChic Remixes The LIN Digital NewFront Lounges

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”4636,4637,4640,4638,4643,4641,4639,4642″ img_size=”full” onclick=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Party’s in New York are always a blast, and especially so when you get to style them yourself. Last month we styled the LIN Digital NewFront event in Chelsea. Inspired by the blog, and our book REMIX, our goal was to create culturally-inspired spaces where media editors could learn about LIN Digital’s new offerings, enjoy lunch inspired by some great food bloggers, and meet and greet one another all in a cozy environment. They were also invited to take our book home as a special gift from us.

The inspiration for the space was the event’s theme, “HELLO”. Everything was about color and making guests feel welcome, so we went with an array of bright and colorful pieces. We wanted to liven up the standard rattan sofas that you often find in outdoor furnishings and re-upholstered the seats in some beautiful vintage kantha quilts from India. To break up all the beige, we took the back cushions off of each sofa, and filled them with our own mix of AphroChic pillows. From our hand-dyed batiks made in Rwanda, to our cool Afro Silhouette pillow, the lounges were filled to the brim with inviting patterns. The final touch – rugs in variety of different shades from our favorite place for cool carpets, Malene B. We even lined the “red carpet” with a colorful array of Malene B. runners.

The final result were spaces perfect for enjoying a spring event in New York.

Source: Images furnished by LIN Digital[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

An Australian Textile Collection With African Style

We have fallen for the latest collection from Australian textile brand, Mokum. Inspired by African weaving and craftsmanship, the new collection features bold patterns in a soothing, neutral color palette. As much as we love the textiles, we also can’t get enough of their gorgeous styling. From the baskets to the juju hats, these photos are sure to inspire your next home decor project.

Vintage Textiles And Furnishings From Barrington Blue

Bright hues and bold patterns. That’s what you can spot at LA’s, Barrington Blue. The shop, that we discovered on Instagram last month, offers some beautiful vintage textiles from around the globe, and gives them new life as pillows and seating. Their benches and stools are a great way to integrate some color and pattern into a space. And we’d love to place armfuls of their vintage kilim pillows on our bed at home. And even though this family owned-business resides in LA, they ship all over the US. We already have our eye on a few stools that would be right at home here in Brooklyn.

Beautiful Finnish Living At Johanna Gullichsen

Strong geometrics, thick woven fabric, and the perfect palette of soothing colors are what makes Johanna Gullichsen’s textiles the perfect showcase of modern Scandinavian design. We fell in love with the collection after seeing it at Heimtextil in Frankfurt. Gullichsen’s designs are inspired by traditional weaving.

“Handweaving with the loom is my inspiration for exploring techniques and patterns. That’s how most of my designs are born. Craft is a living design tool for me, always included in the narrative of my textiles.” -Johanna Gullichsen

The strong dose of pattern that Gullichsen offers is what’s particularly appealing. While a tradition of craftsmanship is present, it’s the shapes in her designs that make them a cool choice for upholstery fabric for a sofa, side chair or even drapery.

“I am especially interested in the construction of fabrics and I am drawn to technically challenging designs, even though the final product might seem simple. The ready-made products that I design are defined by the fabric itself; by its material or by its pattern.” -Johanna Gullichsen

Fitting with a lot of the weaving trends we are starting to see in design today, Gullichsen’s designs are absolutely appealing.

Style Talk with Taj Hunter Waite

Miami designer, Taj Hunter Waite has an eye for what’s on trend in the world of interior design. Her newly launched Global Woman Collection is a celebration of the brightly colored batik prints that are so popular on the African continent. Taj has launched her collection with social justice in mind. Proceeds from the sales of the Global Woman Collection will go to disadvantaged women abroad and locally. This South Florida designer has a mission in mind, and is talking with us today about All Things Taj.

AphroChic: Style Talk With Taj Hunter Waite

You have been an interior designer for more than a decade. At what point did you begin to feel the need to combine your activism with your work?

I had been working at a design firm, The Architects Hall in Miami, in 1994 and didn’t even know interior design was a profession when I started. I was focused on fashion and wanted to go into merchandising. At that time, in Miami, there weren’t many outlets for aspiring fashion careers, so I was referred to a firm which was primarily architecture. The principal architect, Neil Hall, was heavily involved in both interiors and fashion, and he became a mentor during my tenure. I learned design, space planning, selection of materials, contract negotiations and so on. I finished my undergrad in business and decided afterwards to go to the Art Institute for Interior Design. 

Fast forward to 2004, and while still at the same firm we were doing a lot of projects and the firm had strong attitudes towards featuring handmade crafts from the continent of Africa. We moved our offices into the courtyard of a very artsy dining and shopping hub, and at the front of the offices were 15-foot oversized glass windows that we used to showcase art we started to collect, it was like a gallery. I took a lead role with the principal and began to find women cooperatives around the globe that were developing innovative business models to not only help these talented women get their crafts to the western market, but also to be paid fair wages, and to learn business acumen for self-sufficiency. It had a very deep and emotional impact on me. 

Personally, my mom passed away from breast cancer when I was 8 years old. Since then, I have been fighting towards achieving that same self-sufficiency. I became very sensitive to the challenges these creative tribes and communities faced. From a design perspective, I grew a deeper appreciation and love for handmade items. Now a mother, I feel even more connected to these women. I see that we all share the same drive as mothers to care for our family, and to protect and provide opportunities for our children.  

AphroChic: Style Talk With Taj Hunter Waite

How has that need for activism shaped the development of your company?

As far as my career was concerned, the primary pursuit was no longer on projects. The drive and excitement I once had for doing floor plans and selecting materials became secondary. My deepest desire is to assist disadvantaged women. I want to contribute in whatever way I can, from within the industry I love, which is design. Activism in fashion brands is everywhere, however it’s not as present in interiors and home décor. I want to be more involved.

AphroChic: Style Talk With Taj Hunter Waite

In addition to your commitment to international activism you’ve been deeply involved with the art and design community in Miami. What do you feel are some of the key aspects of Miami’s culture and how do you feel that they have influenced your designs?

It’s cliché to say, but Miami is truly a cultural melting pot. It’s funny when I hear it but most people feel they’re in another country when they visit. Culture is such a powerful thing. It’s binding and alienating at the same time. 

Miami is predominantly influenced by the Latin Caribbean and South American culture. We are modern in style and attitude. We celebrate mid-century design, and South Beach is art deco too. You see Spanish Colonial or traditional design as well, but it’s secondary. As a multi-racial woman of Caribbean decent, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Miami is a chic metropolitan and modern city where you can have the feel of island living depending on where you are. This is where we differ from Los Angeles and New York. All of this influences my personal style.

AphroChic: Style Talk With Taj Hunter Waite

With a successful career as an interior designer, what made you decide to move into starting your own businesses and creating your own products? 

It was very much a natural progression.  The Urban Collective – that gallery in the front of our offices – was born in 2004 out of the excitement that came from learning the stories behind the hand-crafted objects we were collecting. My first design was fashion inspired. It was my first cause-driven campaign and we used West African Adinkra symbols designed with Swarovski crystals that were sold on ladies black tank tops. I have now founded All Things Taj as my outlet to be creative as a designer and support the causes that are important to me.

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Tell us about The Urban Collective. How did that project come about and how would you like to see it develop in the future?

The mission of The Urban Collective is to promote the high aesthetic of African art and craft in a modern context. It all started happenstance back in 2004, and it ignited a passion in me. I asked my then boss and mentor to be a partner. It was a career shift and my time became fully consumed with the store, sourcing unique objects and traveling to trade shows. Since 2011, the brand has been producing ArtAfrica, the first art show during Art Basel Miami to feature galleries and artists directly from the continent. 

AphroChic: Style Talk With Taj Hunter Waite

With a blog going into its second year, a home decor shop and your own pillow brand you are clearly a woman with a lot to do. Do you see each of these outlets fulfilling a specific need?

I started the blog because I have a perspective about social consciousness within the design industry that I want to advocate. As designers, we can create serious and wide-reaching change without it being a heavy or serious thing. All Things Taj is purpose-driven with a specific focus on uplifting disadvantaged women. I’ve found my way of making activism fun and exciting for myself and I truly hope my blog shares that sentiment. 

AphroChic: Style Talk With Taj Hunter Waite

What’s the next step for All Things Taj?

Creating, creating, creating.  I have now started to search for stockists for The Global Woman pillow collection. Partial proceeds of this collection are designated by the buyers’ selection from a list of causes at the time of purchase. And, I’ll continue to create more cause-driven collections. Essentially, I want to bring philanthropy to home décor. 

 

AphroChic: Style Talk With Taj Hunter Waite

 

{Images furnished by Taj Hunter Waite}

Bring The Beauty Of Peruvian Textiles Home

Woven strips of wool, bright and vivid shades, diverse patterns, these are the foundations of Peruvian textiles. These richly, colorful rugs from Peru are part of Urban Outfitters’ new Open Road collection. Embracing diverse style from around the globe, it is exciting to see these one-of-a-kind pieces that you can add to your own global collection at home. These limited edition pieces are perfect for adding a pop of color to your floors, bed, or a neutral sofa.

AphroChic: Bring The Beauty Of Peruvian Textiles Home

AphroChic: Bring The Beauty Of Peruvian Textiles Home

AphroChic: Bring The Beauty Of Peruvian Textiles Home

AphroChic: Bring The Beauty Of Peruvian Textiles Home

AphroChic: Bring The Beauty Of Peruvian Textiles Home

 

The Latest Pattern Obsession: Shibori

Shibori is a form of resist-dying similar to tie-dye. In Shibori, a cloth is tightly bound, wound around an object or sewn and then dyed. The resulting cloth displays a repeating pattern based on the method of binding used.AphroChic: The Latest Pattern Obsession: Shibori

AphroChic: The Latest Pattern Obsession: Shibori

There are a number of places where well-made Shibori-inspired design can be found on home accessories such as pillows and bedspread as well as on clothing. Here are just a few:

Rebecca Atwood

Vera Wang

Madewell

AphroChic: The Latest Pattern Obsession: Shibori

AphroChic: The Latest Pattern Obsession: Shibori

For anyone who loves the beautiful, ephemeral patterns of traditional Japanese resist-dyeing and would like to try their hand at it themselves, the good people at *DesignSponge, Dharma Trading and HonestlyWTF have all provided a set of easy-to-follow instructions to set you on your way.

Bryan Mason is the Co-Founder of AphroChic, and the Managing Editor for AphroChic on About.com. Read his full article: 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Shibori on About.com.

Sources: About.com / Lovely Indeed / Lovely Indeed / Crystal Blue Persuasion / Flickr