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The Shop at Bluebird hosts African design pop-up

By Danielle Wightman-Stone



The Shop at Bluebird is launching a six-week pop-up celebrating African design, inspiration and collaboration within fashion, accessories and interiors at its Covent Garden flagship.

The ‘Between Us’ pop-up will welcome over twenty designers, from womenswear and accessories to interiors and lifestyle, curated by the founder and executive director of Lagos Fashion Week, Omoyemi Akerele and brand consultants Tammy Tinker Pudel and Katrina Macpherson, who are based out of Cape Town.

The showcase will predominately feature talents from Nigeria and South Africa, which have been bought together for the first time in London, with the aim of representing the “vibrant and dynamic facets of African design and community” and will include traditional handcraft and local production to cultural and political messaging through fashion.

Participating brands include Aaks, Anyango Mpinga, Aprelleduany, Ardmore Design, Asha Eleven, Chommies, Crystal Birch, Eki Orleans, Eclectic Chique, Galago, Iamsigo, Karu, Lisa Folawiyo, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Mami Wata, Maxhosa, Nina Bosch, Okapi, Orange Culture, Pop Caven, Studio 189 and Tilayo.

Claire Miles, the buying director of The Shop at Bluebird, said in a stateement: “Between Us is the first collaborative installation of its kind, as well as the first that we are hosting in Carriage Hall. We cannot wait to introduce these special and unique designers exclusively to The Shop at Bluebird.

“African design is so interesting, it can be bold, eclectic, thought-provoking, serene - ultimately, it leaves a strong impression, all of which perfectly aligns with the brand values of The Shop at Bluebird. We are delighted to be able to showcase and support both new and established African talent.”

African designers to showcase at The Shop at Bluebird pop-up

Highlights will include accessories brand, Aaks founded by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, who produces its handmade raffia bags with a women’s cooperative in Bolgatanga, Northern Ghana, while activist and advocate of ‘slow fashion’ Anyango Mpinga will showcase her anti-human trafficking initiative, ‘Free as a Human’, and womenswear label Eki Orleans, founded by Hazel Eki Aggrey-Orleans will highlight its vibrant prints that have all been produced digitally to make the pieces more environmentally conscious.

As a partner, Lagos Fashion Week will also be debuting a live London showcase in store, spotlighting a selection of designers at the forefront African Fashion, on April 2.

Omoyemi Akerele added: “This is in furtherance of the Lagos Fashion Week mission to raise the profile of African designers at home and beyond. We are excited to collaborate with The Shop at Bluebird to provide an opportunity for our designers to have direct access to a new market in London’s Covent Garden.

“Some of the brands are beneficiaries of the International Trade Center’s SHETrades in Commonwealth programme which aims to connect three million women to market by 2021. We hope ‘Between Us’ provides participating designers with opportunities to grow their market and simultaneously nurture partnerships for future opportunities.’’

The ‘Between Us’ pop-up runs for six weeks from April 2.

Images: courtesy of The Shop at Bluebird

The Shop at Bluebird