African Design for Cosmopolitans

This winter there is one inescapable trend that will reign interior design as well as the fashion scene: Southwest African inspired patterns, colours and accessories. In fashion it’s mostly translated into either animal prints or distinctive West-African prints that are bold, and colourful and usually seen worn by tribal women or in folkloric dresses. In interior design the trend is less outspoken and more subtle, drawing inspiration from South African designs.

Online shop The South is Blooming is not just inspired by South Africa as a trend, but permanently all about South African labels. They curate the best South African designs from small independent creatives and artisans and make them available worldwide through their webshop. The shop has an eclectic selection of contemporary design, craft, music, books and visual culture from emerging and established names in creative Africa.


Paradise-is-Here-fabrics-panels-2-847x1024Everything in the web shop is described into detail including the people and story behind the products. They even give us a peek into the studios of the creatives. South African handmade design is characterized by use of traditional methods with a contemporary twist. As a result, products are often raw by use of upcycled materials but also edgy and contemporary. By making the artisans visible they are directly supported, cutting out the middle men.

I love the beautiful pillows, napkins and cotton planters screenprinted with waterbased inks by South African designer Heather Moore of Skinny laMinx. Her designs are influenced by sources as diverse as South Africa rock art, 50s glassware, and retro Scandanavian motifs. Another favourite are the ZenZulu handwoven wire bowls made from telephone wire and handmade using traditional Zulu weaving techniques. Bursting with colour are the geometric patterned pillows made from embroidered maize sacks handmade by a crafting center in a remote part of Kwazulu-Natal.

Have a look at their website and shop the latest trend from real African talents! Or better yet, visit their pop-up shop on October 28 – November 2nd in Amsterdam, Haarlemmerdijk 41, where they will showcase and sell their products offline.

Blooming collage


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