Lately, I have come to love and appreciate Ankara fabric…it’s vibrant patterns, versatility to be dressed up or down, the ability to design whatever style I choose, and the identity and self expression it gives me. I make it me, and own it! Fashion, after all is what you buy, and style is what you do with it. -StyleQuotient.
The Ankara fabric, a.k.a. tribal prints, is a major symbol of my Nigerian and African identity, culture, and self expression. It is made of 100% cotton, which means easy maintenance, hypoallergenic properties, and breathabilty. The Ankara fabric is now being made into shoes, handbags, clutches, socks, you name it, the possibilities are endless.
So, as much as I love and use the Ankara, I was surprised to find out Ankara did not originate in Africa…It’s European! Dutch specifically, where It started out as cheap imitations of the Indonesian batik fabric, but somehow found a niche and hold in the West African market, before spreading across several other African countries, and continents.
Lately, there has been a surging interest in the Ankara fabric by non Africans, which is awesome! Ankara has been embraced by celebrities, the likes of FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Alicia Keys, Rhihana, Amber Rose, Gwen Stepanie, Solange, and non other than Beyoncé, Queen Bey herself. The inspiration for my outfit…
Because of the vibrant colors, I paired it with a simple black bandage skirt, black pumps, my old Marc Jacobs stam handbag, and a black belt to add definition to my waistline. Another variation would be a shoulder bag or a clutch in neutral colors.