When Afrika Calls

Designers have been looking to other countries and cultures for inspiration since forever. Suno is particularly appealing to me because of it’s socially conscious roots. Creator Max Osterweiz had been a collector of textiles from Kenya for more than a decade before his inspiration to start Suno hit. He realized that foreign investment of Africa’s natural resources may be hindered by Kenya’s post election turmoil. In the interest of encouraging economic growth, Osterweiz created Suno to employ local Kenyan artisans under fair conditions. Based in New York, samples and patterns were constructed and then brought to Kenya where the garments are produced.

I absorbed the Suno look book like a sponge, soaking up the color-infused images with glee: nomadic fun! And reminiscent of a different time and space, specifically their 2009 Fall Winter collection. I loved images like this one; it hinted at Old World portraits of women carrying goods to market.

I like the portrait quality of this image as well.

If you apply some nifty editing, you can see what I mean:

The only thing I didn’t like about that sitting portrait are the leopard tights. It does “update” the look a bit for the modern tween, but, seeing as I’m not a tween, I don’t have any particular use for colored leopard print tights.

However, I am liking how they diffuse the leopard print with the sheer drop-crotch trousers. (Sheer drop crotch trousers! First that I’ve seen so far!)

Liking these tights better. It updates the look while still keeping the tone mature yet fun. It almost looks subtle enough to wear to work. And the headwraps are inspired.

On a separate note, can I say how much I’m enjoying viewing these pics with a Black sister sharing the spotlight? I mean, doesn’t it make sense to showcase Kenyan inspiration with someone who looks like they could be of African descent?

Chica is gorgeous. I’m loving the color story in this portrait: purple and gold with hints of red and pink. Her pose is regal yet relaxed. I’d have to say that Suno’s collection this season is one of my most inspirational for me. Classic.

The 2010 Spring Summer collection continues with the brightly colored designs, but now the setting reminds me of being in the streets of vintage Italy or Greece. The clothing line has also begun to design their own fabric, which I’m more or less enthused about; I would’ve preferred the materials to remain close to its roots.

How much am I loving these obi belts!

I know the focus is on the clothes right now, but a hint as to where to find those sunnies couldn’t hurt.

Headwrap? Check! Breastplate? Check! Obi belt? Check! Giant Hammer pants? Check!

Loving the mix of prints and colors in this ensemble. Of particular inspiration is the one-shoulder strap. It seems to have some kind of cinching mechanism of added interest. I’m running through a list of creative ways to create my own effect: simple black hair ties roped together, safety pins, brooches…

…I have a lot of shopping to do.


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