Changing the Narrative of the African Print - UNafraid!

November 19, 2019

Changing the Narrative of the African Print - UNafraid!

First post was 2015 when I decided it was time I pursue my 15-year-old self dream, of becoming a fashion designer, in my late 30's. It's been one heck of an exciting journey! Starting and building a company is no joke at all - from late 2015 when I took that first step to start a fashion line using Ankara (African print), to seeing online similar/same pattern fabrics I had bought used by other brands :) and then discovering that majority of these prints are not manufactured in Africa or designed by Africans.

So, December 2016, I dived into the school of internet, with YouTuber's as my lecturers to learn how to digitally draw and create pattern designs for fabrics. I wish I documented that process so that I can thank them - for I had no idea then, how this will grow and take a life of its own. 

I mean, I was going to pay someone else to create custom pattern designs for fabrics we would use but one thing led to another and by 2017, a new dream was born! I discovered and fell in love with Surface Design! Not only can I design patterns for textile but for any surface imaginable. The journey that started out with this question, 'How can we create timeless pieces for women who are not into trends but desire exclusivity' propelled me on to another journey with a new question, 'How can we change the narrative of the African print'?

I'll share more on our journey in the coming months but it's been a learning process, this journey - from 2017 till now - lots of mistakes, wrong turns and testing on different surfaces - textile, leather, paper, ceramic, exploring the fashion, home and paper-goods market. But it has been so worth it!

But for now, let me introduce you, to one of ZURI and IMANI's favourite pattern design. The Gidan Sarki. It's a show stopper this one and has been used to make the Paula trench coat for the LeManteau-UNE collection. The Paula Coat will be launched in 2020.


We are so excited for the now and the future too. Please join, stay and be part of our UNafraid journey as we explore changing the narrative of the African print - made in Africa by Africans!


gidan (House). sarki (King).

pattern design is inspired by the gate to
the King's Palace in Kano State, Nigeria.
The palace houses the Emir, his wives,
children and aides. The Emir's Palace is
accessible only to those invited by the Emir.
kano is in the North West of Nigeria inhabited
by the Hausa's who speak Hausa.
Hausa's are among one of the 3 most
prominent tribes in Nigeria.
the current Emir of Kano is Muhammadu Sanusi II.
He has four wives and twelve children.

3 Responses

Joy from Zuri and Imani
Joy from Zuri and Imani

November 22, 2019

Thank you very much Fola and Mary for your kind words and for checking the blog out :).


November 21, 2019

Very inspiring


November 20, 2019

Amazing! Just awesome

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