Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.


September 5th, 2012

African Lookbook – the USA’s latest African online retailer – E-BOUTIQUE

We at AFG are excited about this new project. Speaking with Aaron Kohn recently about future projects was excited because of not just their concept for African Lookbook to be a space for “discussion revolving around oral histories and products in an online shop” but the teams share drive and entrepreneurship.

They say that “Our interviews are primary sources: raw, academic in nature, and uneditorialized. For our shop, we work with people around the world to help us find cutting edge African products. We recognize the problems inherent in the selection of interviewees and products. Our solution is to cast as wide of a net as possible given our limited resources.”

Americans Aaron Kohn and Phil Sandick are the co-founders of African Lookbook. They have both lived and worked in Africa for a variety years, completing various journalism and art projects around the continent. Phil, based in Chicago has a master’s degree in Oral History from Columbia University, whilst New York based Aaron is finishing a degree in African Studies, also from Columbia. They came to the idea after attending Cape Town’s annual Design Indaba conference in 2011 because of all the great stuff they saw but realised there was a lack of outlets for it. Aaron put together the concept and the layout for African Lookbook whilst studying abroad in Johannesburg and it was whilst studying that met his now business partner Phil Sandick.

In a recent interview with Holstee Aaron explains that “The oral histories don’t have an agenda. They’re not editorial…They’re not even necessarily about someone’s work….If you want to do research [on Africa], you’re getting second-hand accounts of everything.” We totally agree and support their business.

They recently launched the African Lookbook Shop and to celebrate the launch they printed their look book on postcards. If you’d like to get a bit of Africa in your mailbox, sign up for their email newsletter and they will even send you a set for FREE.

Lookbook’s shop brings with it a slew of African designers whose work has never been available in the US market. Apart from making these new products available (and more are on their way), they are very much still committed to producing Oral Histories. Read their latest interview here, with Senegalese furniture designer, Ousmane M’Baye.

image courtesy African Lookbook

image courtesy African Lookbook

image courtesy African Lookbook

image courtesy African Lookbook

image courtesy African Lookbook

image 'TIAChimurenga' courtesy African Lookbook

image 'ThisIsAfrika' courtesy African Lookbook

Postcard credits:

Photographer: Jonathan Wood

Editor: Kennedy Harris

Beauty: Tiffany Wilson

Models: Munya, Lante, Thembi, Zara, Jerome



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