UNSEEN BENIN

The place to Explore Benin and its Culture

Olowou Print, The Most Authentic Beninese Fashion Brand

Olowou Print, The Time Of Batik Ethnic Leila Abdoulaye

Olowou Print – The Time of Etnik Batik

 

Fashion In Benin 

What Does It Mean?

Beninese people love to be fashionable. One can immediately witness the variety of fashion styles and vibrant prints when looking around. In Benin, your clothing attire is a representation of who you are or in some case, who you aspire to be. You must look good and dress well. Even though westernized clothing can be seen on locals, they usually tend to be mixed with an African Print or motifs.

Bead Necklace, African Jewelry, African Print Bag

Olowou Print – Bag and Necklace

For example, a man can be seen wearing a pair of jeans with an African Printed shirt or a woman can wear a T-shirt that has been embroidered with African prints or accessories. In some cases, Westernized design will be replicated using only African Prints. It’s a huge contrast as the African Print Fabrics are bold in colors where as regular fabrics used to tailor a western design are very neutral in color tone. So in some cases, you can see a full man suit made using traditional menswear pattern but tailored using an African printed cloth.

 

Meet Olowou Print 

The Most Authentic 100 Percent Beninese Fashion Brand

Salmata Yemi Akobi - Olowou Print Fashion Designer and Owner

Salmata Yemi Akobi – Olowou Print Fashion Designer and Owner

There are many fashion designers that are emerging in Benin. However, there is one in particular whose fame and sucess has made it to an international level quite quickly. The brand name is Olowou Print. Olowou Print is a local fashion brand created by a Beninese buisiness woman, Salmata Yèmi Akobi. Ms. Akobi started the brand making women clothing by using local handmade fabrics and adorning her designs with custom handcrafted accesories made with iron, cooper, wood and recyclable materials. Olowou brand philosophy is to promote local upscale fashion by solely adopting everything and everyone from the Benin. Therefore, the cotton used is grown, hand processed and dyed by men and women in Benin. She designs the patterns of her collections but, with the help of local talents, her designs come to fruition. To ensure quality and perfection, designer Ms. Akobi self-inspects each item made. She takes pride in her line and wants each piece made to be and look the best possible way. There is no room for error in the her mind. Everything must be impeccable.

The brand started as a women clothing line but, due to popular demand, the brand extended to men fashion, kid fashion, accessories and home goods. Her most popular fashion lines are women fashion as well as accessories.Ms. Akobi, a woman with curves, understands what works to enhance, accentuate and flatter a woman’s body. She also use geometric design to place them strategically in the fabric patterns and designs in order to create a very unique and cool illusion.

Salmata Yemi Akobi, Olowou Print

 Salmata Yemi Akobi – Proud Owner and Designer of Olowou Print

For her Jewelry line, she uses natural materials such as ebony woods or an animal horns. She makes stunning super tiny glassbeads necklaces that are strung one by one by hand, accessorized with usually an ebony wood piece and finished with a copper cluster on the back. It doesn’t do any justice speaking of her creations. Seeing and touching it is where the love story with this outstanding and promising African Fashion brand begins.

Hand carved wood, Batik Fabric, Benin, Unseen Benin, Olowou Print, Benin Fashion, Benin Bags, African Fashion, African Prints In Fashion, African Fabrics,

Olowou Print – “Ugi” Handbag

From an interview with Salmata Yèmi Akobi, she said:

“My goal for Olowou Print is for each piece to be unique. I am not interested in mass producing.None of my piece are replicated twice. They may look similar but, there is always something different in each one of them. I do that by changing embroideries, prints, accessories or patterns. We are all unique being so should be what you wear”

In addition to being a rising Beninese designer, Ms. Salmata is every environmentally conscious. As part of her mission statement collected from her website, she said:

“Each person has to be concerned with the preservation of nature and above all, not play a part to the degradation of the environment in which we live and with our children’s future in mind. For that reason, I use a lot of recycled materials that have been the recovered and processed from discarded objects in nature.”

Olowou Print - "Tèni" Handbag With a Recycled adornment., Recycled  Material for Fashion, African Print, African Fashion

Olowou Print – “Tèni” Handbag With a Recycled adornment.

 

From Africa and beyond

Olowou Print Takes Over The World

Olowou Print FESMMA BENIN FASHION SHOW AFRICAN FASHION AFRICAN PRINT

Olowou Print – FESMMA 2014

Olowou Print has been invited to showcase her collections alongside top African fashion designers such as Alphady, The King of African Fashion as well as major Fashion events and festival in Africa such as the FESMMA, Les Follies de la Mode in Burkina Faso and soon to come, The annual Afrik Fashion Show that is set to take place on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Olowou Print, Omar Arouna, Salmata Yemi Akobi, Benin Embassy, African Designer, Benin Ambassador

Salmata Yemi Akobi & His Excellency Ambassador Omar Arouna, Washington DC, August 2014 (Benin Ambassador In The United States)

In addition, Olowou Print was the featured guest invited by the Embassy of Benin in The United States to showcase a special exhibit during the Africa Leaders Summit. The exhibit took place in Washington DC on August 2014 and she was recognized by Benin Ambassador, Omar Arouna, for her contribution to Benin as Beninese Fashion Designer. During the 3 days exhibit, she drew thousands of people to check her lines and gained strong interest from American boutiques owners to curate and represent  fashion brand in The United States.

Batik Cotton From Benin, Benin Embassy In The United States Invitation, Olowou Print, Omar Arouna, Salmata Yemi Akobi, African Fashion, Benin Fashion, African Print, Made In Benin

Olowou Print – Official Invitation From The Benin Embassy In The United States

During a private showroom held in Paris last summer, Olowou Print attracted a crowd of long distance fans who couldn’t wait to get their hands on unique pieces from her line. One of them, an influential French bloggers named Jordane of Á L’aurore Je Suis Née , is known to frequently feature pieces from Olowou Print in some of her Fashion articles.

Olowou Print Bag, African Bag, African Printed Bag.

Blogger Jordane, A L’aurore Je Suis Née, modeling Olowou Print Handbag

As demand from various parts of the World increases, it doesn’t seem there will be a stop on the momentum Olowou Print has created anytime soon. The brand is set to launch an online shopping store in The United States this winter and is in the process of opening a store in New York City.

 

African Print Dress, African Print, African Fashion, Olowou Print, Fashion From Africa, African Dress

Olowou Print

 

10 Reasons to Support Olowou Print

What truly sets Olowou Print apart from not only being a 100% Beninese fashion brand but, also as an African fashion brand is the the thought process put towards it concept and philosophy.  As a woman, I find Ms. Salmata Yemi Akobi to be an admirable and inspirational. She is a proud Beninese woman and African that wants to elevate the beauty nation, it people. culture. She is the Amazon of Beninese fashion

Olowou Print, Wallet, African Prints Wallets, Batik Fabrics, Batik Prints

Olowou Print – Wallets

So here are 10 best reasons to support Olowou Print:

  1. Olowou Print  uses 100% unbleached organic cotton from Benin.
  2. Olowou Print exploits recyclable materials to add accent on bags and Jewelries. For example, a skilled Beninese artisan will carve the interior of a  bottle of soda into a face or an animal. This pieced is then hand-sawn on a bag or added on a jewelry as a center piece.
  3. Olowou Print integrates natural elements such as woods or animal horns. Those are carved and used as a handle for a bag or as a pendant on a necklace. All items are from the wildlife of Benin .
  4. Olowou Print supports local talents by hiring experienced Beninese sewers, carvers, artisans and management team.

    Olowou Print, Benin Fashion, Benin Designer, African Prints In Fashion, Batik Prints, African Fashion, African Prints

    Olowou Print

  5. Olowou signature Batik prints are hand processed in Benin. The brand works with local Beninese women who go through a tenuous process creating the pattern by using natural dyes and hand stitches.
  6.  Olowou Print promises that each pieces are unique. This is one of the most important goal for the brand. Ms. Akobi wants each customer to always own something that’s unseen from Benin and Africa
  7. Everything from Olowou Print is made in Benin by Beninese people. It doesn’t get more authentic and personal than that.
  8. You will be supporting Beninese workers.
  9. You will own an authentic and noticeable timepiece item(s) from her collection
  10. You will be wearing an African fashion brand that’s environmentally friendly and self-sustainable.
Bronze Mask, Olowou Print, African Bonze Mask, African Arts

Olowou Print – Bronze Mask Piece On A Bag.

Bottom line, it is safe to say that Olowou Print is the new emerging and rising  African Fashion brand whose continual growth is unstoppable.Get your own unique piece today and see what the raves are all about.It makes a perfect gift whether it’s for you or someone else.

 

Olowou Print , African Jewelry, African Fashion, African Beads, Hand Beaded Necklaces

Olowou Print – Hand Beaded Necklaces

For more information about the brand and to stay abreast of any news, Visit their website or Facebook page.

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One comment on “Olowou Print, The Most Authentic Beninese Fashion Brand

  1. Leila Abdoulaye
    November 20, 2014

    Reblogged this on Olowou Print USA.

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