Friday, February 27, 2009


Emmy Collins is an avant-garde and versatile designer who is rapidly gaining a reputation for making garments that cut a real dash in a jaded fashion industry.

With clothes characterized by sharp, funky tailoring and a fresh, startling approach to colour, Emmy is beginning to establish himself as one of London’s most flamboyant designers in recent history. It has to be said – his signature pieces are not for the faint hearted.

Think of the badass flair and original style of seminal artists – Jimmy Hendrix, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, and more recently, Lenny Kravitz, Gwen Stephani – and then you will begin to get the picture.

Emmy has been described in the media as a natural and he describes his own work as never being en vogue therefore it can never be out of vogue. He has designed clothes for singers, musicians and lately premiership Footballers particularly defender William Gallas. Jay Manuel of the Next American Super model fame has been spotted wearing Emmy Collins’ piece likewise Phil Colen of the rock group Def Leppard.

Emmy Collins is slated to make a big splash in New York this season as he has been slated to showcase his Spring Summer collection during the New York Fashion week.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Working under his label Xuly Bët (“watch out” in Wolof), Lamine has created a young, urban and trendy style in which the body is moulded and idolised. He uses synthetic materials (sometimes hand-dyed in Senegal), lace, fake fur, T-shirts with provocative slogans, and the omnipresent red thread to keep track of an extravagant woman who has no inhibitions about flaunting herself.

Behind the Xuly Bet fashion label, there is Lamine Badian Kouyate, a Malian. His Boutique is in the fashionable forum des Halles in Paris. He started out in 1989 with an urban-pluri-ethnic fashion based on bits and pieces from second-hand clothes. By making then an "in" thing, he managed to impose an almost revolutionary style on the elitist world of French fashion. Today, Xuly Bet has taken up the challenge of production and international distribution. Let us take a look at the man who finds inspiration in the streets of Paris.

Xuly Bet was born in Bamako on 28 December 1962. He is the fifth child in a family of 6 boys. His father, married to a Senegalese doctor, was a minister. As a teenager, he went to Dakar and obtained his diploma from the school of Fine Arts and Architecture.

He decided to continue studying architecture and chose the city of Strasbourg. "I couldn't study architecture in Bamako or Dakar. France offered me an opportunity", he said. So Lamine set about constructing clothes. His method was to turn clothes bought in the Flea Market into elegant and sexy outfits. Even if he no longer uses second-hand clothes, this creative attitude has remained the same. "What is characteristic of my style is sensuality, the second-skin aspect and the over-layering".

Xuly Bet signature is easy to pick out with his red thread and visible seams. "I do not create "the woman". I create clothes for those who follow my idea". The same as for the seams, Xuly Bet's label is on the outside. If he does not conceal anything, the same is true of the bodies that he clothes.

His models are close fitting and have low necklines. They are often made of lycra and Xuly Bet adds African know-how to European fabrics. Some of the patterns are made locally using traditional methods. For instance, the technique of "tying and dyeing in which the material is tied and then dipped into a vat of dye. The result is a unique, star shaped pattern with the colors distributed unevenly on the material. The designer creates for all women, even if, he admits, "young people are more sensitive to my style. It is also thanks to my prices which are relatively affordable". Although Xuly Bet refuses an over-sophisticated style, he still manages to enter the closed world of Paris fashion.

He paid homage to Yves Saintt Laurent on the occasion of his fashion show at the Carrousel of the Louvre in 1998. "I have an affinity with him. He put women on a pedestal and takes an interest in what is happening outside the western world"'. Lamine, who is self-taught has inspired other designers by extolling simplicity. "I have brought materials from sport and lingerie into ready-to-wear. I have left the noble side of classical clothes. I have gone out into the streets".

For his fashion shows he used models from all over the world. Some of them have achieved a reputation thanks to him. This is the case with the Somalian Waris Dirie, a top model for Chanel and co-author of "Fleur du Desert", a work on female excision.

Other stars clothed by Xuly Bet include the French actresses Ophelie Winter, Elodie Bouchez and Arielle Dombasle, the American singers Janet Jackson and Neneh Cherry and the Spanish actress Rossy de Palma.

For Xuly Bet, Paris is unique. "It is quite an atypical city". Wandering about the Paris streets, he finds inspiration. "Success is difficult to manage, Lamine says simply "We have to learn to meet demand. That is why we are going through a period of restructuring to organise the production and distribution better".

He is now present all over France, England, Scandinavia, the US, Japan, Brazil and Africa, and is developing (Leclerc is one of them with NafNaf new ligne) a line of sports clothes, lingerie and cosmetics. Through his work, this Malian designer is also a militant. "I want to transpose all the experience that I have acquired in France, to Africa". To help a continent, one needs to know it and so he is at one with his pseudonym Xuly Bet which, in wolof, means "He who keeps his eyes open, he whose look tries to see through appearances".

Keep ya eyes out, and be informed!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Joëlle Kayembe was born in Congo but moved to South Africa from the age of 11 due to the war that was shattering her native land.

She spent her teenage years growing in Johannesburg where she fnally got the opportunity to start modelling after signing a contract with Ice Model management. She has done a lot of advertisements for many brands like Foschini, Playtex, and Sprite Zero.

Revealed by the calendar 2005 of the magazine FHM, Joëlle always remains among the best models of South Africa. She was the first black model on the cover of South African Sports Illustrated magazine. She got her notoriety by appearing in a video clip named “Pimpin All Over the World” by American rapper Ludacris. She was also a finalist in the international supermodel 2005 competition in China.

Joëlle has also been noticed on the TV show “Deal or No Deal” where she appeared as one of the models holding the famous suitcases with the intent of making the participants on the game show either win or lose millions of dollars.

Recently, Joëlle became the new face of the famous footwear brand, Sketchers, in South Africa. She joins superstars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Ashlee Simpson who have served as spokespersons for the footwear brand in the past.

Her pictures are electrifying…..hope you enjoyed!