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Solange & Fergie rock the Ankara Playsuit



Yay! Its summer in most countries at the moment…well in Nigeria, we always have fab weather.
Its the perfect time to try a new trend. One of the hottest trends of the moment is the playsuit aka the romper. The concept of the playsuit is derived from children’s onesies (you know the one piece that tots and toddlers rock…yeah that one!)
Well, its very trendy at the moment – stars Solange and Fergie decided to up the style stakes by rocking their playsuits in ankara print.  Great to see ankara gaining more international momentum. Points for whoever fills us in on the designer of these pieces.


  1. Kenni Oniru

    July 28, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Wow, I love this. It is so good to see that African Fashion is definitely being recognized in the states. Being that i live in America for 181/2 years and I just moved back home, I rock all my cute Ankara styles in Atlanta and my friends love it. Its chic and so different.

  2. Licious

    July 28, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Maya Lake is the designer. Her clothing line is called Boxing kitten. Her website is below

  3. Ifeoma

    July 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

    It’s nice. Fergie could have tried it in long skirt – probably a flowing long skirt.

  4. OmoLdn

    July 28, 2009 at 11:11 am

    By Boxing Kitten…..solange is wearing their “Billie Jumper”

  5. OmoLdn

    July 28, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Solange is rocking the “Billie Jumper” with capped sleeves and Fergie is rocking the regular “Billie Jumper”

    you can have a look at the collection at

  6. Bridget Otubor

    July 28, 2009 at 11:55 am

    COOL!!! we are trading out our clothing now because we accepted ours people will were yours.

  7. Tatiana

    July 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Here’s the link to the designer’s website:

  8. Wadami

    July 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    It’s “Boxing Kitten” SO. What do I get?! 🙂

  9. Cynthia .A.

    July 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    The designer is Maya Lake of Cheers

  10. miss jarola

    July 28, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    mmm rily cool on fergie and solange!…the jumpsuits are rily d fav of momemt and super fav cos is ankara..big ups to our designers!

  11. FatherHadADonkey

    July 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Yay….Americans have accepted African fabric….YAY…hurrah for us….World peace

  12. Omosho

    July 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I went to the website and read about the company, and i realized that the designer was not in any way trying to associate the ankara to West Africa. She briefly mentions Africa saying and I quote ” In Fact, Some textiles that are produce in the western regions of Africa are thought to be of lesser quality and essentially knock offs”. I read it and i was like this lady just made herself look good and before you know it people buying from her will always think her clothing line sells the best ankara. Someone in Africa should have thought about marketing ankara to other parts of the world. Now this lady who obviously saw her first ankara material on an African is now trying to talk like she knew something about ankara. Like people in Holland wear Ankara. Its just pure nonsense. What do you guys think?

  13. Sugabelly

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    What most people don’t realise is:

    1. Fergie and Solange don’t even know the material is called Ankara

    2. Fergie and Solange have no idea the material has any connection to Africa.

    3. The designer is not African in any way shape or form, she’s just capitalizing on the sudden popularity of Ankara ever since African designers started using it like crazy.

    4. Neither the designer nor the celebrities credit Africa let alone Nigeria

    So why are we patting ourselves on the back again? It’s not like they’re recognizing us for anything.

  14. Sugabelly

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    What are you talking about? The designer isn’t even African.


    July 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    MAYA LAKE is BullSh*t.

    I visited her website, and SHE does not MENTION that these FABRICS ARE INDEED ANKARA! instead she has the audacity to say that they are AFRICAN INSPIRED, WTF?????


    MAYA LAKE ur a THEIF!!!

  16. Ego

    July 28, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    ASK ME O! i saw dat nonsense and i was like was dat supposed to mean?so because the factory is in Holland,that is why the origin of fabric is from holland,see logic o!i wanted to email her a peice of my mind but i say no let me just hold my peace..what nonsense!

  17. Derin

    July 28, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Is it just me or is there nufin special about the “boxingkitten” designs cos i see way beta designs from our ppl soo shez onli gettn the thumbs up cos of the luck dat celebritys are wearings her stuff……….

  18. rizzle

    July 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I dont like how the front of fergies suit looks boobs with nipples. Abeg.

  19. Tumi Jẹgẹdẹ

    July 28, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I’m kinda furious. I was ready to read about how some African designer has brought Ankara into mainstream, but then what.. a brief mention of the fact that it’s from Africa.
    Man, must we always get the short straw, and yeah, why have none of those Nigerian designers in America thought to market it into mainstream.

    Let’s take Chinese silk dresses, they make them in high street stores now, and can be worn by anyone, they’re so easy to get hold of but the link is always there between the fabric and its orgin.

  20. Tumi Jẹgẹdẹ

    July 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    In fact I just visited her website, she said it’s not from western Africa, but in fact from Holland, hence it’s name Hollandaise, but the printing style may be from Holland but I’m pretty sure that the patterns and designs are from western Africa, I mean we were doing traditional prints long before we were importing it. Right? Or am I wrong?

  21. Akos

    July 28, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Whao i am shocked – I am ghanaian and my mother sells & distributes clothes for over 30 yrs, she knows quality from fakes – been selling them since 1970s – ghanaians are well known for our beautiful ankara.

    My mother exports them from Holland (and her laces from Zurich/Bern), cos thats where the best ones are printed, but most of the designs are ghanaian- they get the idea or design from Ghana or Ivory Coast and then they print them in Holland.

    In my ashanti tribe, some of the prints actually do have have “akan” meanings to it and worn on specific occasions. Specific designs for funerals, wakes, burials, engagements, outdooring, christening etc etc. It so interesting, cos everyone knows what to wear when and how.

    I own the one Fergie is wearing (the top part of her suit), had that for years probably from the 80s. Its amazing how these oyibos take our ideas and market them to their benefit. I guess i dont blame them, I blame us.

    • miss

      August 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      sory i disagree with ankara is a nigerian word and is from nigeria ok so stop begging that ankara is from ghana is not from Ghana so get ur facts right, it doesn’t matter if ur mother has been selling ankara for 30yrs. so u trying to tel me nigerian also don’t do designs

  22. Ijeoma O

    July 28, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    No be small thing o. I wanted to slap her mouth when I read that part on her website. Imagine co-opting a whole nation’s culture and swiping it off with one hand, and then pretending, like Mungo Park who ‘discovered’ River Niger even though there were people living there already, like she ‘discovered’ Ankara, dismissing the rest of us who grew up living it. Na so life be.

  23. Asi

    July 28, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    That is why everyone should send this lady an email so she knows her ‘facts’ are misplaced

  24. Kpakpando Nwanyi

    July 28, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    The Dutch wax prints were brought over to be traded (i.e dumped for cheap). Eventually we created textile mills that recreated the designs of the original hollandais, but the fabric is dutch in origin. I think it’s also the Dutch that introduced George too, actually maybe that was the British or Indians.
    Our traditional cloths in Nigeria include, akwete, duna/bida & aso eke. I’m sure we have more indigenous textiles since our women (& in some places men) has been weaving cloth for centuries before Europeans started entering our lands; but we don’t really celebrate them or sew with them as much.

  25. Kpakpando Nwanyi

    July 28, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    You know why your mother imports them from Holland, it’s a dutch product, actually they probably stole it from somewhere else. Granted some of the designs might be lifted from traditional akan cloth, but “ankara” as we like to call it isn’t indigenous to Africa. We have our own textile (the only one that I think of from Ghana is Kente), but ankara isn’t ours. We’re just probably the largest consumers of it.

  26. Syba

    July 28, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    I seriously dont understand d aim n objective of this post.


    July 29, 2009 at 8:44 am

    i agree 100000000%!!!!! with you.
    its like if there is an american clothing line (i just made this up for exaple) called “Atti” and its produced in China, that doesnt make the material, or design Chinese.
    that woman owes us an apology.
    this has probably got to be the a million and one time that something else has been stolen from africa, and we africans go discredited.

  28. Kpakpando

    July 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    People, before you start an email campaign letting her know the “facts,” are you sure you have your facts right? Is ankara/hollandais/dutch wax print really Nigerian/West African in origin? If you let google be your friend, you’ll see that’s not the case. Next thing we’ll be claiming lace or damask as Nigerian cloth, please before you correct someone, make sure you have the right answer.

  29. Sia

    July 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I do not know why Nigerians are jumping around and celebrating. The designer is not in African and doesn’t even call the fabric Ankara. SCHWWWWW

  30. ciaa

    July 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    This panel is too funny

  31. Chika Moses

    July 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    This all seems like too much talk. I don’t care who made the ankara cloth… I just love Fergie’s look! Work it out Fergalicious!

  32. Mary-Ann J

    July 30, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    my first guess for the designer (if non-African) would be british designer Matthew Williamson: he has used ankara in quite a few of his previous collections…

  33. gbekun

    July 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    ur comment gat me lmao esp d “ur a THIEF” part. but ur ryt its nt fair

  34. Kemchi

    July 30, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Boxingkitten my a#!*. I don’t blame d designer. Success has many fathers as they say, if most of West Africa was not associated with some negative image or the other I bet u she’ld have been quick to rephrase her description of the Western African association with ankara. So we all know it’s Dutch wax/ hollandias, abeg she should tell us something we don’t already know, nonsense!
    BTW there’s nothing fab about these pieces if not 4 d fact dat it’s worn by them celebrities. I have seen much better by Obioma just around d corner.

  35. Kemchi

    July 30, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Be that as it may to quote one of the articles on the internet “regardless of the history of the fabric this style of fabric has been integrated and achieved local meaning in the design and hierarchy of its styles that it is unquestionably African”!

  36. Mina

    July 31, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Girl i don’t know where you are coming from but you need to support your country. You sound like you don’t care much. Get it together girl, it’s not that serious. okay babes?

  37. Asi

    July 31, 2009 at 3:49 am

    The misplaced “facts” I am referring to are the “knock-offs” she refers to in her history of the prints. Since when were fabrics printed in Ghana or Senegal knock offs or of inferior quality?

  38. funky hajia

    July 31, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    boxing kitten is the name of the label …..misspumping

  39. funky hajia

    July 31, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    boxing kitten is the name of the LABEL

  40. funky hajia

    July 31, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    the label is boxing kitten
    she is base in america

  41. Pingback: Ivory Coast » Concert Review: Alpha Blondy at Central Park Summerstage, NYC 7/19/09

  42. Kpakpando

    July 31, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I’m not Maya Lake, but i’m willing to bet the knock offs she’s referring to are the copies of the designs that a company like Vlisco releases on Monday that are in the market by Thursday and are stamped Guaranteed Super Wax when the fabric is flimsier and the dyes fade faster. Like someone already said earlier her Ghanian mom imports the best ankara from Holland & there’s a reason why. If you want to be mad at her for the knockoff comment, be mad that she didn’t say the largest amounts of knock offs come from China.

  43. Kpakpando

    July 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Did the article you’re quoting mention how the introduction of these European wax prints cannibalized the Nigerian textile industry consequently destroying another sector of the local economy? Our textile mills would rather create a copy of foreign fabric than invest in making our own local fabrics and designs.

    Let’s not even talk about how & why these fabrics got dumped in Africa in the first place. Fabric that was used to upholster chairs and make curtains were pawned off to us as some sort of luxury item and we bought into it and now get offended when others refer to these European cast offs as anything but homegrown.

    We’ve spent years adopting foreign materials, (that often times are not even suited for our tropical weather) making them “unquestionably African” that we have rejected/forgotten our own local fabric that actually tie into our cultural heritage, to the point that our generation can’t name actual Nigerian fabrics past aso-oke.

    The millions that we as consumers have spent on Swiss & French lace, European damask and now Dutch wax, is money making these rich nations richer to the detriment of our culture and economy. Hardly any younger Nigerians keep up their family traditions as weavers because for the most part they know its choosing a life of poverty, because they don’t weave “ankara” or whatever imported fabric is reigning at the moment.

  44. kemchi

    July 31, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    No it did not mention any of that becos dat was not d general pt of d article. Africa has been raped in so many ways not just this so no pt getting our knickers in a twist here!
    My pt was in reference to boxing kitten’s association of West Africa n d fabric in question!

  45. Asi

    August 1, 2009 at 6:55 am

    How can they be knockoffs when the designs are African? Besides, the same Vlisco owns shares in many of these companies producing locally in West Africa.


    August 2, 2009 at 7:58 am

    even though Ankara isnt a nigerian print or nigerian fabric at all, its still most popularly worn by nigerians, ghanaians, ivory coast, and i mean all over much of west africa.
    and i will be DAMNED if nigerians or africans in general start wearing ankara around just to the simple fact that celebrity’s are rocking it. if you werent rocking it before, dont rock it now.
    thats just saying “if a celebrity and an american wears it, that means its okay for me to wear it too” NOT!
    do fergie and solange even know what ankara is?
    i think not!

  47. Playeropulence

    August 2, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Get rid of Resentment and your door of Good will burst open right away.
    Great post glad the world is loving our ankara!

  48. Cindy Maleombho

    August 3, 2009 at 5:49 am

    These clothes are from BOXING KITTEN by Maya Lake ( I am pretty sure 🙂

  49. onyemaechi

    August 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    i 100% agree with this! Been rockin ankara waaaay b4 these celebrities! lol

  50. Marian

    September 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Kente is NIT the only fabric from ghana sorry. Akos is right. The design Fergie is wearing comes from the 80’s if not 70’s. That particular print is as old a time. It has always been in Ghana. In fact Ghanaians have worn ‘Ankara’ longer than other West African nations because it is the major cloth we have besides kente. Nigeria has always had lace and a wider variety to pick from.Correct me if I am wrong. But as somebody said the fault is not theirs it is ours for shunning what what is indigenous to us.

  51. papi77on

    September 27, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Designs are by Maya A Lake…check out the link below. The articles is followed by an interesting trail of websurfer comments, who are critizing the designer for not giving Africa enough credit for the designs.


  52. QBee

    October 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    You guys need to check this out for the history of ‘African print’:

  53. gorgeous

    October 13, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Ankara was an offshoot of Adire. which is indigenous to Nigeria, the Yoruba to be particular. The dutch had the printing capability and the dyes. That is why the Ankara’s were imported by cloth makers instead of going through the grueling task of hand dyeing the fabrics. So Ankara idea and style came from Nigeria, Yorubaland to be precise. The technology just happened to be dutch, and that was the easiest way for the Alaso’s to commercialize the commodity. Including a larger range and variety of designs. This woman better get her story straight. Badly sewn pieces by the way.smh

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