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Feature: Q&A with Jamila Kyari of Myafrofashion.com


Great content at Myafrofashion.com

Great content at Myafrofashion.com



Culture savvy.


By: Hina P. Ansari


I bumped into Jamila Kyari at a press function and immediately bells started ringing in my head. The fact that this PR professional from Toronto decided to start a  blog is focused on the Afro fashion world is something of course we  HAD to talk about. So I decided to send over to her a few questions and give her the platform for her to tell us all about her blog: Myafrofashion.com.



How did this all begin?  


My foray into fashion began with a fascination with contemporary African clothing and urban afrocentric style but which does not exclude other facets of fashion. I guess you can call me an ‘Afrofashionista’ of all sorts because I provide a cosmopolitan African perspective on fashion and beauty. My style is a unique blend of both worlds and I’m always interested in local fashion entrepreneurs. I write about latest trends plus beauty, fashion and style advice that can be shared universally by all women.



Tell me about your blog




Myafrofashion.com is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog with an Afropolitan twist. The content also covers other topics like natural hair care, beauty tips, style posts, product reviews and events.



Jamila Kyari founder of Myafrofashion.com

Jamila Kyari founder of Myafrofashion.com



Why a blog? 


I’ve enjoyed writing ever since I was old enough to use a pen. I’ve also loved fashion for as long as I can remember having spent most of my formative years sketching dresses in art class for my drawing assignments. So, there was no better way for me to marry both interests than to start a blog! I knew if I owned a blog, it would have to be about something I would never get bored with and that’s fashion. In this case, I chose an African fashion theme.



What is about blogging that interests you?


My answer is definitely the power of engagement. I’m fascinated by the fact that one can use a blog to create a community of people who are interested in the same thing. They all have something in common and are connected by shared values through the blog. Blogging can pull thousands of people to engage and interact with content. They can comment on blog posts, respond to others and share articles with their friends on social media– all on the Internet. It’s amazing!



Tell me about your unique fashion perspective. 


Most times, I usually approach the fashion scene through a cosmopolitan African lens and this creates the Afropolitan twist I mentioned earlier. People of African descent have a unique look and style that is also quite contemporary regardless of their specific country. In most cases, I always like to see how pieces of clothing worn both on and off the runway translate into that style. African fashion is versatile and it’s interesting to see how it can be incorporated into almost anything with just a few pieces – office style, beachwear, urban street fashion etc. In some scenarios, I’m comfortable taking a normal approach to create an even balance of perspectives in content and coverage.



Jamila Kyari founder of Myafrofashion.com

Jamila Kyari founder of Myafrofashion.com



Love the angle of your blog. Giving it an African-Canadian feel to it. Tell me more about raising awareness of that community and their fashion contributions to Canada?


I’m working on a new series called ‘Designer Spotlight’ where I’ll be profiling various African-Canadian designers and their work within Canada’s local fashion scene. Also, I usually scout African-themed fashion events in the city to cover their stories. Apart from that, I collaborate with designers in different ways to help them build and leverage their brands. I’m a huge supporter of our local entrepreneurs and their efforts in contributing towards the country’s economy.



Who are your fashion inspirations and why?


My biggest inspiration in fashion right now is Ozwald Boateng, English fashion designer of Ghanaian descent who became the first black designer on London’s prestigious Savile Row. He has designed tailored suits for the rich and famous.


Another is British-Nigerian designer Duro Olowu known for bold colours and vibrant prints. In 2011, Michelle Obama appeared with her husband on the Oprah show for their first interview as a couple in one of his dresses and she has worn his designs on various other occasions. He also recently created an exclusive Spring 2013 collection for American retail giant JC Penney.



What about writers? Are you inspired by certain writers? Journalists? Bloggers?


Bloggers: Editor of Style Pantry, Folake Kupe Huntoon and her daily outfit posts inspire me. I love how she always comes up new outfits and hardly repeats clothing. Then, I get my fill of all things flirty, feminine and chic on Lauren Conrad’s blog.


Photo Journalists: Bill Cunningham of the New York Times who has taken photographs of some of the worlds most elite to everyday people on the streets of Manhattan. He has a unique eye for spotting great fashion finds others would dismiss. I watched a documentary about him and couldn’t help but think to myself ‘what a genius!”




Jamila Kyari from Myafrofashion wearing Ankara Button Earrings

Jamila Kyari from Myafrofashion wearing Ankara Button Earrings




What do you hope to get out of blogging?


I get satisfaction from engaging my readers with content they love and seeing the brands I write about get the attention they deserve. Fashion blogging is something I truly enjoy. That said, the opportunities are really endless and there is no ceiling to where this could lead. So, I’m in for the journey and willing to discover new possibilities.



Any interesting moments?


This January marked the one year anniversary of the blog since it was launched so that’s a big milestone for me and I’m looking forward to many more.



Photography courtesy of Myafrofashion.com and Jamila Kyari.


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