African Wax Cotton Fashions

Fashion designer Nathalie Bajinya — under the label Undeniable Bajinya — pays homage to history and to her heritage with a line of traditional and contemporary garments made with colorful African wax print fabrics. 

A mainstay of African fashion, the lineage of this famous fabric now influencing fashion around the globe is not quite so clear-cut as we might expect. The distinctively colorful and elaborately designed 100% cotton fabric commonly referred to as the “wax hollandais”, “ankara” or “kitenge” holds up a mirror to history.

Wax prints became a type of nonverbal communication and expression among African women, with certain patterns being used as a shared language, with widely understood meanings. Often named after personalities, cities, buildings, sayings, or occasions, the minute wax prints are named, they are also used to communicate.

Over the last decade, the popularity of wax print fabric has grown outside the African continent, including among the African diaspora and African American communities in the US.

“These fabrics have always been part of daily lives, part of our culture, and part of our moments of celebrations and of sorrows. It is fitting and proper to claim and celebrate that heritage. This is us, these are our stories.”

Nathalie honors tradition and celebrates heritage. By designing garments using wax cotton fabrics, Nathalie is raising awareness of the social relevance of the fabric, while also serving as a tribute to innovation, artistic creativity and the consumer’s choice to share their thoughts and celebrate life through their clothing. She also has a line of face masks.

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