Style radar: Grant Caswell

On my style radar today is urban gent Grant Caswell, a cultured Capetonian with an eye for clean lines and quality tailoring. I asked this stylish young man to tell me more about the art of putting a good look together and what inspires his love for fashion…

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Taking inspiration from the streetwear bloggers he follows on Instagram, Grant favours a look that is sleek and sophisticated yet fun, fresh and exciting. ‘I’m shameless about stealing ideas from them but I try to stay true to my own style which is really simple – my go-to weekend “uniform” is blue jeans and a good-quality plain white t-shirt,’ he says. I must say though that he makes a modest combo like this look very fashion-forward. It’s all in the subtle details really and Grant is pretty skilled at creating ensembles that are sophisticated in their simplicity but contain intriguing little details.

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Grant effortlessly transitions between weekday work smart and minimalist sporty chic on weekends, so it’s not surprising he chose both Calvin Klein and Burberry when asked which design house he would hire as his personal tailor. ‘For my everyday casual wear, I’d have to go with Calvin Klein. I think the brand’s simple “all-American” style and clean fits really suit how I try to dress. If money wasn’t an option, I’d also have every suit I own tailored by Burberry. In my opinion, few design houses come close to matching a classic tailored Burberry suit.’

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And speaking of suits, given his work in the legal field Grant will often find himself suited up at the office. So I asked him what it is that distinguishes a good suit from a great suit. He stresses that it’s all about: ‘[t]he fit! The fit! The fit! I can’t say that enough. Firstly, know your correct size and secondly, I promise you, even the cheapest suit can look really expensive if it’s tailored to fit you correctly.’

So many men make the mistake of buying suits that are way too tight or way too loose for them, selecting ones that are made from poor quality fabrics or opting out of getting them tailored. They also assume that you have to fork out truckloads of money to buy a decent suit but as Grant demonstrates, a high price tag doesn’t always guarantee a winner. He explains further, ‘I generally wear suits to work and while I don’t always spend too much money on them, I do make sure I have my suits tailored where necessary. My preference is for slim-fitted suits over looser-fitting traditional cuts. But, regardless of which cut you may prefer, get it tailored so that it looks like it was made just for you.’

Further words I would use to describe Grant’s style include polished and unpretentious. I like the fact that he can appreciate a label for the quality of the clothing behind it rather than how expensive it is. He says that a black long-sleeved T-shirt by Dolce & Gabbana is currently his favourite item of clothing in his wardrobe. ‘My aunt lives in the US and gave [the shirt] to me as a gift when she visited a few years ago. To be honest I probably wear it to death and my friends and family must be so sick of seeing me in it but it’s so comfortable. It still looks just as good as the day I got it – the black cotton hasn’t faded, the small leather and gold insignia badge on the chest hasn’t lost its shine – it’s a great testament to how good quality clothing tends to last.’ Classic pieces like a long-sleeved black T-shirt are necessary wardrobe staples that never go out of style so I honestly don’t blame Grant for wearing his D&G number over and over and over again. Many of us don’t have the luxury of wearing expensive clothing just once and what else do we buy great fashion for if not to wear it repeatedly?

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He tells me that the thing he enjoys most about fashion is the freedom it gives him to make a statement about his mood or convey a certain message without uttering a word. He also admits that fashion allows him to be a little bit cheeky without stepping on anyone’s toes…‘Going into an important meeting at work where I want to convey dominance and power? I’ll wear a black suit with a bright red tie. Heading somewhere where I want to be noticed? I’ll slightly over-dress. There are even times when I’ve strategically dressed a bit more street/urban in a formal setting just to come off as a bit rebellious. It’s honestly a game and hey, maybe other people don’t even notice but if my clothes make me feel a bit more confident when I walk out the door then I’m all for it.’

 

Grant is a men’s fashion maestro who is thoughtful about maximising his clothing budget. He illustrates that while you should invest in certain staples – especially suits – so as not to compromise on quality, you don’t need to spend an enormous amount of money to come up with an overall look that is refined, elegant and á la mode. He remarks, ‘[a]s long as you remember to always make an effort – I’m not sure who said it but I’m a firm believer in the quote “Dressing well is a form of respect”.’

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Shop my online store for beautifully and lovingly hand-crafted accessories inspired by Africa

In addition to being the writer and editor for this blog, I make the jewellery that comprises the Urban Afro Concept collection. Each piece is lovingly crafted by my own hand and is a reflection of my own personal style and takes inspiration from the beautiful art and cultural dress of the people that call the beautiful continent of Africa home. It’s for this reason that each and every piece holds a lot of sentimental value for me. Some pieces are big, bold and crafted specifically for the guy or girl who wants to make a statement. Others are more dainty and delicate for those who are more inclined to a simple, minimalist style. Most of the pieces are also made with materials that have been reused and/or repurposed. I also take orders for custom jewellery made to my client’s specifications.

Shop Urban Afro Concept online to purchase the bracelets, bangles, earrings, rings, necklaces and hair accessories on offer. We ship worldwide and have stuff for both men and women.

We also have a few sales and specials on at the moment:

We’re also running a voucher giveaway competition for our social media fans which you can enter via Facebook and Instagram:

Lastly, subscribe to our WordPress blog via email to get R50 off* your first purchase. T’s and C’s apply.

So please do check out my store and get in touch with us if you have any queries, comments, suggestions or just feel like saying hi!

Have a wonderful week further!


*R50 off purchases of R150 or more. By clicking “Follow” you are accepting our Terms & Conditions. This voucher is issued for the first time you subscribe only. Voucher is valid for 30 days and cannot be redeemed against items already on special or sale.

Style radar: Wandi Ngema

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On my style radar this week is the adorable Wandi Ngema who regularly keeps it cute and classy in a series of sweet and chic ensembles. I asked her a few questions to know more about what inspires her style and what she enjoys most about fashion.

Summing up her style as “fun, classic and elegant,” Wandi’s biggest fashion inspiration comes from the minimalist yet stylish looks of the incomparable Victoria Beckham, which she describes as “neat, elegant and timeless pieces, perfect for the modern woman.” Like Posh Spice, Wandi has a flair for making simple silhouettes and patterns exciting through the interesting details in the clothing – a pop of colour here, a fun print there, fraying or fringe. She also knows how to combine these pieces in a way that is sophisticated yet cool, chilled yet polished.

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When asked which designer, local or international, she’d hired as her personal tailor, Wandi tells me that what she calls her “obsession” with African print would have her keep it local with South African design house, Khosi Nkosi. This award-winning brand has numerous pieces made with African wax print fabric in its collection. “What I love most about her designs is that they’re timeless,” she says of designer and founder Nobukhosi Nkosi. Wandi’s support for locally-made fashion doesn’t just end there. She says a black wrap dress she purchased from Cape Town-based Koibito Kibun is one of her favourite items of clothing in her wardrobe due to its versatility. “On weekends I wear it with sandals and during the week I can wear it to the office with matching heels.” In the photo below she’s sporting a pretty monochrome tunic dress by the same brand.

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What I adore most about Wandi’s style is its beautiful ease and simplicity. This lovely lady effortlessly switches it up between playful elegance and work-smart chic. She always looks neat and well put together. Although Mrs. Beckham is her style muse, Wandi has her own unique fashion point of view and I’m a huge fan!

SALE! Get R50 off your first purchase…plus more launch specials at UAC online

Shop online for a variety of African-inspired mixed media accessories from the Urban Afro Concept accessories line. We’re offering discounts and specials on selected items. We sell:

  • Necklaces for men and women
  • Bracelets for men and women
  • Earrings
  • Bangles
  • Rings
  • Hair accessories

We ship worldwide. We also offer FREE shipping for:

  • orders within East London
  • domestic orders over R250
  • international orders over R450.

Subscribe to this blog via WordPress or email to get R50 off* your first purchase. T’s and C’s apply.

Launch specials:

Sale ends Monday, 2 July 2018 at midnight SAST.

Payments can be made via PayPal, PayFast or EFT.


*R50 off purchases of R150 or more. By clicking “Follow” you are accepting our Terms & Conditions. This voucher is issued for the first time you subscribe only. Voucher is valid for 30 days and cannot be redeemed against items already on special or sale.

The Urban Afro Concept online store has finally gone LIVE!!!

As a self-taught jewellery designer I’m always looking to improve and expand my jewellery-making repertoire. I initially got my start in this enterprise way back in 2011 and since then my skills have developed exponentially. I made a few earrings to feed my addiction for this type of jewellery with a few bits and bobs my mother, a fashion designer, had lying around. I’d gotten a number of compliments while wearing the stuff I’d made which got me selling to friends and family. I never would have imagined this collection of accessories made by my own hand would grow to this level.

The accessories I’ve made for the UAC line are a reflection of my own Afroccentric personal style. Every single piece is special to me. It makes me incredibly happy when my customers enjoy wearing the jewellery as much I love making it. The collection now consists of earrings, bangles, bracelets, necklaces, rings and hairbands. I also recently expanded it to include some stuff that both men and women can enjoy.

Which brings me to the launch of the e-boutique. The new Urban Afro Concept website has gone live and I am absolutely ecstatic! I still can’t believe how far I’ve come. UAC fans can now shop my online store at www.urbanafroconcept.co.za for all the little gems I create. I’m so thankful to all the wonderful people in my life who have supported me on this journey from making two pairs of earrings to developing a fully-fledged online store. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for UAC. For now, please check out my site to browse the UAC lookbook and shop the store for the latest in my collection.

Happy shopping!


Shop UAC

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We offer worldwide shipping.

We offer FREE shipping for:

  • Orders within East London, Eastern Cape.
  • Domestic orders over R250.
  • International orders over R450.

Launch specials:

  • 30% of all wooden beaded necklaces
  • 30% off wax print ‘bubble’ necklaces

Get R50 off* your first purchase when you follow this blog on WordPress or subscribe to it via email.


*R50 off purchases of R150 or more. By clicking “Follow” you are accepting our Terms & Conditions. This voucher is issued for the first time you subscribe only. Voucher is valid for 30 days and cannot be redeemed against items already on special or sale.

LOADING…the Urban Afro Concept e-store goes live in 3 days’ time!

In addition to being a personal style blog, Urban Afro Concept offers a range of lovingly hand-crafted mixed-media accessories for women (and now men) inspired by the vibrant art and cultural dress of Africa’s people. The collection consists of earrings, bangles, bracelets, rings, necklaces and hairbands. Designs are rarely duplicated so each piece will be unique to the wearer. These accessories are made using a variety of materials ranging from waxed fabrics to wood, glass beads to metal. Many of these materials have been recycled and/or re-purposed.

These little gems will soon be made available for purchase online at the Urban Afro Concept e-store (shipping worldwide). To celebrate it’s official launch on Monday, 25th June 2018 we’re giving UAC fans on Facebook and Instagram a chance to win this beautiful bracelet set in the photo below:

To enter:

  1. Follow Urban Afro Concept on Facebook and Instagram.
  2. Like the competition announcement post.
  3. Comment on the competition announcement post using the hashtag #ILoveUrbanAfroConcept AND 2 words to describe your personal style

Competition closes on Sunday, 24th June 2018 at 11:59PM SAST.

Please note, that this competition is in no way associated with, sponsored, endorsed or administered by, Facebook, Instagram or WordPress. You understand that you are providing your information to Urban Afro Concept and not Facebook, Instagram or WordPress. By agreeing to this contest you agree to a complete release of Facebook, Instagram and WordPress from any claims.

Click here for full competition terms and conditions. Good luck!

Stay tuned to this blog for further updates on the e-store launch as well as future giveaways, special offers and news.

Good night xx

Welcome to the new Urban Afro Concept blog

The Urban Afro Concept (formerly Urban Afro Gypsy) micro-blog has finally expanded! It’s taken a lot longer than I had hoped but I finally managed to create a new space for both my blog and online store.

UAC doubles as my personal style journal and an African-inspired, mixed media accessories collection. The blog, which I’ve moved from Instagram to this platform, will continue to provide readers with fashion and style inspiration through amusing, inspiring and thought-provoking content including tips and tricks, styling ideas, product reviews, celebrity looks (male and female), guest features and pretty much anything fashion-related. History, art, activism, culture, feminism and human rights are further sub-themes which are explored on this platform. The online store is almost complete and will be launching on Monday, 25th June. For now, stay tuned to this site for news and updates on both the accessories line and e-store.