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The Woman Who Brought Ankara to the Socials

Vibrant. Intricate. Versatile. These are some of the words that come to mind when thinking about Ankara, one of Africa’s most popular fabrics. With roots in Dutch and Indonesia, the fabric has come a long way from gaining reception in West Africa in the 1880s to invading global fashion in recent years. Several things led to this invasion; a rebound of textile industries in Africa, affordability and availability of the fabric, innovative designers and stylists, and social media. Social media has democratized fashion and, in that sense, opened a world of opportunities in a world it made smaller. Fashion designer, stylist, and Founder of All Things Ankara, Nicolette Orji, popularly known as Nikki Billie Jean, knows a thing or two about this. When Nicolette launched @allthingsankara on Instagram in August 2012, only wanted to fill a gap. There were not enough platforms highlighting African print fashion back then, so she created what has turned out to be a multifaceted Ankara print fashion and entertainment brand, consisting of an online publication, shop, and marketplace.