Influence Africa Brings Together the Perfect Blend of Fashion and African Culture

Published On September 29, 2015 | By Aishia Strickland | Fashion

When Tifair Hamed agreed to marry her Nigerian husband she didn’t realize she would have to make room in the budget to purchase an additional dress. Tifair also had no idea that her search for the perfect customary Nigerian dress would ignite a new passion for fashion..

“My husband is from Lagos, Nigeria, and when we decided to get married, I had no clue that I’d have to wear an American traditional dress as well as a Nigerian traditional dress. I was upset initially because it added to our already growing wedding budget, but eventually, I fell in love with the fashions and prints from the process, and couldn’t take my eyes off of them. However, when designing the dress, I made it with a Western twist and was ‘off the beaten path’ of the traditional Nigerian wedding dress.”


“I shared my custom Nigerian gown on Facebook,and received over 12k likes and messages from around the world, congratulating  me and asking, ‘Where can we get that dress!”

The interest in Tifair’s gown along with her new found enthusiasm for African fabrics gave her the idea to create Influence Africa. Influence Africa not only offers unique and chic pieces but they also practice Fair Trade and support small businesses here in Chicago as well as in Nigeria.

Tifair has even taken it one step further to educate her customers about the fabrics that she uses’s in her designs.  There’s a lot of history behind these fabrics and they mean something to the people of Africa and she wants to make sure that customers are educated and knowledgable. 

“From Puerto Rico to Australia, Africa has made an imprint on fashion throughout the globe. Every piece of clothing reflects an infusion relative to the native country, with a unique modern, western twist.”


“I’m beginning with Africa, specifically Nigeria. I thought, what better way to give back than giving local business owners in developing nations a chance to sell their products overseas. We practice Fair Trade, making sure that the designers receive proper pay for labor.”


“Every time that you purchase a piece, you are investing in a local Chicago small business, as well as entrepreneurs in 3rd world nations. You can be proud of wearing a piece that is helping out struggling economies, while being educated on fabric patterns.”


“I witnessed a young family member trying on one of our skirts (that was too big for her…it was her mother’s). She began to twirl and do faux African dances, she felt beautiful and free in the fabric that honored her identity as a brown girl. THAT was a great feeling!”image

“I hope to expand to Afro-Latino fashion as well. Brazil, Puerto Rico, Cuba…etc.”

We love what Tifair is doing and we can’t wait to add a slice of Influence Africa to our wardrobe.  Make your way over to Etsy to grab your piece of Influence Africa today!

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About The Author

Editor of Chocolate Curls Beauty, Co-Creator of the 30dayhairdetox, Contributor to , Beauty School Student and Full-Time Mom to a little Chocolate Prince.