Ini Obinna-Onunkwo has a message for mothers and teens, which is to dress more African. She portrays this through her Afrocentric fashion brand, which caters for teens and kids called “Little Weavers”. Weaving eye-catching styles and designs for the beautiful brand, she stresses on the need for embracing more of the beautiful and colourful African fabrics.


What are the fashion rules for kids?

For toddlers and teens, fashion rule one is comfort. Children have to be comfortable with their clothing. Second, it has to be trendy, yet simple. Moreover, it has to be colourful; Children love colours. Finally, the clothing has to suit the occasion.

Some people clothe their children in traditional attires only on Sundays. How can this trajectory be changed?

It can be changed by making it a lifestyle. To be a lifestyle is for us to preach the message for them to accept it. We have to walk our talk, have more Afrocentric clothing in our closet.

How can we make Afrocentric clothes more attractive?

They will be attractive if they are made to suit the occasion. Dress your kids and teens according to the occasion. If it’s church, Afrocentric gowns, skirts and blouses. For parties, let them have on jumpsuit, shorts, dungarees, mini flared skirts and trousers should come into play.

What are the important elements one would find in an Afrocentric piece?

Every print, every outfit tells a story. You pick a fabric and decide to make the collection more mature for a particular age group, like 10 to 18 years. You decide how you want them to be for that particular season, or for that particular collection. You look at it as a fashion business entrepreneur, what has inspired you to make that collection, and then you now talk about the creative process and the final product. Each piece has its own story, depending on the perspective you want to place it.

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How do you take care of Afrocentric cloth to ensure longevity?

People need to have an education on cotton. We have two types- the natural and the synthetic fibre.  When we take that and mix with the synthetic, it is no more natural. We need to have certain tags that would explain to the launderette or the mother how to care for the garment. These are some of the things you would observe on some of the Western clothing.

Do you have such instructions on your clothes?

Yes we do.

Traditional outfit is very popular abroad for adults. Is it the same thing for children?

No, the social media wild fire thing is not really about preaching the gospel of heritage, it is more of the fashion trending. Something tells me that after a while it will fizzle out. The question now is, how do we maintain it and make it spread? That is what “Little Weaver” is trying to pursue.


Why should parents clad their children more in Afrocentric apparel?

The reason is to make them unique. Afrocentric is like flavour, a piece of African. When you come out, it stands you out, look gorgeous, add colour to the event. So the child already looks unique, and regal. I see no reason why you wouldn’t want your child to be the cynosure of attention. When children are celebrated, it boosts their confidence.