African Doll Clothes by Donnilah

Whatinspired you to create dolls with African clothing? My original inspirationcame from an African woman who requested me to make dolls that reflected theladies in her African wedding. I am always up for the challenge. I studied thepictures and found the fabric… I’t all started coming together.

Howdid you learn to sew/create African styled clothing? My father taught me how tosew. His mother (my grandmother) taught him and all of her 10 children how tosew. I am grateful to have a skill that has been passed down throughgenerations. The concept of African/Ethnic styles comes from watching the topdesigners who have adopted the styles of Ancent African clothing, geometricdesigns and patterns. We are so diverse in style and flare. We are theoriginators of fashion. I am still studying and interpreting style and fashionson a global scale.

Howhas the response been to your doll creations? The responses have been awesome.I have customers of all ethnic backgrounds who enjoy the dolls and the beautythey represent. I am really encouraging people to collect them and enjoy theirback story. I want to teach the children about fashions from around the world. Thesedolls create awareness and appreciation of global beauty, not just Africanbeauty. African people are all over the world because we all from Africa.

Whatis your goal with bringing these dolls to our community? I am hoping my art andstories will educate little girls. We also need to teach our children its ok tobe, look, like who you are. God made no mistakes in creating us it’s a blessingwe are so diverse and we come in so many beautiful shades and colors. I alsohope we learn to leave a legacy as my grandmother and father has left with me.In every doll that I make I leave that legacy the spirit my grandmother's artand fashion lives on.

Howcan people see more of your work and how can they contact you? I can be reachedat: I am opening up an online boutique soon Annie Bella'sboutique, named after my grandmother Mrs. Annie Bell McClendon.