Bo Anuluoha (Shelby Stephens/L.A. Sentinel)

KUTULA by Africana is a second-generation fashion boutique that celebrates and educates the rich history of the African diaspora. For over 50 years, KUTULA has been Los Angeles’ premiere retailer for African fashion and styling. Children of the soil, Bo and Kay Anuluoha, took over the boutique after their mother Francesca retired in 2017. The sisters have now dedicated their careers to uplifting African culture. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel, Bo Anuluoha discusses the current fashion trends in each area, Africa’s impact, and how Black residents can get involved and connected with their roots.

Since 1971, KUTULA has fostered a beautiful and extensive community in L.A. In addition to authentic and sustainable clothing, KUTULA also houses products from local artisans who share the same vision of uniting cultures through fashion. Customers become a part of the KUTULA Tribe after their first purchase. The perfectly crafted pieces are easily recognizable amongst their supporters.

Related Links:

FAME Hosts Citywide Kick-Off of African American Heritage Month – Los Angeles Sentinel (

Q&A: Nyambo Anuluoha talks upholding Yoruba traditions ahead of Fowler event – Daily Bruin

LA-based African boutique helps get people styled for Black Panther premiere – ABC7 Los Angeles

Kutula Clothing Celebrates its 50th Anniversary as a Leader in African-Inspired Fashion – NBC Los Angeles

Talk: Kay and Nyambo Anuluoha of Kutula by Africana | Fowler Museum at UCLA

KUTULA has been most sighted for their designs in the iconic Marvel’s Black Panther film, Kendrick Lamar’s “All the Stars” music video for the movie soundtrack, and styled numerous red-carpet ensembles for several of the cast, including Lupita N’yongo, Michael B. Jordan, and Angela Bassett. KUTULA means to ‘leap forward’ in Zambia. KUTULA designs have graced the cover of People Magazine, within the pages of In Style, Essence, and Vogue. In May 2018, the brand received Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding achievement in the field of fashion, and for supporting and promoting opportunities and rewards of doing business in Africa. Their retail store has served as the backdrop for several major motion pictures and television shows, as well as a showroom for costume designs.

Bo’s mother, (Zambian) and father, (Nigerian), met in Los Angeles. They both migrated to the U.S. for their careers and started KUTULA to provide a service to their community that has surpassed their generation and will continue through their children.

KUTULA By Africana (Shelby Stephens/L.A. Sentinel)

When asked about her family’s convection for community, Bo shared, “your business in the community is an extension of the global village, all our clients are from the area. If they’re not, then they get the opportunity to learn Windsor Hills’ history of businesses like ours. Black businesses in this area are second, third generation.”

“My father immigrated in 1965, from Nigeria and in 1971, KUTULA was the response to the Watts riots because there was a need for expression in the community after such a tragic experience. We’ve maintained a strong presence through other life-changing events like the 92 riots and the pandemic. Our business has also been supported by Black families; a couple comes in for a wedding, then we’re dressing their newborn, then that child has now graduated. We’re adding more people to the tribe, to the family.”

KUTULA assists families with celebrating large and life-changing moments with pride, confidence, and fortitude. The clothes are made and sourced in Africa with the use of only authentic fabrics. The Ankara and Baule prints are sold at their flagship store on Slauson. KUTULA’s healthy and breathable cotton fabrics make for sustainable and long-lasting pieces. They ensure all the hems are finished, double reinforce the fabric, and provide free style with every purchase. Outside of their neighborhood patrons, KUTULA’s customer base includes executives and entrepreneurs. Black excellence is the overall theme.

African fashion has begun to transition from classic dashiki designs to more contemporary apparel for everyday wear. Fabric education is a big part of KUTULA’s brand management; teaching customers about where the fabrics originate, how to care for them, and what tribe/ country they’re sourced from.

While explaining the changing trends in fashion as it relates to KUTULA, Bo emphasizes the importance of sharing information with customers, “the average American doesn’t understand the validity and origin of certain fabrics. The more we learn and get familiar, it stays special and formal because these are pieces you can wear every day. On the continent they have an understanding that these items are handmade or handwoven and worn casually, so why can’t we? We earned the right; we’re Black, we’re all from Africa and if we retrace our roots, we should feel pride to wear them.”

Merchandise at KUTULA By Africana (Shelby Stephens/L.A. Sentinel)

“Understanding the garment, the fabric, and workmanship is important.  If you put a t shirt against a dashiki, after 100 washes a dashiki will still maintain itself, a t-shirt is going to fray, tear, rip, loosen, but they’re both cotton fabrics. We try to educate everyone, and it’s reflected in the price point. We import these luxury fabrics with high quality and pass it on to our clients.”

KUTULA is bridging education, culture, and pride. Their respect for the continent is infectious and inspiring. In the future, Bo and Kay plan to continue to connect Black L.A. natives with their African ancestry; emphasizing what it means to truly be African American. Surrounded by other Black-owned businesses, the Slauson community has kept them motivated in their mission to foster a healthy and abundant relationship. Within the next 10-15 years KUTULA plans to remain in Historic Windsor Hills, increase their online presence, and maintain fellowship with annual trips to Africa.

“The more we travel the more we come back and educate our brothers and sisters. It’s important for us to think about visiting more often, there’s a lot to see and do. Many of our clients have packed up and left. Visiting Africa is life changing. I encourage everyone to go and experience it for themselves and come back and talk about it.”

Shop KUTULA By Africana online at, in-person at 4438 W Slauson Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90043, or stay up to date with the brand on Instagram at KUTULA by Africana™ (@kutula). For custom inquiries, please contact 323-294-8151.