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Luxury artisanal accessory brand AAKS has launched a stunning home decor collection inspired by the theme Weaving for Change. The collection comprises five distinctive handcrafted lamps and light pendants, each created in partnership with women artisans from the Tuareg community in Northern Mali who are living as refugees in Burkina Faso. In working with this Tuareg community AAKS are helping to celebrate and preserve the community’s cultural identity and their time-honoured basket weaving traditions, a philosophy that has defined AAKS’s work with local communities in Ghana.

The designs are inspired by traditional basket lids for food platters woven with straw and yarn by the women for use during celebrations in their communities. These materials have been used to create the lamps, which are finished with fixtures made from vegetable tan leather, bronze, and copper metals. And each product is said to take one weaver anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 month to make depending on the size.

 

A defining feature of the collection is the beautiful array of colours used. From yellows, tone down reds, reds, blues and rustic oranges combined with natural straw, the colours evoke the palette of the desert in which the Tuareg typically reside, a landscape punctuated with the natural, dyed colours of their cultural markers such as dress and accessories.

 

AAKS UNHCR Weaving For Change Atelier Fifty Five Blog

 

The Weaving for Change project is an initiative of UNHCR bringing designers together with artisanal communities to create exceptional products with an underlying social impact.

 

– Tapiwa Matsinde

 

Additional details:

For further information about AAKS and the Weaving for Change Project visit: www.aaksonline.com

Behind the scenes images: www.aaksonline.com

 

[Image credits: The images shown are sourced from AAKS. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
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  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

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