If you are passionate about designing and producing accessories that not only look good but have a positive impact, then it is not too late to enter the Abury Design Experience (ADEx) competition to be in with a chance to create a capsule accessories collection for the sustainable luxury accessory brand, Abury. Abury’s ethos is to combine traditional, old-world crafts with avant-garde design to create a new luxury style that fosters intercultural exchange and helps preserves world crafts. And, now in its second year, ADEx is an international design competition- held in partnership with Harper’s Bazaar Germany -that builds on Abury’s crafts skills exchange ethos. And, in addition to designing a collection for Abury, the winner will also receive travel, stay, a production budget and up to three months in Morocco collaborating with local artisans.
The luxury French fashion house, Hermès recently launched La Marche du Zambeze, a stunning silk twill scarf that was the result of a collaboration with South African ceramic studio, Ardmore. Celebrating African art and creativity the scarf was designed by Ardmore’s artisans. La Marche du Zambeze is set in the great river lands of the Zambezi tracing its course from the savannah to the delta marshes and features a majestic elephant at its centre, symbolising family and power. Gathered around the elephant are the creatures of his kingdom, giraffe, zebra, leopard, and crocodile. The river’s flora is silhouetted all around the composition, off-setting rich patterns of python and crocodile skin.
Nothing says summer more than a pair of comfortable, yet chic sandals. And, with the summer holidays having officially started in this part of the world, many a pair will have been tucked away into luggage bound for sun soaked destinations. And, whether or not you are going away for the holidays, every wardrobe needs a pair or two, or three… So just in time for summer, July has seen the launch of Monaa, a stylish collection of luxury African inspired shoes comprising leather sandals and slippers made in Ghana.
[Main image credit: Princess Slipper in blue – Monaa]
Some weeks back I did a feature on Kenyan jewellery designer, Gladys Macharia’s collaboration with Urbanara, as one of three winners of the Kenya-based ‘African Designers for Tomorrow‘ award. Another winner of competition was Doreen Mashika, who today as part of the award sees the launch of her covetable modern African design in the form of a jewellery and accessories capsule collection, Doreen Mashika for eBay, Germany, which was produced in collaboration with the online platform.
[Main image credit: Beaded Bracelet – Doreen Mashika for eBay Germany]
Abury is an ethical luxury fashion accessories brand whose ethos is one of combining old world traditions with cutting edge design to create a new style, one of timeless and authentic luxury. Abury is a response to mass production, inviting people to appreciate the beauty that is around them, to form emotional connections to the products they buy and to take the time to recognise the meaning of of true luxury that comes with tradition, time and care in production. Heritage, knowledge and wisdom are turned into timeless high quality products, that include bags, personal accessories and footwear for people to treasure.
[Image credit: Berber Collection, Blue and Pink Berber Clutch – Abury]
With Father’s Day on the horizon, Sunday 21st June for those who need reminding, I thought it would be apt to introduce a brand that focuses its creative attentions on our menfolk. Maki & Mpho, is a US-based textile brand that ‘celebrates the African renaissance’, by working with African designers to develop modern sophisticated prints for menswear accessories. Defining modern luxury African design the collections include elegant ties, pocket squares and bow ties made from silk twill.
[Main image credit: SEVEN – Self-tie Diamond Tip Double-sided Bow Tie – Maki & Mpho]
Luxury South African accessories brand Okapi, celebrated the launch of its first shop in London with a stylish summer soiree. Name after the elusive antelope, Okapi, was founded in 2008 by South African painter Hanneli Rupert and offers a stylish array of luxury artisanal handbags and accessories.
[Main image credit: Okapi London Shop – Okapi]
Made in Africa Luxury accessories label, A A K S was founded in 2014 by colour-obsessed designer, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, whose passion for all things bright led to the creation of a chic range of handbags handcrafted in Bolgatanga, a region in northern Ghana famed for its longstanding basket weaving traditions. Through A A K S Akosua intended to capture the spirit and durability of this heritage, showcasing the hand weaving techniques to a global audience and in the process help support the artisans and communities the company works with by creating local jobs. A A K S works closely with groups of local artisan weavers who skillfully weave colourful piles of raffia into the stylish products that combine modern style interpretations with traditional methods.
[Main image credit: Happa Bag – A A K S]
Taisir Gibreel is a luxury accessories label that celebrates colour, culture and diversity fusing western and African design inspiration. The label was founded by Scottish based textile designer, Taisir Gibreel, whose designs are a visual feast of intense kaleidoscopic colour combined with bold striking patterns.
[Image credit: Wanza Purse – ZAAF]
I was recently introduced to ZAAF® a collection of beautifully crafted African leather handbags and lifestyle accessories made in Ethiopia. ZAAF was launched just over a year ago by Ethiopian-born, American raised Abai Schulze. As ZAAF’s creative director Abie draws on her multi-cultural upbringing and her Ethiopian heritage, celebrating the local culture and traditions and craftsmanship, reinterpreting them into luxuriously fresh modern designs.