I have mentioned my love of tea several times on the blog. For me, it is about more than justing drinking it, but rather a chance to take a break unwind, relax and reflect. So naturally, am drawn to brands that create an exceptional tea drinking experience. And recently discovered Sayra, a high-end tea house that celebrates the art and history of Moroccan tea drinking rituals.
Luxury footwear ZYNE, known for modernising the traditional Moroccan babouche slipper has launched an exclusive crystal embellished satin and raffia collection with the online luxury fashion portal Net-a-Porter. The collection features the brand’s signature style of jewel colour tones, elaborate embroidery and shimmering beads and sequins. For about ZYNE see my previous feature here.
Salone del Mobile, the prestigious Italian furniture fair opens its doors today offering visitors the very best in international furniture design concepts. Salone del Mobile is also home to SaloneSatellite an event that spotlights promising young designers under 35 by giving them a platform to connect with manufacturers, buyers and talent scouts. Noted for launching the careers of designers such as Oki Sato of Nendo, this year’s SaloneSatellite theme is Africa/Latin America: Rising Design – Design Emergente and as such is presenting a group of designers representing both regions. Among those representing African design is Jomo Tariku, founder of Jomo Furniture who is unveiling a new design, The Nyala chair, which is inspired by the graceful curves of antelope horns; and alongside him Lani Adeoye founder of Studio Lani whose furniture is based on organic forms; and luxury lighting by textile design brand AMWA in collaboration with The Bespoke Boutique. Industrial designer Ifeanyi Oganwu who specializes in combining craft with engineering has previously participated in SaloneSatellite.
Babouches are a Moroccan slipper style of footwear. In their traditional form, they can be found in abundance in souks across the country. A favourite of tourists, babouches have now made the transition from colourful travel mementos to high fashion having turned up on the international catwalks in recent years courtesy of local designers such as Zineb Britel and Laura Pujol founders of the luxury footwear brand, ZYNE who are tapping into their heritages to modernise and elevate the Moroccan footwear.
Having spent the last seven years bringing you some of the names, designs, and services that have shaped the emergence and development of the creative industries across Africa one cannot help but be inspired by the energy surrounding what is happening; that feeling that anything is possible. Something that can at times be hard to articulate in a post when experiencing it in person can be so much more impactful. And this is the premise of Design Indaba’s Africa.Now initiative and video series, which brings you closer to the action through on-screen interviews with those who are an active part of shaping the story, and at the same time giving you a window into what is happening on the ground through the video’s electric montage of music events, fashion shows, street festivals workshops and more.
Earlier this year, I was honoured to have been appointed the guest curator for the prestigious Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair’s Well Made in Africa showcase. 2017 introduces a new, exquisite selection of Well Made in Africa exhibitors from the continent under the curatorship of Tapiwa Matsinde, author of Contemporary Design Africa. Tapiwa presents a selection that is anchored in heritage & modernity. This year Sanlam HmC will host the work of a dynamic group of designers who have been chosen for their innovative use of Africa’s diverse craft heritages to create modern sophisticated products for contemporary living. And with the October opening fast approaching I am delighted to share with you the details and introduce the amazing designers and artisanal talent I selected, as follows
The beauty of traditional Moroccan artisanal skills is combined with French style to create a range of contemporary North African inspired home decor including linens, soft furnishings, and interior accessories, under the brand Scènes de lin. Based in Marrakech, Scènes de lin was created by designer, and textile industry veteran Anne-Marie Chaoui, who in 2000 opened the doors to a beautifully appointed showroom in the district of Gueliz. Anne-Marie had relocated to Marrakech, inspired by the city and artisanal crafts of the city, and set up a local workshop working with highly skilled Moroccan artisans and craftsmen, in addition to employing the talents and traditional skills of home-based weavers and embroiderers, all working together to produce the Brand’s signature style of linens and interior products. Using high-quality materials, including linen, satin, flax and taffeta, Scènes de lin’s product ranges feature exquisitely embroidered linens in beautiful colours that not only go into creating sophisticated soft furnishings, but are also used to upholster furniture pieces giving them a new lease of life.