Modern African Design Doreen Mashika Capsule Collection for eBay Germany

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]
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Contemporary African Inspired Accessories Uphold Traditional Craft

Meaning ‘good’ in Maa, the language of the Maasai, ‘Sidai’ is the name given to a business creating contemporary African inspired accessories by infusing traditional beading with modern aesthetics. The company was inspired by a visit to Arusha, in Northern Tanzania. Sidai Designs was founded by, Eszter Rabin, a graphic designer turned artisan entrepreneur living in California, and Emanuel Melubo Laizer, a Maasai Warrior from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Northern Tanzania. Discovering a mutual interest in working with underserved communities, Emanuel and Eszter joined forces in 2009 to share ideas, and after several visits to Maasai communities launched Sidai Designs in 2011. The result of this partnership sees the distinctive, elegant beading of the Maasai translated into striking, contemporary African inspired accessories and jewellery collections that manage to balance bold silhouettes with the delicateness of the beading, and some very pretty colour palettes.
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Uru Diamonds Ethical East African Jewellery And Fashion Accessories

It is no secret the African Continent is blessed with diamonds that are coveted the world over, and harnessing this mineral wealth should come with social responsibilities. However, as we all know this is not always the case, especially when it comes to conflict free diamonds. East African jewellery company, Uru Diamonds based in Tanzanian is a company that works with conflict free diamonds and precious stones, to produce contemporary jewellery collections. The company name ‘Uru’ comes from a very old Swahili term describing a powerful essence; used here to invoke the days of ancient African Kings and Queens where diamonds were cherished.  
[Image credit: Uru Diamonds]

Architect David Adjaye Furniture Collection For Knoll

‘…unless I truly loved it, there was no point in my doing it’, words that formed part of a pitch for the resulting David Adjaye furniture collection that saw London-based architect David Adjaye turn his hand to furniture design, producing his first collection in collaboration with iconic American furniture and fabric brand, Knoll. Currently celebrating 75 years of pioneering design, to mark the occasion Knoll sought to persuade two of the world’s leading architects; British-Ghanaian David Adjaye, and Dutch-born Rem Koolhaus into taking a brief detour from their usual work of redrawing skylines and taking on a spot of product design. Why the need for persuasion? Both designers had initially expressed no desire to explore ‘designing a range of small-scale domestic objects’. That said, in coming round to the idea, these two collaborations have been deemed Knoll’s most important since a collaboration with renowned Canadian-American architect, Frank Gehry back in 1992.

[Image credits: Washington Corona Bronze Coffee Table – Knoll] 

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Singita Mara River Tented Camp Afro Chic Interior Design

Singita - Mara River Tented Camp - Lounge

Luxury game reserve specialist, Singita introduce a new camp to their safari camp and lodges portfolio. The Singita Mara River Tented camp in Tanzania is located in the remote Lamai Triangle region, the northern most tip of the Serengeti National Park. In keeping with the laidback luxury style of their other properties in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, (see the Singita Pamushana Lodge featured here), preview pictures of the new camp reveal a refreshing, modern take on the safari chic aesthetic by channeling a modern Afro chic interior design.
[Image credit/source: Mara Tented River Camp – Singita]
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Jacqueline Kibacha Avant-garde African Inspired Jewellery

A string of approximately 365 crystal beads and a silver clasp in the shape of a heart inspired the name for Tanzanian jewellery designer Jacqueline Kibacha’s handcrafted African inspired jewellery and fashion accessories label. Based in London, her jewellery label Heart 365 Emporium incorporates traditional Maasai beading with the drama of bold designs, colours, and layered textures.
[Image credit: Uhuru’s Wings Neckpiece – Heart 365 Emporium]
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Shanga Lamps Modern African Home Decor Accessories

Hurricane Lamps can be both decorative and functional when used as part of contemporary interior decor accents, especially when it comes to outdoor use, where the subdued light emitted is ideal for evenings spent on the verandah on a warm summers night and with some styles allowing for the insertion of mosquito repellant oils comes the added bonus of helping to keep the bugs at bay. Hurricane lamps were adapted from oil lamps used by sailors and comprise a glass chimney with a perforated metal lid that lets air escape whilst protecting the internal flame from being blown out.
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FIGS Fashion Inspired Global Sophistication Luxury Neckwear

Attending an all girl’s school, my senior school uniform was not the most attractive thing, well at least until I entered sixth form. In the summer terms it was a short-sleeved belted green and white check affair that was far from figure flattering, improving in the winter term when it changed to a bottle green tunic and a khaki long sleeved blouse complete with tie, both styles would be topped off with bottle green cardigans or pullovers. Sixth form brought a much more smarter grown up look in bottle green a-line skirts, khaki short and long sleeved blouses which we were allowed to wear with stockings and dark brown high-heeled court shoes when representing the school; the perks of finally having reached the top of the school chain. We felt grown and it showed in our attitudes holding ourselves that bit taller wherever we went. Donned with a bottle green blazer these uniforms instilled in us a sense of pride and belonging to the school whether or not we realised it at the time. FIGS is a luxury neckwear label that recognises the role school uniforms have in the educational experience and partners with local weavers and tailors around the world in making school uniforms for the students in their local communities for whom buying a uniform would be difficult but is often a requirement of attending school.
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Mikuti Beaded Maasai Bangles African Inspired Jewellery

Blue toned Musa Bangles - Mikuti

[Imagecredit: Musa Bangle – Mikuti]

Get a glimpse into a vibrant part of Tanzanian culture with these gorgeously colourful African inspired jewellery bangles from Mikuti; a socially active company founded by US-based Erika Freund, who after spending time in the country as a volunteer set up the business to produce simple yet striking jewellery designs in partnership with various artists, individuals and workshops in Tanzania. Inspired by the colourful and distinctive Maasai jewellery and beaded adornment, the ‘Musa Bangles’ are hand cut and shaped into a circle of polished aluminium that comes from an airplane wing and is accentuated with two colourful swathes of glass Czech seed beads.
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Contemporary African Art The Wonder Welders Of Tanzania

Large flamingo - Wonder Welders

Invite Africa’s wildlife into your living space with these striking metal contemporary African art sculptures from Wonder Welders; a social enterprise based in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania. Wonder Welders was formed in 2004 when a group of adults afflicted with polio came together and established a welder’s workshop with support from a local charity, Blue Mango Photography, along with donations of scrap metal from local businesses. After receiving initial training from a local welding expert the members soon began creating a range of objects including wildlife, birds and boats sold to contemporary African art lovers in the local market.
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