Where “very trendy” to go for bags, skateboards and jewellery?
In South Africa, it is hard to imagine what textile weaving skills demonstrated by women in Ghana can be like because the country is so full of rich fashion resources itself. But that is just what AAKS is there to be about: the fashion store in South Africa was established to bring global recognition to these skills of Ghana, and contribute to local efforts in pluralising “green jobs” in Africa. The products are all handcrafted in the style and design of ancient African history and sport vibrancy.
The products are entirely African in nature, and the story behind how they get manufactured is quite interesting. In a portion of Ghana, under a baobab tree, all thick and tall, there are piles and piles of raffia in various colours that women use their local ancestral knowledge to weave into fancy crafts; sometimes the raffia also gets twisted by hand with the help of organic colours. In fact, both raffia (the ecologically conscious kind, that is also locally harvested from farmer families) and leather, are manufactured into handicraft items, sporting entirely modern designs, drenched in in-house dyes, coming with their very own tags.
The store opened when there was a lack of availability for handcrafted bags, and inspiration comes from various travels, contemporary and historical artworks, architecture and fashion photography. The idea of the store is to understand the lifestyle of a buyer, her ideas of design, and then proceed to craft with design sheets, particular measurements, mannerisms of colouring, and top it all off by making it “hard-to-afford beautiful handicrafts”.
Zabalazaa is a surface design, pattern print and design studio, which also creates fantastic wallpapers. The house seeds weaving inspiration from Lesotho (an African country) but the shop is entirely South African in nature, and based in Cape Town.
Pichulik is an intimate experience in jewellery designs, with inspirations sourced from travels (inclusive of places, such as India) and is based in Cape Town, South Africa. The label can best be described as strong, inspired and wise – it sells clothes (utilitarian fashion manufactured from hand-dyed fabrics, such as hemp) and shoes that are meant to look like an Italian summer, besides accessories, too, nowadays.