This brand of African-inspired handcrafted jewellery and accessories is the perfect mix of Adele Dejak’s Nigerian roots and her design experience in Europe. She moved to Nairobi, Kenya in 2005 and found herself obsessed with the natural beauty of horn and the techniques of creating unique shapes and beautiful pieces. Her creations are inspired by African tribes, textiles, culture and traditions positioning them perfectly for the modern, multidimensional woman. Adele Dejak has collaborated with Samsung and Salvatore Ferragamo and has participated in global events such as Vogue Talents in Milan.
Adele Dejak jewellery and handbags: www.adeledejak.com
Often the most successful brands are born out of the combination of determined people wanting to create community upliftment through the production of ethically produced, sustainable products made to the highest quality standards. Dedicated and passionate local designers are showing the world the incomparable beauty of luxury African brands.
Every single piece in the Made collection is handcrafted by skilled, dedicated Kenyan craftsmen. Through the production of beautiful and unique jewellery and accessories, Made is able to provide sustainable jobs, teach new skills and empower developing communities in Kenya. The brand has worked globally with big fashion and design names like EDUN, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, Topshop and ASOS. Its signature style comes from the use of reclaimed brass and local raw materials.
Made bone button hoop earrings and caged bone earrings: www.made.uk.com
This premium footwear brand’s mission is to challenge global perceptions of Africa through its world-class designs, artisanal production and exceptional fair-trade standards. The high-quality leather shoes are designed by the company’s co-founder, Jawad Braye, and made in Ethiopia. When you open an ENZI shoebox you not only get a super stylish pair of kicks, you also receive an inspiring note which thanks you for contributing to the development of sustainable leather products in Ethiopia. It invites you to enjoy your new shoes “responsibly”. Nice touch!
ENZI Nkrumah and Lumumba sneakers: www.enzifootwear.bigcartel.com
Zainab Ashadu is the Nigeria-based founder and creative director of the sustainable luxury brand Zashadu. She uses leather from the north's biggest city, Kano; goatskin from the ancient north-western city of Sokoto, as well as python skin from snake farms in the region, and creates magnificent leather handbags alongside a community of local artisans in Lagos. The smart designs and geometric shapes of her pieces, along with bold metallics and colourful animal skins, deliver homegrown Lagos glamour which appeals to a global audience.
Zashuda handbags: www.zashadu.com
In early 2011, Afomia Tesfaye left Los Angeles to travel back to her homeland of Ethiopia with the intention of designing a range of accessories. She was driven by the daunting prospect of developing something in Africa, with no formal training. After much research she discovered that Ethiopia produces some of the world’s finest quality leather and, using resources at hand, her sophisticated FOMI handbag collection was born. In 2014 the company expanded its product range to include women’s footwear. Afomia believes that FOMI handbags and shoes are testament to the fact that fashion companies can produce world-class luxury goods in Africa ethically.
Eshi Oxford shoes: www.fomicollection.com
HEEL THE WORLD
In 2009 Fred M Deegbe was told by a shoeshine boy that it was impossible for his shoes to be made in Ghana. Fred was a disillusioned banker at the time and took this as a challenge. He believed that Africa had all the potential to produce luxury goods which could be sold internationally. He also knew that by doing this, he had a massive opportunity to impact his society. Heel The World (HTW) was officially launched in 2011 and all the proceeds of the company go towards empowering creative entrepreneurs. All the leather used to make the bespoke handmade shoes is locally sourced.
Order completely bespoke HTW shoes or shop online: www.htwshoes.com
This African handbag and accessories brand was founded by French graduate and translator, Femi Olayebi. Every product is meticulously handcrafted in her design workshop in Nigeria. Femi looks to her culture for inspiration, incorporating traditional elements into sophisticated silhouettes. The trademarks of all Femi pieces are fun, colourful and eclectic and embody the founder’s exuberant approach to life.
The Tiwa chain bag (price on request): www.femihandbags.com
In 2013, the two founders of WEEF, Dévan Swanepoel and Patrick Musil, met while working at a design studio in Cape Town. They share a deep love for South African arts and crafts, and inspired by the drive and culture of their country, they set out to develop their own men’s lifestyle brand. WEEF creates handmade leather accessories – ties, bowties and pocket squares for men. They have recently expanded into the US and Europe.
Order online: www.weefwear.com
VANA is the purveyor of precious luxury leather handbags and accessories which have been created through collaboration with master artisan and talented craftsmen in South Africa. Vanashree Singh is the woman behind the brand and she has always believed that handbags are a woman’s personal signature. Her latest collection of luxury handbags and accessories fuse the richness of colour and textures from her Indian heritage and her African roots. Vana is passionate about supporting community-driven projects and uses local crafters to produce the beaded adornments.
VANA beaded handbag straps: www.vana-shree.com