African designers, Design Network Africa.
We trust that you’ve had a beautiful week. It’s been lovely at Adele Dejak international, working hard to ensure that we get these lovely statement pieces to make you stand out. As we mentioned in our post last week, we continue highlighting the amazing African designers that our being at the Design African Network has enabled us interact with. This week we share two of these designers
Born in Mali and to an architect, Cheick Diallo went to the School of Architecture in Rouen (France) to become and architect. He later on studied design at ENSCI in Paris graduated in 1994. During which time he received the 1st prize by the Museum of Decorative Arts (Paris) for the creation of its Ifen lamp and Rivale chair. Diallo produces design projects, which speak to a local making tradition of using discarded materials and working mostly by hand.
Over the past decade, Cheick’s work has been exhibited in international museums such as the Museum Mandet (France) where he had a solo exhibition of the investigation in 2012; National Museum of Mali (Bamako – Mali); Manchester Museum of Art (Manchester UK); Quai Branly Museum (Paris -France), Musée Dapper Foundation (Paris -France); Kunst Palace (Düsseldorf – Germany); Hayward Gallery (London, UK); National Centre for Art and Culture Georges Pompidou (Paris, France). It was part of the AfricaRemix exhibition in which his work was also shown in the Johannesburg Art Gallery (South Africa) and the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan).
With his main focus being the African continent, Cheick has opened his design studio in Bamako (Mali) from which he has developed unique designs. He is a designer, manufacturer, producer and consultant. In 1996, he founded the Association of African Designers, which manages a large number of design workshops around Africa, including Mali, Togo, Congo, South Africa, Morocco, Benin and Ghana.
Cheick Diallo’s studio in based in his hometown. Here, he produces design projects, which speak to a local making tradition of using discarded materials and working mostly by hand. He uses, for instance, soft drinks cans that were ‘sculpted’ by the wheels of the big trucks going from Bamako to Douala, polished by the sun and rusted by the rains as a material.
Info source: African Design Days.
A A K S
Akosua Afriyie Kumi of AAKS, a very creative Ghanaian designer, introducing beautiful and creative, handcrafted bags to women with perfect companion, in a large summer collection. These bags are made in a women’s Co-Op Bolgatanga.
The essence of A A K S design philosophy is a complex combination of thoughts, design element which come from a critical attention to craftsmanship, authenticity and ethical values in their production ; while having a strong sense of identity and quality. Each collection silhouette is unique and tells a different story through detail, colour and shape. Akosua is connected to every stage of the design and production process to oversee and ensure that the end result is imbued with the spirit and soul worthy of the A A K S stamp.
In a small tranquil village in the Northern region of Ghana, hamlets scatter over the savannah as far as your eyes can see. A group of local artisan weavers sit under a huge baobab tree laughing away, on close inspection you see piles of colourful raffia and in between the noise of chatter and laughter these women are hard at work. Their hands move so skilfully and with an innate knowledge tending to a craft that has been handed down by generations.
Made by hand each bag bears the finger prints of the person who fashioned it and we add a signature tag to prove authenticity. “We strive for beauty and individuality in each product and natural variations in texture and colour forms part of our designs.’
This craft is the art of weaving. Using skills and techniques that are unique to this part of Ghana, the craftsmanship is the foundation of our brand. This is where A A K S handbags are made. The bags are woven incorporating the use of raffia and leather. It takes approximately one week to complete a handbag. This attests to our unwavering dedication to modern style and interpretations using traditional methods.
Made by hand each bag bears the finger prints of the person who fashioned it and we add a signature tag to prove authenticity. We strive for beauty and individuality in each product and natural variations in texture and colour forms part of our designs.
While constantly experimenting with new materials all of our handbags are made using ecologically harvested raffia from family farmers in Ghana. We utilise as much of every raffia as possible and reserve scraps for smaller bags. The use of natural fibres and emphasis on handcraft technique means each bag is unique. A sophisticated dyeing process is formulated in house to create exclusive seasonal colours.
Each season we aim to deliver new fabrications and technique that underscore our commitment to quality and craftsmanship with a quintessential natural and eclectic relaxed chic.
Ciao for now,