Inspired by Mama Africa
Aloha and welcome back! I’m super excited to share with you some new Ankara African fabric boho clutches and wallets that were personally designed and commissioned by me on my last trip. Ankara is my new obsession, inspired by Mama Africa.
I’ve always had a strong love for everything that comes from Africa. Most importantly the people, music, art, and culture. Considering my love of all ethnic tribal textiles, it was only a matter of time before a deep Ankara obsession would develop.
Ankara Fabric, commonly known as “African Prints,” is 100% cotton fabric with vibrant and colorful exotic patterns, and is typically associated with Africa due to its tribal-like patterns and motifs.
I’ve always been attracted to these bright colored fabrics and the way in which the “Nubian Queens” wear them to represent their culture through fashion.
Over the years I’ve been slowly collecting yards of different Ankara fabric, hoping one day to create something amazing with them. Back in 2005 I designed some clothes and had them made in Indonesia. It ended up being a lot of work with an abundance of trial and error, learning what sizes and styles are in demand. In recent years I have stuck with mostly jewelry imports and stepped away from designing clothes but with my passion for fashion and having such a great appreciation for it, I figured I’d start fabricating again! I’ve decided to start small by designing some timeless, practical clutches using these fantastic Ankara fabrics.
On my last trip to South East Asia I wanted to take advantage of the extremely talented and cost efficient tailors there. I chose to start seeking my fabricator as soon as I arrived in Thailand, knowing if I didn’t find my dream tailor there I would have options as I was still planning to go to both China and Indonesia.
I searched for days, going to every tailor shop I laid my eyes on. No one wanted to make my designs! I was crushed. Ten days into my hunt I found an amazing leather worker in Bangkok who agreed to work with me after I proposed my ideas. He shared my vision. These are some of my first collection. I’m in love!!!
The design of the Ankara fabrics already has an influence on the international world of fashion and lifestyle. The fabrics themselves are quite an inspirational source for designers and companies alike. In Africa the Ankara designs are used mostly for celebrations and traditional events, but I wanted to incorporate the stunning style in with our everyday wear.
Ankara print fabrics are made through an Indonesian wax-resist dyeing technique called Batik. With this technique, methods are used to “resist” the dye from reaching all areas of the cloth. Therefore creating a stunning color pattern!
The fabric was originally intended for the Indonesian market but found a more enthusiastic market in West Africa, where it became symbols of traditional and high quality fashion.
From West Africa, the fabric spread to many other parts of Africa and eventually worldwide.
In Africa these fabrics are part of a nonverbal way of communication among the women, and hereby they carry their message out into the world. Some prints can be named after personalities, cities, buildings, sayings and occasions. These fabrics constitute capital goods for the African women, collected depending on their financial possibilities. Now with these universal wallets and clutches, anyone can feel like an Empress with just a splash of African royalty!
All pieces are handmade with real suede leather and a detachable wristlet strap. The wallets come with an additional zipper compartment and they all snap shut.
The leather worker who executed the design on my clutches actually specializes in shoe making and had never created anything quite like my clutches before. One of his designs are these gorgeous leather and suede Indian style moccasin boots, made with traditional Thai Hill Tribe textiles which are native to his tribe. I suggested he try making a pair with the Ankara fabric I brought. He was ecstatic to try out the new design, as he had never seen fabrics like them before. It was beautiful to see cultures cross in that way. Below are some pictures of what is coming soon, unique, one-of-a-kind, double sided, Ankara leather boots. You will have your choice of length, color (brown or black leather), and also a choice of the Dashiki or Kente Ankara fabric for your own, personalized custom pair!
With the language barrier communication abroad has been difficult so its still a project in the works, but I’m hoping to be able to start taking orders soon. Direct message or email me for inquires.
I want to send a BIG mahalo to Tressica and Tyson Moore with Better Together Photography for capturing these lovely shots of the new collection. You must check them out of you are ever on Maui, they really are the best for any style photography needs.
The clutches/wallets are now listed online on my Etsy shop so click the shop link at the top of the page to be sure to check them and and grab one before they’re gone!
Every piece is handmade and one-of-a-kind, so there is no two alike!
As always, fit for the Empress in you.
Wear with Love <3