The creativity of African brands is expressed in a thousand identities and aesthetic languages, finding recurring motifs in pluriculturalism, in craftsmanship, in the link with the territory, in the attention to social aspects. These are traits developed by three indigenous brands, respectively of clothes, accessories and jewels: Maison Artc, Okhtein is Pichulik.
Artsi Ifrach, born in Jerusalem of Moroccan parents, after having lived between Tel Aviv, Paris and Amsterdam, in 2009 settled in Marrakech Maison Artc. The search for a place to settle – a research already written in his name which in Hebrew and Arabic means “my country” – was crucial for his creativity, strongly connected with the cultural contamination that is always present in his collections. Self-taught with an artistic approach – “Colors, patterns and prints are my landscape” -, using patchwork and contrasting materials thanks to vintage fabrics and recovered materials, he created sculptural garments that have been shown several times during the Alta Parisian fashion.
Coat with Berber inlays, tassels and taffeta sleeves with embossed cuffs, inlaid headpiece and brass crown, Maison Artc (photo by Artsi Ifrach).
Craftsmanship is the pivot of Okhtein, an Egyptian brand founded in 2014 by the sisters Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf. Strengthened by the family bond – “okhtein” in Arabic means sisters – and the traditions of their country, they create hand-chiseled brass bags and sunglasses by local craftsmen, according to ancient techniques inspired by the architecture of the old city of Cairo.
Minaudière Palmette Hexagon, Okhtein.
Pichulik was born in 2013 by Katherine-Mary Pichulik, and creates jewels with ropes produced or recovered and then decorated with exotic materials such as Abalone shells and Ghana agate, horn and stone. The brand offers women a job opportunity in the Cape Town atelier and collaborates with small local businesses run by women, to create “a culture of encouragement, inclusion and empathy”.
At this link you will also find another article dedicated to fashion made in Africa.
Opening: Cantadora earrings in curved brass with rope detail and titanium pin, Pichulik.