Creating fashion outfits and accessories from sustainable materials like raffia and organic cotton is one thing that African fashion brands have infused in their brands to make them compete globally. Fashion brands like Okhtein and SoleRebels make use of sustainable and indigenous materials to create unique products for their target audience.
Another thing that makes these brands stand out is the fact that they draw inspiration from their local cultures and heritage to create unique designs. AAKS is one luxury accessories fashion brand that makes use of traditionally sourced raffia to design bags in modern styles.
AAKS is a Ghanaian fashion brand that deals in the production of accessories that are specially handcrafted through traditional, intricate methods of weaving using bright, exuberant colours. The fashion brand which specialises in designing handbags, tote bags and shoulder bags, made from raffia, leather, and their derivatives, is owned by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi.
Akosua Afriyie-Kumi is a Ghanaian creative with a great passion for art and fashion. After receiving her Fashion degree from Kingston University, London, she relocated to Ghana to support the creative industry and launch a world-class brand.
How The Brand Was Birthed
AAKS was launched when the founder noticed a gap in the market for unique handcrafted luxury accessories made with locally sourced materials. Coupled with her love for art and design, she decided to launch a brand that designs products made with traditional weaving techniques, thus showcasing the culture and heritage in Ghana.
And just like Akosua Afriyie-Kumi said regarding the birth of AAKS,
“The time was ripe for me to create my own unique bag with foldable, leather-like qualities so I could travel with it. I also wanted something colourful to reflect my energy and colourful upbringing.”
The AAKS brand has released over 5 collections since its inception, ranging from Season 6 to Season 5 and many more. Each collection is a complex combination of thoughts, as the unique silhouettes tell different stories through detail, colour and shape.
The bags which are handmade in Ghana are designed with ecologically harvested raffia and leather to showcase and maintain the spirit and durability of their heritage. The craftsmanship, authenticity, as well as ethical values, are some of the philosophies the founder infuses in the brand collection to make it an outstanding one.
Impact On African Communities
As a result of the techniques involved in the production of these handbags, such as weaving, dyeing and many more, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi has been able to provide sustainable jobs for members of the community. This artisanal method of production has helped improve the craftsmanship passed down along generations and reduced the rate of unemployment.
By also harvesting the ethical and sustainable raffia from local farmers in Ghana, the AAKS brand has helped to grow the economy.
It is encouraging to see different fashion brands, such as the AAKS brand, from all corners of Africa, fuelling their passion, and leaving a notable mark in their communities.