Behind every fashion brand is a story that is unique to the brand and that endears customers to it. No two brand stories are the same as the inspiration behind the brand and life experiences of the business owner form the basis for their brand story.
Like the Paradise Row fashion brand that started from a need to revive the leather and textile industry in East London and the Margaret Burton fashion brand that aims to help the environment and customers cherish what they wear, the Nannacay fashion brand set out to transform lives.
Nannacay, which is the Aymara word for ‘brotherhood of women’, was founded by Marcia Kemp to help “people develop creative potential by serving as a bridge between people who need help and people who want to help.” The slogan for the brand is “creative hands transforming lives.”
The inspiration behind the brand came to Kemp on one of her many travels to Africa. The people and culture inspired her to want to take what she saw and show it to the rest of the world.
The brand which is a social fashion project, and is well known for its handwoven basket bags, provides economic opportunities for a collective of 200 artisans in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil by implementing training and workshops on skills development and financial management.
No two Nannacay bags are the same as the development, colour standardisation and quality control of each accessory are co-ordinated by the founder herself to make sure each piece is unique. Each piece is carefully hand-made by local artisans and it takes about 10 – 12 hours to complete one.
Through her brand, Marcia Kemp, who loves to lend her expertise to the local community in Peru, provides the local artisans with the possibility of a better life. Most of the artisans she works with are in very remote regions in Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil and giving them jobs helps give them a source of income.
The materials these artisans use in making the fashion brand’s handbag pieces are traditional straw and strings which are familiar to them. Even though they use traditional weaving techniques to produce the accessories, they give each piece a contemporary twist to make it more appealing to the brand’s target audience – women who like beauty and admire the simplicity of life.
As a way to help local communities, all Nannacay bags in the NET SUSTAIN edit help support the preservation of traditional handwoven crafts in these communities.
Collections By Nannacay
The Nannacay fashion brand has a total of 6 collections – Aura, Kodama, Cosmic, Ohana, Deseo, and Jai collections. Each of these collections has a unique feel and style and appeals to customers in different ways.
The Aura collection has beautiful bags with wooden handles on top and long fringes flowing freely at the bottom. The Kodama, Ohana, and Jai collection are all basket bags with significant differences in them – with the Kodama bags in the shape of rectangles with leather straps on them, the Ohana bags are tote bags in the shape of traditional bags with leather straps and the Jai bags shaped like squares.
The Cosmic bags truly look like something from out of this world with intricately designed patterns on them. The Deseo bags are clutch bags and are shaped like semi-circles. All of these collections look like beautiful works of art.
Asides making handbags of all types and sizes – clutches, pompoms and totes in small, medium, and large sizes – the Nannacay fashion brand also makes other accessories like hand fans, earrings, hats and keychains.
What is to Learn from the Nannacay Fashion Brand?
The Nannacay fashion brand is one that provides a source of income and livelihood to some of the most underprivileged people in very remote areas and one that connects those that need help with those that want to help. It is also one that strives to preserve traditional handwoven crafts.
As a fashion entrepreneur, you can also use your brand to help those very skilled craftsmen that are seeking a form of employment. Sometimes, this help can mean the world to them. And as an African designer who sees a lot of our traditional ways of doing things slowly fading away, you can also try to revive and preserve them for future generations to come.