A A K S was founded by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi with the goal of introducing the world to her favourite weaving techniques done by the women of Ghana while also creating and igniting sustainable jobs within Africa. Handcrafted in Ghana, A A K S creates bags in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts characterised by bright exuberant colours.
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.
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.
A Ghanaian native after a time in London, Akosua graduated from Kingston University London with a BA (hons) Fashion degree and amassed an impressive resume of fashion industry experience. From designer to co - owner of a fashion brand and now creative director of her own brand A A K S, this has resulted in a broad knowledge of the industry from all sides.
Currently based in Ghana, Akosua finds herself traveling to and through out Europe and Africa - Particularly Accra, Cape Town, London and Milan every few months to work with local artisans, experience the diverse culture of the continents and discover new inspirations for her brand.
Since launching in 2014, A A K S has been shortlisted as an emerging designer from Africa by Vogue Italia, featured by Elle Decoration, Vogue, CNN, Forbes Woman Africa, Guardian UK and many international publications.
Akosua now stocks her woven bag collections in 60 stores worldwide including Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.