WGSN

We are excited to be featured by WGSN as one of their favourite brands of the month, December 2015. 
“I’ve normally got my eye on womenswear and so key accessories brands always pop up on my Instagram feed, I spotted this designer who has created these vibrant coloured handweaved handbags and I love them,” says Laura Yiannakou, Womenswear Associate Editor

ELLE SA

With the goal of introducing the world to the weaving techniques done by the women of Ghana, Ghanaian native Akosua Afriyie-Kumi moved to Ghana in pursuit of her fashion dream. Today she is the creative director of her own luxury, handmade accessories brand A A K S, which is not only capturing international attention but is also providing sustainable employment for African women. Elle gets to know Afriyie-Kumi a little bit better here . . . . 

AN ARTISANAL EXPLORATION

AN ARTISANAL EXPLORATION

A A K S reunites impeccable craftsmanship and a raw visceral energy of new shapes in her anticipated Spring/Summer 2016 collection.

The aesthetics of the brands recent design work is inspired by Luis Barragan’s architectural shapes and photography balancing between structure and fluidity. 

These influences pulsate through the collection with contrasting colours and contemporary ease; in shades of delicate pinks, midnight blues and vibrant reds which attunes to our creative director Akosua’s eye for artisanal detailing. 

Pieces made entirely from raffia intensify the subject of the work with leather finishing and fringe detailing creating a crisp palette which brings dynamism, desirability and play into that colourful summer spirit and heritage of the brand.

It takes approximately one week to complete each handbag, which attests to an unwavering dedication to craftsmanship using traditional methods with a crisp modern style and interpretations. Made by hand, each bag bears the fingerprints of the person who fashioned it and a signature tag is added to prove authenticity.

Akosua has showcased her work internationally in Milan, London and Cape Town and now stocks her collection in 28 stores worldwide in 8 countries including Anthropologie. The brand tells an exciting creative story of Ghana, offering a different perspective and exploratory feel of Africa.

The visual inspiration behind every design reflects a sense of spontaneity which embraces the visceral energy of Ghanaian culture and pulsates through the entire collection.  Akosua continues to build an African brand ethically and conscientiously one handbag at a time.

 

LIHA BEAUTY + AAKS

We are super excited to collaborate with our first African inspired beauty company Liha Beauty. The creatives behind this great brand are Abi and Liha, beauty junkies who toyed with ideas of creating natural products which are 100% vegan, while working and sourcing ingredients from all over the world including Ghana. 

When Liha got in touch with me to create their THIS THAT & THE THIRD GIFT BAG, I was ecstatic as we both take inspiration from old age techniques and with their minimalist approach and my colourful punch we were the perfect combination. Together we created an exclusive colour way clutch which is perfect for your Liha beauty essentials and also works as a seamless day to night clutch once you reach your destination. In limited edition batch of 50 the clutch includes their cult Idan oil , the new Queen Idia Candle and The Ose Gidi handmade Blacksoap.

We are very happy to finally reveal our project and we hope you enjoy it as much as we have!  
Shop here

CANDY BLACK

 

AAKS has a story. It’s message is clean and simple, and it is through this brand narrative that creative director Akosua Afriyie-Kumi has tirelessly built her business. We began working with Akosua when the brand was little more than an idea; but over the past 18 months the success of the hand-weaved raffia bags has been undeniable, featured by Vogue Italia, The New York Times and most recently Elle Decoration, South Africa. 

Coupled with her clear message and consistent tone of voice, she has been relentless and highly effective with her use of social media; the AAKS Instagram feed providing a photo-journal of the journey from Bolgatanga, Ghana to multiple stockists worldwide. Continuing this momentum, we recently worked with Akosua again to design her first collective brand summary intended for all her subscribers and fans alike. In keeping with her website, the mailer is minimalist in design, focussed on the plethora of available content and with the AAKS personal touch of handwritten title font and signature.

 

ETHICAL FASHION INITIATIVE

 

The AAKS brand celebrates the craftsmanship of African artisans. Together with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, Akosua participated in a mentorship trip to Burkina Faso where she received feedback and guidance from Italian Vogue Editor Franca Sozzani and Simonetta Gianfelici. She also met with fellow emerging African designers and presented her collection at the IED Moda graduate show in Milan July 2014.