What do you look for in a bag? Excellent craftsmanship by skilled artisans? The use of unique detailing and exquisite fabrics and materials? You’re in luck because our curated list of the « 12 Must Know Bag Brands You Must Know » includes all that and more!
We do, after all have a little addiction when it comes to bags so we’re letting you in on our picks of the brands we’ve been loving for a long while now. These brands all have one thing in common, they are all made in Africa, an ethos we strongly stand behind because after all, Africa is, and will always be, our first true love! Each brand hails from different parts of the beautiful continent with designs that are unique and handcrafted by talented artisans with some using ancient techniques. So without any further ado, check them out and let us know which ones are your favourites!
1.Okapi – South Africa
Okapi is a luxury South African brand which was founded by South African painter Hanneli Rupert in 2008. Her gorgeous range consists of locally produced products which are crafted with exceptional quality. These are definite investment pieces which you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
2. Zaaf Collection – Ethiopia
ZAAF™ is a collection of premium leather goods and accessories handcrafted by artisans in Ethiopia which was founded by Abai Schulze, who is also the brands Creative Director. The brand ZAAF, which launched in February 2014, means tree in Amharic draws on its Ethiopian roots, rich national heritage, and resources to handcraft items made of exquisite materials and fabrics.
3. Bush Princess – Kenya
Bush Princess hails from Kenya and was founded by Charlotte Lefebvre whose love for combining the refinement and flair of European fashion with the fabulous colours of African plains, brings together the best of both worlds. Bush Princess uses ethical, sustainable products and practices in the making of each piece with each piece handmade with great attention to detail and exceptional quality.
4. Hamethop – South Africa
This has got to be of of our favourites brand right now! Founded by Tsakani Mashaba, Hamethop incorporates luxury, design, textile & art in creating their range of handbags and accessories which feature ndebele prints and ancient weaving techniques to produce innovative materials. The brand works with master crafters and weavers in Johannesburg, Dakar and Cape Town & is handmade in Johannesburg.
5. Minku – Nigeria
Mink was founded in 2011 and specializes in leather bags, luggage, and notebooks for men and women. The founder Kunmi, was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and characterises each Minku item by their subtle use of cultural elements of Nigerian life, resulting in a fresh sub-Saharan aesthetic with transcontinental appeal.
Visit their website here and check out their Instagram page here.
6. Suave Kenya – Kenya
Suave Kenya Limited is a company that makes Backpacks, bags and accessories from up-cycled materials and locally sourced African fabrics even going as far ask making backpacks out of old coats! « Suave » from the brands point of view, means sophisticated, classy & urban with the brand making sure not to use the same fabric twice. We love the fun and unique element to each of their bags and can’t wait to get our hands on one of them!
7. Zashadu – Nigeria
Zashadu is a British/Nigerian sustainable luxury brand, that specialises in hand-crafted leather pieces. Founded by Zainab Ashadu, the brand works with local sustainably sourced leathers, farmed exotic skins and rough cut precious stones set in brass with all pieces made and crafted in Lagos, Nigeria by local artisans. Sustainable and chic, what’s not to love!
8. Wolf & Maiden – South Africa
Wolf & Maiden Creative Studio began as a nugget of divine inspiration in the curious mind of Wade Ross Skinner in early 2011, following a chance encounter on his travels in India. So if you’re looking for expertly handcrafted leather bags, then these guys definitely know what they’re doing!
9. Teespoon Boutique – Senegal
Influenced by the culture of Senegal, the Teespoon brand unifies both form and function through its traditional African design aesthetics and practical functionality. Founded by Teneasha Pierson, who is also the brands Creative director of Teespoon Boutique, has each piece designed and crafted by local artisans using traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.
10. Ilundi Designs – South Africa
Ilundi’s range of genuine leather bags and accessories are timeless and classic with each piece taking up to 14 hours to create only by hand. Their minimal geometric lines and quality natural materials result in a range exuding understated luxury and sophistication made from love!
11. Kona -Uganda
The word ‘Kona’ means ‘corner’ in Swahili, Luganda and Hindi with the brand being inspired by a mixture of both Ugandan and Indian cultures. With their products featuring a mix of patterns, styles, colors, stitching techniques and materials, Kona works with raw materials which are sourced locally and handmade by a team of women in Kampala.
12. Khokho – Swaziland
This a luxury accessories brand, combines the finest Italian workmanship with traditional Swazi weaving techniques. The brand’s founders Philippa Thorne and Eddie Borgo seek to elevate the ancient craft of weaving and strive to create income-generating opportunities in Swaziland. It is also worth mentioning that the purchase of Khokho handbag, sees artisans receive a percentage of the proceeds. Well done!