By Tunde Owolabi
The African culture is rich, diverse and vibrant in colors and style. It makes it easy for us to live by the tagline – Inspired by Culture.
LOVE THE PROCESS
Asooke weaver from Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria. Most of the weavers especially in the south-west have similarities in process. They all weave in a horizontal manner but what differentiates Ilorin people from the Iseyin people is the size of their looms. The width of their fabric is wider than that of the Iseyin people but shorter in length. At Ethnik, part of our vision is to explore different weaving techniques and build a sustainable brand, working with these local weavers. We also want to see the art of weaving continue to grow through by encouraging the weavers to continually weave and pass on the knowledge to their children and younger ones.
The African continent is extraordinarily rich in creativity, materials, and ideas that are sources of inspiration and nourishment for us. When applied to design, they engender products which exude tradition and modernity, innovation and history, form and beauty. Patricia Moroso. We are responsible for how our stories are told. We can either choose to tell it how it should be and let the world be aware of who we are or let it be a one-sided story of what they perceive it to be. At Ethnik, we tell our story through our fabric design, one weave at a time, into societal history.
The Ethnik white Doro bag. I remember during a certain military era, when almost every govt parastatal went on strike, this included the water corporation, we had to depend on a neighbor’s well for water. The old woman who owned the well had a “Doro” made with a white paint bucket. We all liked to use it because of the size, how well made it is and the fact that it was white. She liked it so much she will say to us “if you throw my Doro into the well, I will make you go into it to fetch it back for me. Fast forward to years later, that old woman’s Doro is inspiring the shape of a fashion item which is our new bag. It’s amazing how every experience in life teaches and inspire us. It’s true what they say about the value of experience and life lessons.
This is inspired by the most important women in my life. They push me to places I never imagined I could go. This is my support system.
Abeke means: WE BEGGED TO CARE FOR HER. This bag is made with handwoven fabric Aso Oke combined with premium vegtan black textured leather.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.
Tunde Owolabi is the creative director of Tunde Owolabi Studios, a multidisciplinary design and photography studio based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a freelance artist, designer and trained photographer from the London School of Fashion. He has worked across various multinational brands and is leveraging those experiences running Ethnik by Tunde Owolabi, an Afrocentric brand which specializes in the design of aso-oke, a hand-woven Nigerian fabric and creates accessories with the fabric. Tuned loves coffee, travel, great food and extreme adventures.