Monday, January 30, 2012

TOWNSHIP INSPIRED AFRICAN DESIGN



What began as a conversation with women in the townships around Cape Town has become a unique social enterprise in the fashion industry. Nicole-Marie Iresch, an Algerian-born executive with Air France, traveled from Paris to Cape Town on holiday. While exploring the city she was approached by a group of women who asked her for employment. They had basic sewing skills but could not find the work they needed to support their families. Nicole-Marie felt an instant bond with the women and visited them in their homes in the township of Khayelitsha. More than twenty years later, she still remembers clearly:
“When I was first invited to the township of Khayelitsha, during the final years of apartheid, I entered another world and got to know people that changed my life completely. Penetrating beyond the mass of shacks, I got to know the homes, the lives and the dreams of the women I met. I discovered a beauty, a style, and a spirit I have never encountered before. Ever since my first visit to Khayelitsha, I nursed a desire to express and translate the irrepressible urge to create beauty that I discovered there: to shine a light on the originality and style of the township women and their homes, to take the colors, textures and vibe and show them to the rest of the world.”

It was during that first encounter that Nicole-Marie recognized the energy and potential of township women, and felt compelled to offer them meaningful opportunities that would convey their spirit and creativity to the outside world. She acted as an advisor to the women and supported them in establishing their own sewing cooperative. The women gave Nicole-Marie’s life real purpose. She permanently relocated to South Africa and founded Township, an organization providing women with the training and business skills required to create independent sewing cooperatives. In order to generate sufficient income, the women began to produce reusable bags from non-GM cotton. There are now 7 sewing co-operatives all certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation.

The co-operatives now produce a range of very cool African inspired bags, shoes, decor and accessories. We have fallen in love with their recently opened store in Cape Town, that reflects a real contemporary, Afroc chic concept. We hope to have some of their range available soon through Bundu Designs.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

AFRO CHIC TROPHY HEADS


We thought it would be fitting to kickstart 2012 with a unique and quirky African safari. Keeping it contemporary and innovative and as always ingenious, we take a look at products inspired by Africa’s wildlife. These spectacular trophies come to you cruelty-free. We did some amazing partnership work last year with our wire and bead group from Zimabawe and several of them have now started a range of wire animal heads that we think are quite spectacular.  Taking traditional African trophy heads to a whole new level, thick galvanised wire is shaped by hand to form the head and then covered in papier mache, where layer upon layer of tissue paper is applied to the frame. The result is a bold, spectacular statement that exudes an Afro-chic elegance.



Streetwires is a South African based fair trade organisation providing sustainable employment opportunities for many formerly unemployed men and women to channel their natural creative energies into this vibrant art form. Their beautiful, intricate wire trophy heads are spectacular and would be a proud African testament on any wall.



These red leather majestic animals of the African savannah, the Kudu, are also known as grey ghosts for their ability to blend into the bush. Long valued by Africans, the male Kudu features striking spiral horns, captured brilliantly by transforming the idea of a mounted trophy head into a contemporary piece of art. Created out of recycled cardboard and then covered in leather or suede.


Jozi2, painted by artist Sharon Boonzaier, was inspired by the bustling city of Jo’burg, its architecture and diverse culture. Some of the works are painted on canvas and printed on the sculpture, as seen in Claudia Gurwitz’s “Coral Tree”.



Zimbabwean artists Mike Vanyana, Norbert Mukungwa and Robert Yohan have recently created a striking collection of bead and wire animal heads for Bundu Designs. 







Taking trash to a whole new level, these coiled wire, rubber and plastic sculptures have to be one of the most unqiue pieces in our trophy head selection. Each sculpture is completely unique and original and meticulously constructed.








Bundu Designs takes special orders on all of these animal heads, contact us at bundu@eastlink.ca or click here for prices and sizes available online.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

ALPHA LONGBOARDS - LOCAL LEGENDS




As the snow begins to fall and temperatures in the north drop way below freezing, we thought it only fitting and necessary to add a little African sunshine in our lives with these seriously cool longboards. Alpha Longboards was started by Kent Lingeveldt, out of a need for longboards in Cape Town. Why -Alpha- ? Because they believe that with the purchase of an Alpha Longboard comes the beginning of a culmination of a lifelong dream for some, and the re-awakening of a dream for others. Each board is handcrafted in the Alpha workshop by Kent who is an avid longboarder. Alpha was started as a custom board shaping company, but has now developed a standard catalogue range that is constantly growing. They maintain that they sell a lifestyle, not a product. Their most recent creations entitled ‘Local Legends’ is a series of custom stencil artwork by in-house artist Kenan Petersen. First in this beautiful range is the Nelson Mandela board and retails at about $250 each. Personally I just want to hang one on my wall.