thanks to this month's elle magazine, we've spotted another "out of africa" brand we're very excited about. here's a closer look at Suno by Max Osterweis:
Suno is the result of "more than a decade of collecting textiles"* during trips to Kenya, so that what we have here is essentially a modern take on vintage kanga prints with stunning effects. each piece is developed in New York and patterns are then exported to Kenya where they're mass-produced. another noteworthy point - according to a recent article in the New York Times:
"Many of the [SUNO] prints are also printed with Swahili aphorisms that were originally worn to send messages to fellow villagers, like one that loosely translates as: “Watch your roosters, there’s a new hen in town.”
now that's an approach we haven't quite seen before. we're excited about african designers -- that much you already know. we're even more thrilled to find those among them who have taken the giant leap and exported their brands. it's one thing to be recognized at home, it's another thing to be recognized and respected elsewhere. we hope more african designers will find creative ways to work around the many obstacles that continue to present themselves.
more on suno here.
**EDIT** turns out he's not an african designer but everything we said about african designers still stands, lol. and this doesn't mean we don't like him anymore either :-) **EDIT** (march 20, 2009)
photo credits - refinery29