The Art of Refinement
We love print! Especially the vibrancy of African print. Obviously because this is where our heritage lies, this is what we were surrounded with when we were growing up. But how come when we went travelling or decided to live abroad, all the colour and seeds of history didn't come with us? Is it because the vividness of these prints don't work in an everyday context in the West? Is it because it was only seen on occasion wear for a wedding or matabeto? Is it because the characteristic roar of Africa was too loud to be placed on a WHOLE jacket or dress?
Well, this was a pain point for us. We wanted to carry Africa on our back, our history, our heritage, our culture. In a way that was understood and celebrated by those in the West, and a reminder to our diaspora around the world that home stays in our hearts no matter where we are.
So our designer Kaajal decided to take some of her favourite chitenges she'd bought in Kamwala, the fabric district of Lusaka, and reinterpret them in our new and updated brand colour palette - colours that represent Africa but are also a conducive and inviting array rather than the original primary technicolour hues of original Chitenge. And enhance the hoodies that she'd started designing prior to the pandemic.
We call this the art of refinement. The way Chitenge has been added subtly without it being in your face is key to appealing to a wider audience, to showing culture in a quiet way and to remind the world that we may not be seen all the time but we still make a huge impact. We are our own secret sauce. The art of refinement also means that the way Chitenge has been reinterpreted for a wider audience is that we are opening us up as a conduit to a culture we call home. And we want to share that with the world and have everyone celebrate life with us.
We have applied this technique and value through out all our pieces in the Zikomo collection, because after all, we are thankful you have allowed us to tell our story and you want to listen.
See the next blog for our new and updated colour palette!