- Zashadu – Nigeria
Zashadu is a Nigerian sustainable luxury brand that specialises in hand-crafted leather piece, exotic skins and rough cut semi-precious stones set in brass with all pieces made and crafted in Lagos, by highly gifted local artisans. This unique brand “Zashadu” is founded by Zainab Ashadu, a Nigerian entrepreneur whose love and passion to create her own distinctive designs for handbags started since she was a eight years old and getting her early inspiration from Art Deco-style clutch bag that was her mother’s who had a good sense of style and appreciation for beautiful accessories. Zashadu sells its luxury handbags locally and internationally on its website, with the brand’s iconic box clutch bag and the unique The Justice Python Collection, both described in the marketplace as a “collector’s dream”.
2. My World of Bags and the Femi Handbags brand, Nigeria
My World of Bags is a design and manufacturing company which produces a beautiful range of handcrafted products and accessories line (FEMI HANDBAGS) and a more corporate line (myworldofbags) with products ranging from conference bags and folders to laptop bags and sleeves, tablet cases, and promotional gifts that are tailored to specific client needs. All the company’s pieces are handcrafted Nigeria, by a small team of craftsmen and women through the inspiration of Femi Olayebi, Founder of my world of bags who have successfully combined modern sophisticated design with an undeniably African touch through the use of traditional fabrics, accessories and hand-stitching techniques that celebrate Africa and her art of craftsmanship.
3. Okapi – South Africa
Okapi is a luxury South African brand which was founded by South African painter Hanneli Rupert in 2008 with a view to being one of Africa’s first true luxury brands that would combine exceptional quality and craftsmanship with an international yet uniquely African look and feel. Her gorgeous range consists of locally produced products which are crafted with exceptional quality.
4. Suave Kenya – Kenya
Suave Kenya Limited is a company founded by mohammed Awale whose passion for bags developed while in university. It specialises on 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.
5. Minku – Nigeria
Minku was founded in 2011 and specializes in leather bags, luggage, and notebooks for men and women. The founder Kunmi, who is one of Forbes’ 30 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 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. Minku products breathe a new life into the dusty, musty ceremonial fabrics, folded away, often for decades, awaiting re-discovery in some closet or vintage shop or the other in Lagos.
A A K S was founded by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi with the goal of introducing the world to her favourite weaving techniques done by the women of Ghana while also creating and igniting sustainable jobs within Africa. Handcrafted in Ghana, A A K S creates bags in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts, with each collection silhouette is unique and tells a different story through detail, colour and shape. Akosua now stocks her woven bag collections in 60 stores worldwide including Urban Outfitters in the United States a brand which has also been shortlisted as an emerging designer from Africa by Vogue Italia.