DIANE - SEAMSTRESS
"I’ve felt different all my life. As a kid I was a delicate, effeminate boy who avoided traditionally masculine sports. I basically looked like a young Nadia Comaneci. I played with my sisters' dolls and sketched female heroines inspired by comic books and later, fashion illustrations. All my role models were female. I was a tiny feminist long before I understood what feminism was. At times I got bullied and mocked for not fitting into a conventional version of masculinity. Sometimes it made me ashamed of who I was and made me shut down emotionally. Drawing and all things creative seemed both a form of escape and a path to social validation. As a grown man I realised that my difference, the over-sensitivity, the refined perceptiveness, had been the fertile ground for my talent as a designer and the fundamental components of my persona more than just a way to avoid the pain and the fear of judgment. Embracing that different, vulnerable child -the young me-, being kind and supportive to him, now brings me inner peace. It empowers me."
LOUIS - SALES ASSISTANT
CHRISTIAN - TAILOR
"NOTRE CONTRIBUTION DIFFÉRENTE NOUS FAIT LA FORCE ET VICTOIRE."
PAULA-LILLI STAHMER - COMMUNICATIONS AND SUSTAINABILITY
SHANI - ASSISTANT
SALIMA - SEAMSTRESS
CRISTA UWASE - ARTIST
FOR OUR FIRST COLLECTION AFTER THE RELAUNCH, WE WORKED WITH CRISTA, SHE IS A RWANDAN ARTIST AND BOUGHT HER HAND DRAWN CREATIONS INTO OUR PRINT. THESE ARE INSPIRED BY THE TRADITIONAL RWANDAN DESIGNS OF IMIGONGO. CRISTA'S ARTISTIC PRACTICE INCLUDES A STRONG FOCUS ON COLLAGE TECHNIQUES, USING PIECES OF TORN UP PAPER AND WOOL. SOMETIMES SHE SEW BY HAND OR USES A SEWING MACHINE TO CREATE TEXTURE.
BOSCO - TAILOR
"THERE ARE MANY CULTURAL DIFFERENCES THAT COME UP WHEN YOU WORK TOGETHER, IT'S GOOD TO HAVE AN OPEN WORK ENVIRONMENT WHERE EVERYONE IS ACCEPTED AND FEELS FREE TO EXPRESS HIM OR HERSELF."
JOSEPH - PRODUCTION MANAGER
"WE ARE DIFFERENT, THE COLOUR OF OUR SKIN, THE ENERGIES THAT WE HAVE, I AM A BOY, YOU ARE A GIRL. IF WE COME TOGETHER, WE WILL CREATE BIG THINGS. EVEN IF YOU ARE WHITE, EVEN IF YOU ARE BLACK. IF WE COME TOGETHER, WE CAN BE MORE POWERFUL THAN HOW WE CAN BE ALONE."
"QUELQUE SOIT NOTRE ORIGINE RACIAL OU CULTURELLE; QUELQUE SOIT NOTRE CAPACITÉ INTELLECTUELLE OU PHYSIQUE; QUELQUE SOIT NOTRE PERSONNALITÉ; CHACUN DE NOUS PEUT APPORTER UNE CONTRIBUTION POUR LA RÉUSSITE DE NOTRE OBJECTIF. ÇA NOUS ENCOURAGE À LA COOPÉRATION ET À L'ACTION POUR ATTEINDRE LE BUT; 💪✊ TOGETHER AS ONE."
“WORKING AND LIVING AS A FOREIGNER IN SO MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES SINCE MY EARLY TWENTIES (FROM THE BALKANS, MOROCCO, RWANDA, BURKINA FASO AND NOW UK), BY NOW I KNOW WELL WHERE MY ENERGY COMES FROM, IT IS ALL ABOUT THE POWER OF COLLABORATION, EMBRACING THE CHALLENGES, LEARNING FROM OUR MISTAKES AND LOVING OUR DIFFERENCES. THIS REALISATION AND MY PASSION FOR TEXTILES AND AFRICA CONNECTS ME TO AFRIEK AND I PROUDLY WEAR THIS BEAUTIFUL T-SHIRT, HERE SURFING IN COLD SOUTHWEST ENGLAND BUT STILL WITH A SMILE”
TOBI ONABOLU - BRAND PHILOSOPHER
"THE IDEA OF DIFFERENCES BEING CONDEMNED, OR A CAUSE FOR EXPLOITATION, FIGHTING, OR EVEN BLOODSHED, IS A TRUE TRAVESTY OF HUMANITY. I AM SO THANKFUL THAT EVERY HUMAN IS DIFFERENT, BECAUSE I THINK THE WORLD WOULD BE RIDICULOUSLY BORING IF WE WERE ALL THE SAME! NO ONE PERSON OR CULTURE CAN KNOW EVERYTHING EITHER, SO OUR DIFFERENCES ARE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OURSELVES, AS HUMAN BEINGS. I HAVEN'T SPENT MY WHOLE LIFE CELEBRATING MY DIFFERENCES, BUT EVER SINCE I'VE BEGUN TO OWN THEM, A WHOLE WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES HAS OPENED UP IN FRONT OF ME. AS A FOODIE, THE POSSIBILTIES THAT CAN EMERGE WHEN DIFFERENT FOOD GROUPS AND CULTURES COME TOGETHER MAKES MY MOUTH WATER [EMOJI]. IF WE TAKE THAT EXAMPLE AS A MICROCOSM FOR HUMANS, THEN WHEN WE ALL BEGIN TO OWN OUR DIFFERENCES, AND COLLABORATE BASED ON EQUALITY, I THINK THE WORLD IS GOING TO BE UNBELIEVABLY SPECIAL. IT'S ALREADY BEGINNING TO HAPPEN, AND I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE MORE OF IT."
SIVAN BREEMHAAR - FOUNDER
"THERE IS DISPARITY AND CONFLICT BETWEEN CULTURES EVERYWHERE, BUT THE GULF BETWEEN THE WEST AND AFRICA FEELS THE STRONGEST TO ME. I WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO MORE EQUALITY BETWEEN CONTINENTS AND PURSUE AN APPROACH OF COLLABORATION AND CO-CREATION. WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS OF DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS, AND DIFFERENT CULTURES, IT IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR TO ME THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE SO MUCH MORE WHEN WE LISTEN TO ONE ANOTHER AND WORK TOGETHER. I BELIEVE THIS CAN REALLY HELP TO COUNTERBALANCE THE ONE-SIDED FALLACIOUS NARRATIVES THAT THE WEST PROPAGATES ABOUT AFRICA."