TALK

HAPPY, PROUD,
FULL OF LIFE

一 




One can never be too old for colors.

Sweetgrass baskets,
one of the oldest African craft heritage
brought to America centuries ago,
are now blooming happily in delightful
shades on walls across the country.



Indego Africa
Together with these baskets, Indego Africa brings us vibrant Dutch wax prints, hand-carved horn jewels, and peace baskets woven with naturally-dyed sisal or shiny beads, all of which are handmade by female artisans in Rwanda and Ghana.


Six years into her role as creative director of Indego Africa, Deirdre King shares how she weds the latest trends with African crafts, collaborates with teams across the globe, and in turn creates more work and education opportunities for artisans and their families.
Indego Africa: Deirdre King
Indego Africa: Deirdre King

 Deirdre and her baby muse, Iris, who inspired the inception of the baby and nursery line of Indego Africa
Indego Africa: Deirdre King



Recently there has been such a great emphasis on color, origin and craft in the design world. It has really allowed us as a brand to showcase the artisanal skill of our partner makers and the vibrancy of the local materials we use.

I tend to gravitate towards beach culture and bright hues with whimsical details which you can definitely see in our current collections. The women we work with in Rwanda and Ghana - as well as those beautiful countries themselves - make me want to represent their products just as they are - happy, proud and full of life.  



The creation of our products is a collaborative process between myself, our production teams locally in Kigali and Kumasi, and the artisans we work with every day.

The concepts for our collections start with me in NYC. They are then fleshed out and tweaked through the sampling process. We are always changing colors, sizes, shapes and materials to best suit the skills of the artisans and the conditions where they work. Seasonal and cultural conditions often affect production capacity - for instance, some crafts can't be done during the rainy season, which can last for months. We sample and design year round and bring products to market all the time.

We've found a groove in working as a truly global team from start to finish - its definitely more art than science to make these products come to life!


Indego Africa


Photos: COURTESY OF DEIRDRE KING & INDEGO AFRICA