On 28 October in Berlin, social enterprise Abury, and creator of the first global contest in search of the best accessories design talent worldwide, the ABURY Design Experience, unveiled the first collection of handmade handbags made by artisans in Ecuador and designed by the winner of the 2015 contest, Zimbabwean designer, Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri, founder of Vanhu Vamwe.
The ABURY Design Experience gave the 2015 contest winner, Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri, the opportunity to spend an unforgettable two months in Ecuador creating an amazing handbag collection with local artisan communities. The ABURY Design Experience is the first global contest that is in search of the best accessories design talents worldwide. The winner is awarded a grant for 2 to 3 months that facilitates their work with local artisans for ABURY. ABURY then re-invests 50% of the profits in education projects in the respective countries. The first edition received applications from 35 nationalities with Pam emerging as the winner of the public voting. The Zimbabwean designer, and mother of two girls, took on the adventure to travel to Ecuador for two months, at the end of July. Pam, who had no previous knowledge of Spanish, said the first few days were an enormous challenge 'but that the warmth of the people and our joint passion for preservation of their beautiful crafts quickly enabled a bond”.
The collection, which is called “A Non-Existent Tribe”, consists of six expressive handbags in a mix of leather, bast and alpaca wool. The collection draws inspiration from the Himba tribes of Namibia and the indigenous people of Ecuador by fusing the two together. The similarities between the two cultures are even more prominent as the collection is shaped by the way both cultures carry objects. The aim was to bring to life a visual identity from both cultures that celebrated their traditional craftsmanship with a modern twist. The collection highlights that beauty exists in that which is deemed different. Each design tells the story of the maker and has been named after the artisan who worked on it. The handbags pay homage to the arts, crafts and the people behind them. The Rosa bucket bag has already an emotional link to it as the artisan expressed, ''I am always afraid to try new things. I did not understand what Pam wanted to do with just a weaved object but then I saw the fusion with the leather, my heart warmed up. I did this! – I shouted.”
The collection consists of the LOLITA Cross Body Bag, the IVAN Shoulder Bag, the ROSA Bucket Bag, the GLADYS Cross Body Bag, the ANGELINA Bag and the ANITA Shoulder Bag. The bags are available in an exclusive pre-sale with a discount at www.wowcrazy.com and will be available in the stores from spring / summer 2016 onward.