Deepa Dosaja’s Deepa Flower Garden Gown is both hand-embroidered and hand-painted, constructed from organic silk produced in Kenya, with elements of upcycled leather scraps and Swarovski upcycled crystals fashioned into floral embellishments. The embroidery and beading has been crafted by Deepa’s in-house team, women who have been trained by Dosaja herself. The gown is also lined with remnant silk pieces, reflecting the brand’s ethos of reducing waste. To finish the look, Dosaja worked with Artisan Fashion, a social enterprise based in Kenya that connects over 1,000 artisans to international fashion. “Deepa’s Flowers” are crafted from sustainable cow horn and recycled brass. The neckline and the beaded belt of the gown is traditional Maasai beadwork. Also collaborating on the look is Mumwa Crafts Association in Zambia, who have created a shoulder purse made from Zambian palm leaf. The purse has been embellished with Deepa Flowers crafted from recycled leather, Zambian Shitenge Fabric from Mumwa Crafts and sustainable cow horn along with a recycled brass Deepa Flowers shoulder strap from Artisan Fashion. The look is completed with a woollen shawl.
Born in Nairobi, but raised in Canada, Dosaja set up her own company back in Kenya in 1991, determined to celebrate the vibrant culture and diversity that surrounded her through her unique design aesthetic. But her ebullient, sophisticated designs also speak volumes for the creative abilities of her homeland, and Dosaja is held as instrumental in changing the perceptions of Kenyan fashion. Her couture show “My Flowers” met critical acclaim in New York in spring 2017
Artisan Fashion is a social enterprise of African artisans handcrafting over 100,000 bags and accessories for some of the most recognisable fashion houses in the world. It employs and engages communities and artisans right across Kenya, from beading groups in the Masaai Mara to urban artisans in the Kibera slum. It provides international market access to the continent’s talented artisans and in doing so, promotes social value for the industry.
Mumwa Crafts Association
The 3500 artisans of the Mumwa Crafts Association, Zambia, create a range of high-quality handicrafts, made entirely with local, natural materials, and by traditional methods passed through many generations. The cooperative enables its community of artisans to generate income through traditional crafts, and therefore improve the standards of living.