Otago [Africa Inspired]
High-quality craftsmanship and artisanal skills lie at the heart of Otago, a UK-based luxury interiors accessories brand that collaborates mainly with artisans in East and Southern Africa, combining their skills with cutting-edge contemporary design aesthetics to produce their sophisticated design-led craft collections.
Otago was founded in 2013 by Anna Rose and Eddie Sercombe, two designers who met whilst studying at the Glasgow School of Art. The creative duo share a passion for Africa, and wanted to find a way of connecting their work and experience from time spent on the Continent with their work and lives in the UK. Anna, a Fine Art in Sculpture graduate, had spent five years living in Kenya, working with fair trade community projects, that included producing jewellery and accessories for leading UK fashion brands. Returning to the UK Anna turned to interior design, working for a number of high-end hotels. Eddie who had graduated in textiles, had spent some time travelling through Eastern and Southern Africa, the experiences of which have greatly influenced her textile work. Eddie’s career began in fashion, and then working with fine art and luxury objects, and before returning to textiles where she worked for the costume departments of several film and television productions. Combining these experiences, passion for craftsmanship and their shared love of Africa, Otago was born.
Everything here has a story behind it. – Otago founders, Anna Rose and Eddie Sercombe in Psychologies Magazine, October 2014
[Image credit: Kipapu Vases- Otago] Otago’s collections comprise tableware, glassware, linens, lighting, and decorative accessories sourced or made in Africa. Highlights include beautiful intricate beading from Kenya adorning glassware, handwoven mats, and platters from Swaziland accentuated with bright strips of contrasting colours, and cushions hand embroidered in vibrant colourful silk threads by women artisans in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Contemporary yet timeless sums up Otago’s collections, reflected in the enduring appeal of craft and artistic traditions and is just one of the reasons that led Otago to form a partnership with NEST, a not for profit organisation that helps artisans build sustainable businesses. The partnership has enabled Otago to work directly with local artisans helping to generate incomes and preserve local creative skills.
Otago online collection currently priced from: £15.75-£266
For further information about Otago visit: www.otagodesign.com
[Image credits: All images belong to Otago. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]