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Textiles: Maki & Mpho, Where Asia Meets Africa to Create African Modern Luxury

Maki & Mpho [Africa Inspired]

SEVEN - Self-tie Diamond Tip Double-sided Bow Tie - Maki & Mpho

[Image credit: SEVEN – Self-tie Diamond Tip Double-sided Bow Tie – Maki & Mpho]

With Father’s Day on the horizon, Sunday 21st June for those who need reminding, I thought it would be apt to introduce a brand that focuses its creative attention on our menfolk. Maki & Mpho, is a US-based textile brand that ‘celebrates the African renaissance’, by working with African designers to develop modern sophisticated prints for menswear accessories. The collections include elegant ties, pocket squares and bow ties made from silk twill. Founded by Maki Nakata and Mpho Muendane, Maki & Mpho is also a celebration of East meets South, or to put it another way Asia meets Africa, a reflection of the founders’ multi-cultural backgrounds. Maki who refers to herself as a ‘cosmopolitan entrepreneur’ is of Japanese heritage, and US-born Mpho is an award-winning textile designer and university lecturer of Mozambican, Zambian, Tanzanian and South African heritage.

WISDOM - Pocket Square - Maki & Mpho
UBUNTU - Modern Necktie - Maki & Mpho

[Image credit: top, WISDOM – Pocket Square;
bottom, UBUNTU – Modern Necktie – Maki & Mpho]

Inspired by Africa’s diverse cultures Maki & Mpho’s latest collection, Hamba features hand-drawn illustrations by co-founder Mpho and embodies collective African values that impact life’s journey. Hamba is a Zulu word that means amongst others to walk, to journey, or to move forward. The Hamba collection features two signature designs, Sweet Grass and Kwakwa, each telling the stories of different journeys.

SWEETGRASS - Hamba Collection Design - Maki & Mpho

[Image credit: SWEETGRASS – Hamba Collection Design – Maki & Mpho]

The central theme of the Sweet Grass design is the ‘I am because we are’ philosophy of Ubuntu, depicted through layered motifs that represent and honour generations of ancestors tracing the journey of human life from the early civilization of ancient Kemet, and the fundamental practice to support each other and co-exist with nature, ever relevant in our modern lives.

Kwakwa - Hamba Collection Design - Maki & Mpho

[Image credit: Kwakwa – Hamba Collection Design – Maki & Mpho]

The Kwakwa design is inspired by an imaginary bird of the same name; a crossbreed of the crown crane and the guinea fowl. Upholding Africa’s oral traditions, the Kwakwa symbolizes the journey of spiritual growth and is based on the Sangoma’s (witch doctor) spiritual beliefs of the cycles of reincarnation. This is depicted in the design’s deconstruction and juxtaposition of different parts of the bird to create a Cubism-style of the bird’s form.

Additional details:
Maki & Mpho current collection priced at: USD$40-USD$155
For further information about Maki & Mpho visit: www.makiandmpho.com

[Image credits: All images belong to Maki & Mpho. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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