Slow fashion made in Africa, inspired by nomads. Playing with boho flair and feminine silhouettes.
by Louise Sommerlatte, since 2017
Hamaji means ’nomad‘ in coastal Swahili and is a designer brand made in Africa. Hamaji is essentially concerned with keeping textile traditions and nomadic handicrafts alive. Small craftsmen and artists in Africa are supported with the production of the collections.
After studying in Cape Town, designer Louise Sommerlatte founded Hamaji in Kenya in 2017. From the beginning, the aspects of sustainability and conscious consumption were very important to her. Natural fibres, botanical dyes, hand craft, embroidery and upcycled vintage textiles are used for the collection.
Hamaji is inspired by East African charm and nomadic femininity. The silhouettes are free-flowing, the color scheme is characterized by pastel hues.
„I want each Hamaji piece to be a real treasure to the owner. When they wear this product, I want them to feel a harmony of culture run trough them and a symphony of wandering threads, each with their own nomadic story and heritage.“Louise Sommerlatte
The collection pieces are sewn by Mitumba Arts, a small collective in Nanyuki in which 20 local artisans work together. Here mainly pieces are created from second-hand goods that were found on the ‚Mitumba market‘. All profits are shared collectively among the artisans, including tailors, upholsters, hand beaders and painters.
Hamaji’s embroidery is made by a small group of artisans from the Ngara slum of Nairobi. The embroidery patterns are created together with the designer. Nomadic trinkets und gems Hamaji sources from Nigerian tradesmen who attend annual nomad festivals in North and West Africa and also travel between West and East Africa, as well as the Middle East and Yemen. Hamaji also works with small local businesses like Nuno, a Nairobi based natural dyeing studio.
IMAGE CREDITS | HAMAJI