The opportunity was life changing and it would not do it justice just by describing what it meant to me in a sentence.
Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri was always inspired by fashion and consequently went back to University to study Fashion Accessory Design. With a first degree in Journalism and Communications, her passion for creativity only seemed to be matched by an insatiable curiosity. Pam became the first African designer to be nominated for the Vogue and Muuse ‘ Best International Emerging Fashion Accessory Designer” 2014. That same year she was also nominated for the prestigious Mulberry Accessory Award for “The best directional collection “, and went on to be awarded with an academic fashion award from the Nottingham Trent University. In 2015, Her brandVanhu Vamwe received multi awards in its first year of operation.
Pam also became the first winner of the ABURY Design Experience. Currently Pam writes for several publications and is committed to this ethical framework of ”products that give back” by working with artisan communities globally.
You are just not a designer, but part of an expanding family with beliefs that are focused on serving others. That is priceless.
Read more about Ecuador on our new Blogzine
1. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE A SELECTED DESIGNER AT ABURY?
The ABURY Design Experience pretty much sums up all the things I believe in as a designer. The opportunity was life changing and it would not do it justice just by describing what it meant to me in a sentence. This is a book waiting to be written. What the design experience says on paper is far greater than an applicant would expect. It gave me new eyes, a new heart, and a new attitude to life. I will never be the same again. It is a great honour to be a designer at ABURY. You are just not a designer, but part of an expanding family with beliefs that are focused on serving others. That is priceless.
“I will never be the same again. It is a great honour to be a designer at ABURY.”
2. TELL US ABOUT HOW IT WAS TO WORK WITH THE COMMUNITIES?
Different cultures, different beliefs merging together is always going to be hard work, however the saying ”When in Rome do as the Romans do”, served a huge purpose. The community was amazing to work with. We developed a system of team work from the beginning where everyone’ s input mattered. I was overwhelmed by their love and acceptance of me. We did chores together, designed together and solved any problematic issues with sampling together. It was such a pleasure to see both our growth and the trust we developed will not only be for the Design Experience but continue in the future. Thank you Salinas. Always in my heart.
“We developed a system of team work from the biginning where everyone’s input matterred.”
3. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DESIGN YOUR COLLECTION?
The collection draws inspiration from the Himba tribes ofNamibia and the indigenous people of Ecuador by fusing the two cultures together. The similarities between them are even more eminent 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.
Hours of education
have been given back to the ABURY communities.
To pay fair salaries is a start, but not enough!
Every time you buy an ABURY product,
you are transforming its hours of production in hours of Education
to the Communities where the product was made.
Learn more about the ABURY Foundation and our projects
for social development in the ABURY communities.