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New York City
USA

MAIK NYC works with brilliant designers in Nairobi and elsewhere in Africa who employ the talents of local men & women to inspire and create fabulous jewelry and other fashion accessories. MAIK is a collection of their work, combining the bright, bold colors of Africa with sophisticated, one-of-a-kind designs you’ll be proud to wear.

www.maiknyc.com

 

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Who We Work With

A small corner of Vicky Chignall's Nairobi studio.

A small corner of Vicky Chignall's Nairobi studio.

Vicky Chignall

 

Vicky Chignall arrived in Kenya in 1972 where she spent many years living in the Masai Mara. Today her jewelry workshop is nestled in the beautiful gardens of her home in Nairobi. She is inspired by the traditional jewelry worn by the various tribes of Kenya, as well as the rich history of the antique tradebeads she has collected. While many Africans are adopting Western fashions, westerners have come to appreciate the authentic beauty of native African ornaments.


BUSH PRINCESS

Bush Princess believes a bag is a statement- about the one who wears it, and equally about the one who makes it. Bush Princess stays true to its vision regarding social responsibility, excellence in craftsmanship and elegance and timelessness. The signature style of each piece is distinctive and sophisticated, handmade with great attention to detail and exceptional quality, using ethical, sustainable products and practices in the making of each piece.

Charlotte was born in Sweden and spent her life moving between European countries. Her mother was in the fashion industry and had a successful boutique in Gothenburg, Sweden. Charlotte's professional career has always been in the fashion industry. After school she began modeling in Paris, where she later met her husband and became the Artistic Director for his handbag brand, Terre de Bruyere, until she moved to Africa to start her own fashion venture.

Charlotte's inspiration for Bush Princess stems not only from European styles and international fashion, but also from the many cultures, crafts, and traditions of rural Kenya. Each piece is elegantly designed in the bush princess style, which combines traditional African craftwork with urban elegance.

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PENNY WINTER

 

Penny Winter is an Irish artist working in Kenya. She employs the unique talents of local tribes to create her designs – including Kamba stone setters, Luo metalworkers and Kikuyu horn carvers. Handcrafted in her Nairobi studio by local artisans her style is often called bohemian rock fusion.


Annabelle Thom

 At the age of 25, Annabelle Thom visited Kenya for the first time. She fell in love with the country, the wildlife and the people. When she first saw the local crafts in a Nairobi market, it was love at first sight. The exquisite colors, workmanship and style she saw was not unlike the high fashion of her former London life. She paired her eye for fashion with the talent of local craftsmen to create a unique fusion of style. Encouraged by a local saddle maker, she produced her first bag. Her distinctive designs are marked by their tactile quality that is a joy to hold, to own and to carry. She describes her work as “no-nonsense fabulousness”.

 

 

A view of Annabelle Thom's Nairobi Shop.

A view of Annabelle Thom's Nairobi Shop.


Anthony Mulli, founder of Katchy Kollections

Anthony Mulli, founder of Katchy Kollections

Katchy Kollections

Katchy Kollections is an innovative for profit social enterprise; a brain child of Founder Anthony Mulli, who at the age of 16 set out on this creative journey of preserving cultural heritage, while at the same time bringing about social change within Kenya through employment. 

Katchy Kollections innovative designs are inspired by traditional craftsmanship skills, adornment and technique which are then manipulated in construction to fit into the modern day woman’s wardrobe using beads as the main ingredient. Their mission is to help communities rise above poverty through economic empowerment and employment while at the same time create, manufacture and produce unique authentic designs influenced by vast Kenyan cultures. Great attention to detail quality and design are and continue to be the foundation of the brand.

 


Sally Dudmesh

Sally Dudmesh spent her childhood roaming the globe from Pakistan to Singapore, Mauritius to Kenya with her tobacco planting parents. She now divides her time between India, England, the remote bush of Northern Kenya, and the Ngong Dairy- her home in Nairobi where she works with a co-operative of Masai women. Her latest collections are derived from her studies of Roman, Etruscan and Ancient Egyptian jewelry in the British Museum.

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SIDAI DESIGNS

Sidai Designs is a social enterprise in Arusha, Tanzania, creating contemporary luxury beaded jewelry, based on traditional Masai beading techniques and design. Founded in 2011, as a non-profit organization, Sidai Designs supports Masai women by providing economic empowerment through fair trade. Sidai Designs is passionate about their mission to help overcome poverty and improve women’s social standing, believing that artisanal design led handicraft is a powerful tool to bring about positive change.

Inspired by the symbolic cultural significance of the Masai jewelry, each piece tells a story. Jewelry is an integral element of the Masai identity and through their products they endeavor to tell their stories and preserve the traditions of this unique tribe.