From a small town in the Upper Eastern corner of Ghana using local age old weaving techniques, to selling her bags in 33 stores in 8 countries worldwide in her first year of business, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi does not only make beautiful luxury bags, she makes them sustainably whilst providing employment for the community and sustaining weaving as a thriving art. Akosua is a fashion accessory designer based in Ghana, with a passion for creating beautiful handcrafted bags woven by a community of women and men’s co-operative in Northern Ghana. After interning and working with fashion designers such as Peter Pilotto, Matthew Williamson and William Tempest in London, she embarked on her own path in 2013 to set up A A K S in Ghana and in her own words,
“I thought I was a little mad to leave the comfort of a salaried job in London to start up a business in Ghana that I knew little of. Yet upon reflection I am thankful that I trusted my curiosity enough to forge a path for me.”
And indeed, her curiosity has paid off as she has garnered quite some recognition around the world from being featured on Design Indaba, The Guardian and other platforms and magazines, to being awarded the 1st runner up in ReconnectGH’s Creative Entrepreneur of the year 2014.
A A K S produces raffia bags handmade by a women’s cooperative in Bolgatanga, Northern Ghana. The brand produces luxurious handmade accessories using ethical processes and age-old craft traditions, which are not often seen beyond the borders of Ghana. However Akosua Afriyie-Kumi wants the world to see how luxury and quality can grow from traditional designs and is using A A K S handcrafted bags to change perceptions of Africa through fashion.
Akosua has showcased her work internationally in Milan, London, Cape Town and now stocks her collection with 28 stores worldwide including Anthropologie USA and Urban Outfitters USA and UK.