Akosua Afriyie-Kumi is the founder of A A K S, an accessories brand dedicated to creating sustainable jobs in Africa by introducing traditional weaving techniques into the luxury world of fashion. Born and raised in Ghana, Akosua moved to London to study fashion design at the Kingston University. She interned and worked with fashion designers such as Peter Pilotto and Matthew Williamson before moving back to Ghana.
Akosua’s creative explorations connected to a new vision after seeing a gap in the market for beautifully handcrafted bags. Growing up with baskets in Ghana, she decided to experiment with new colors, shapes and beautiful finishing and details with local artisan weavers in the Northern region of Ghana. Flourishing into the foundation of A A K S in 2012, offering a new twist to the local basket, using raffia and a blends of colors that are more contemporary and style forward.
The brand’s essence is a reflection of her personal and professional beliefs having a critical attention to craftsmanship, authenticity and ethical values in its production. Akosua has been able to capture true African luxury as well promote African weaving and it’s heritage whilst revising the skills and craftsmanship. This has resulted into the brand’s expansion in an international market stocking in over 19 countries worldwide. The designer has been recognized as an emerging designer from the Ghanaian scene by international publications ranging from Vogue Italia, Elle Decoration Sa to Forbes magazine.
Afriyie’s ethical design philosophy is integrated into every stage of her production, where she is entirely involved in the process succeeding into establishing a sustainable prominent luxury brand from Ghana.
Image from AAKS SS17/18 editorial featured on Nataal.com
“THERE IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF INFLUENCES AND INSPIRATION THAT I FEEL IS UNIQUE TO AFRICA AND OF WHICH DESIGNERS CAN TAP INTO ON THEIR DOORSTEP SO THAT IS A MASSIVE POSITIVE. ”