Weaving tradition into modernity
Client: Heritage retail brand
Services: R&D, New product development, Production management, Quality control
A sustainability-minded heritage brand challenged us to apply traditional Kenyan weaving techniques to the house’s signature contemporary basket designs for their spring/summer collections. How would we convince partner artisans to go beyond what they were accustomed to?
Pushing boundaries of what already exists to discover what could be is among the ways we live up to our mission of creative innovation. Projects such as this one are welcome for their challenge to go surpass the norm. In such cases, the artisans’ technical skills are just as important as their mindsets, more so considering the human tendency to fall into doing things as they’ve always been done. Successful implementation combines hands-on guidance, a collaborative approach to addressing production challenges, and a great deal of motivation to give artisans the confidence to do something new, and overcome their mental limitations. At the end of such projects, artisans often marvel at how much more they can achieve when they take risks that put them out of their comfort zone. Understanding the competitor landscape in the global creative sector, we exercise absolute confidentiality more so as such projects sometimes begin several years before their official launch.
Review product designs and materials with the client. Our design team then reviews the work again to prepare for artisan meetings.
Meet with our collaborating makers to explain product designs, as our materials specialists source and test materials in preparation for prototyping and production.
Begin production once sampling is complete and we have obtained an approved master simple.
Monitor production closely, doing pre- production, in-line and end of production quality checks. We also oversee logistical coordination for the client.