Afriek was founded by Kars Gerritsen and Sivan Breemhaar, two Dutch designers with a soft spot for Africa (as you might have guessed from the brand name they picked). The label wants to show that this continent has a lot to offer, by bringing African talent together with creatives closer to home. For every collection, an Afriek designer travels to Ruanda to collaborate with local studios. That way, Afriek can not only keep an eye on the production conditions and the quality of the garments, but also contribute to preserving important traditions and protecting African craftsmanship.
The world got to know Afriek in 2013, when the brand launched a collection of men’s shirts, hand-made by independent tailors in Kigali – though women’s wear has been added to the range since then. Afriek buys most of its fabrics at local Ugandan and Rwandan markets, and it puts every centimetre to good use, adopting a zero-waste policy.
In its 2018 collection, the brand’s typical African prints were joined by graphic and Asian designs, but the garments are still as cheerful and colourful as ever. Staying true to its mission, Afriek relied on photographers and other creatives from Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Congo to market its latest collection.