Asantii is on a journey to become the first African Global Fashion Brand. Founded in 2019 by Maryse Mbonyumutwa, the contemporary brand celebrates African heritage and artisanship through joyful and effortless fashion.
Identifying as 100% sustainable, Asantii has already hired more than 4,200 employees, 80% of whom are women. Maryse has also secured more than fifteen designers from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania to design through Pink Mango and its partner C&D Products.
While putting virtue and development sustainability at the centre of its operations, Asantii built a production tool in Rwanda and is bringing together creatives to see the brands vision to life. The brand name “Asantii” is a Swahili word that translates into “thank you”.
From free catering services for mothers and their children, breastfeeding rooms, a low-cost grocery store, free hygienic care and transport, Maryse Mbonyumutwa has made commitments to uphold company CSR policy by giving her workers wages that are higher than the industry average. She says that CSR was a prerequisite for her. “We want to make it an industry that really improves the lives of workers in the sector and their families. Everything has been thought out to make this label an African success. Hopefully this model will inspire western startupers.”
Asantii is proudly designed, conscientiously sourced and beautifully made in Africa by Maryse who brought her two decades of experience from working globally and has set out to create a global fashion brand purely based in the continent. Speaking to WWD, she ponders on the African continent of 1.2 billion people who don’t run around naked, “so who dresses them? I thought there was a little bit of imbalance,” she said.
Supported by international luxury brands and supply experts, the team of 15 designers from across Africa is drawn together in the first collection. The new affordable luxury brand, Asantii debuted its first collection, a workmanship of 15 African designers, the “Asantii collection” is an affordable luxury collection that is available for purchase on pre order. The first collection celebrates Rwanda’s natural landscape with palettes and graphic prints of apricot, indigo and forest green.
The details of embroideries reference an Adinkra symbol from Ghana representing the “all seeing eye,” as well as the Ashanti fertility doll. Materials include traditional Faso Dan Fani cotton fabric from Burkina Faso.
Purchase the collection here