Working on a new brand is always an exciting and satisfying experience. More creative midwifery than Magento site makeover. It is even more interesting when the project is a new luxury brand from Africa.
When Hanelli Rupert approached us, explaining her concept of African luxury, it resonated deeply. Her references included African mysticism, magic, myth and voodoo.We were asked to avoid colonial influences – which add a predictable European veneer to many representations of the continent. Instead the brand focuses on the re-generative power of nature Africa represents – the crucible of humanity. From this perspective the chosen symbol of the Okapi, a delicate, beautiful and almost mythical creature (the African Unicorn) is perfect as it combines beauty, rarity, fragility and the power of nature in one delicate creature.
But, at the heart of the project lies a thorny question; With all the social problems that beset Africa, what relevance can the concept of “African Luxury” carry? We discovered the answer in the bewildering power and abundance of nature and the life enhancing concept of “Ubuntu”, the African humanist philosophy which places ultimate value on human kindness and community. In this spirit of Ubuntu, Okapi products are ethically sourced and traceable. Manufacture involves sustainable job creation and skill development. The project gives as it receives. With so much soul in it, Okapi was bound to be a pleasure to work on. It didn’t disappoint.