At Calzico, we get excited about the use of interesting fabrics from around the world. In fact, some of our own styles feature fabrics that are inspired from around the world. So, when we heard about Ife Medow bags and accessories, we knew we wanted to share more about their product line and it's unique African influence.
We caught up with Ife Medow Founder, Toyin Ajayi, who shared some insight into the use of African Ankara fabric in her new line of sustainable bags and accessories.
ST: Can you tell us about the meaning of your brand name, Ife Medow?
TA: I wanted Ife Medow to be a personal brand that paid tribute to the places that have made me who I am. Ife means "Love" in Yoruba, my Nigerian tribe and language. My dad's side of the family is Nigerian. Medow is a phonetic version of "My Love" in Fanti (Fante), my Ghanaian tribe and language, which comes from my mother's side of the family.
ST: You use Ankara textiles to line your products. Can you tell us more about how you decided on the textiles you wanted to use?
TA: There's been an exciting rise in Ankara fashion, which is introducing people to various African textiles. When I decided to start Ife Medow, I knew I wanted the brand to have an African influence, but not be narrowly defined as purely an African brand.
African prints from different regions and countries have different names. In Ghana, "Kente" is a well known type of cloth, but there are many others such as Batiks and wax print fabrics. In fact, many of the wax print fabrics made in Holland showcase designs from Ghana. In traditional Nigerian attire, it is common to see lace prints or prints on silk and women wearing intricate head wraps, called a "GELE".
So, I decided to line each of the Ife Medow pieces in this collection with African prints from Ghana or Nigeria. It's my hope that people will enjoy the pop of color inside and will want to learn more about this culture along the way.