Holiday Gift List Item #5: KUSHN - Hand-made leather shoes and accessories.

It’s hard not to fall instantly in love with the creatively crafted, kente-accented handmade leather items from Cape Town-based brand Kushn. From these cute leather pumps to their simple but sophisticated envelop sleeves, purchasing from Kushn means getting the best in both quality and design.

Kushn was created by Greer Valley and Thembalezwe Mntambo in Cape Town, South Africa. Their collections are designed and hand-crafted in collaboration with skilled artisans using the finest genuine leather and traditional woven textiles sourced across the African continent. 

Through their search for African-produced textiles that reflects the continent’s rich cultural and design heritage, they came to learn about woven textiles such as Kente cloth from Ghana and Shemma fabric from Ethiopia. These hand-woven textiles form a sophisticated tapestry containing stories and proverbs that have been passed down through generations. The textiles are sourced by the Kushn team and transformed into products like shoes and laptop sleeves that respond to a contemporary context while remaining rooted by this heritage.

They’ll be taking their last Christmas orders up to the 16th December. To order via email please contact greer@kushn.co.za. Local and international shipping options are available.

If you’re in Cape Town, head down to the #FestiveVandA market at the Watershed, V & A Waterfront from 10 am to 9pm on the 15th of December and shop your favourite Kushn designs at the Cape Craft and Design Institute collective shop!

For more information about Kushn, please contact them on the following:

Website: www.kushn.co.za

CALL: +27 (0)722395945 

SEARCH: www.kushn.tumblr.com 

LIKE: www.facebook.com/madebykushn

SHOP: www.kushn.etsy.com

FOLLOW: http://pinterest.com/kushn/

INSTAGRAM: @madebykushn

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Fashion Forward: The Afropolitan Shop is an online boutique by Beverly Lwenya, a Kenyan-American with a desire to tell an African Design Story. It began as a blog in 2007 called The Afropolitan Network, which highlighted stories and images of what black people from all the continents were doing in the Diaspora. The hobby grew into a passion and now a full-time pursuit.  Beverly aims to celebrate African designers and artisans for their prolific and imaginative handiwork while giving them access to the global market. 

The pieces above are by designers Kushn, Nina Afrique, and the Afropolitan Collection 2012. All are available for purchase at The Afropolitan Shop

Heads On Feet: KUSHN

So I was running around the internet again today when I stumbled upon a Mandisi_M while browsing through his gallery I discovered a brand by the name KUSHN. Who simply put is a work of art.

They are Capetown based and I am looking forward to owning a pair of the above. More than anything else I am also very excited by discovering local shoes.


Anwar Rayners is the very talented pattern maker & craftsman for Kushn who has been working in the leather industry since he was 13!  We’re in awe of Anwar’s passion and dedication to his craft. He tells us that it’s the challenge of creating something new that keeps him inspired everyday.

After leaving school at 13 to find work to support his family, he worked for various Cape Town-based leather manufacturing and design companies, picking up many different skills along the way. We know from working with him that there’s very little Anwar cant’ do. We’re really proud that Anwar is the pattern maker for Kushn and the maker of these beautiful I-Pad sleeves which will be available soon.

Greer: Hey Anwar, thanks for taking time out to chat to us.

Anwar: It’s a pleasure. Fire away!

G: Ok, so when did you start working in the leather craft business?

A: Well I started at quite a young age. I left school at the age of 13 because it was really tough at home financially back then so I had to drop out and look for work.

G: Oh wow. And how did you end up working with leather?

A: I basically took the first job I could get through a relative and ended up working at a leather factory in Cape Town and that’s where everything started.

G: Did you work as a pattern maker?

A: No I didn’t. I started off as general helper working under two guys responsible for framing, fresh cuts, riveting etc. When they left, I took over and progressed until I eventually learnt  every process required to put a leather product together.

G: So you learnt the trade on the job?

A: Ja, I didn’t go through any formal training. What I know now about making a bag or designing a bag, I picked up along the way.

G: And you clearly enjoy what you do…

A: Ja! I’m really passionate about it. I’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s what I know and what I’m good at, so yeah.

G: Thanks Anwar. We’ll leave it there for now. We’ve both got work to do!

A: No problem, thanks for letting me share on your blog.