Popularly known for its unique storytelling model through apparel and fashion accessories, Pan-African creative think-tank, 54 Kingdoms is aiming to carve an innovative niche in home décor.
How innovative? A seamless integration of culture, design and technology. The company has released its first home decor collection, Re-Installation: The Afro Masks Stories under its “We Are Home” campaign — a project with roots dating back to 2017, when the company publicly announced it at its annual Storytellers In FashionTM event in New York City.
“Technology has disrupted almost every industry, including that of home décor and design. Technological trends in home décor are not just purchasing smart home gadgets, but also using technology in combination with other materials to produce decorative accents for one’s home or office” CEO, Nana Poku says.
The Re-Installation collection aims to recontextualize and reclaim African Masks by acknowledging their significance in homes (à la home decor) versus museums, where they are usually installed and exhibited as exotic faces and objects. According to 54 Kingdoms, “understanding the history behind African Masks are an essential part of appreciating their cultural, symbolic, and aesthetic value”. As a result, Re-Installation focuses on African masks as a core design element inspired by certain mask types, mask features and culture found among key African groups and tribes. Each African Mask is printed in various vibrant colors using 3D technology.
The first product to launch from the collection is Egun – pays tribute to departed male ancestors, with whom we still have a spiritual connection. In contrast, Egun also pays homage to one’s own ancestor, whether related by blood or by religious lineage. Ancestors are the link between what is seen and not seen on the earth plane; you can talk to them and ask for their help and guidance when you need it.
Because they were once alive as humans, they have a good understanding of our needs, desires, and wants even from the other side. The Egun mask is inspired by the concept of death in Yoruba (Nigeria, West Africa) tradition and key facial features seen in Chihongo – a male ancestor found among the Chokwe people of Angola (Central Africa) and believed to be responsible for the prosperity and strength of the community.
54 Kingdoms is not deviating from fashion and accessories by expanding into home décor. Kwaku Awuah, President says, “we’ve put stories in our customers’ closets for over a decade. Now we’re simply adding to their living spaces”.
The Egun masks come enclosed in white and gray wooden shadow box frame and are available in three colors; black, blue and orange-red.
About 54 Kingdoms
54 Kingdoms is an award-winning Pan-African creative think-tank challenging the status quo as the Storytellers In Fashionᵀᴹ and Design. By seamlessly integrating symbolic, cultural and historical content inspired by Africa and its Diaspora, together with current trends in materials, color, style and technology, 54 Kingdoms create products with unique stories marketable to a global audience.
Source: 54 Kingdoms