Inspired by traditional masks from the northern region of Côte d’Ivoire, Loza Maléombho‘s latest collection, Zaouli, comprises a lively burst of bold and highly structured designs.
Each piece reflects the eclectic, multicultural touch that the brand’s namesake designer Loza has become know for, from her use of natural burlap to cotton Batik and 100-percent woven Kente.
“Just like AW15 this collection explores the culture of Zaouli dancers from the Guro tribe of Northern Côte d’Ivoire,” reads the collection press release. “With fringe trimmings and a mask figure peaking in a very stylized fashion within the structures of some of the garments, this collection is sensual in the sense that it is inspired by Djela Lou Zaouli, a Guro princess who was re-known for her desiring beauty and for dancing very graciously. The silhouettes are more feminine than they have ever been in past collections.”
While Loza Maléombho was established in New York City, the Brazil-born, U.S.-raised designer moved the brand to Côte d’Ivoire in 2012. Her current mission is to redefine the label “Made in Africa” with a positive social and economic impact in the West African country.
Part of that includes empowering women with a small manufacturing workshop that produces the brand’s collections and hires young women from unfavorable backgrounds. Loza Maléombho also works closely with local artisans on featured products such as Indigo dye fabric, jewelry, shoes and accessories.
“I am also building a brand which celebrates culture and tradition in modernity, but in a way that isn’t possible without a multi-perspective,” Loza told Okayafrica in 2013. “I have lived in different environments and I adapted to different cultures, those experiences have defined who I am and manifest throughout the collections I create. I think there is a market of people who don’t identify to only one culture and who relate to that multi-culturalism.”
For more information on the collection and to place an order, visit the Loza Maléombho website.