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First collection: Repurposed army jackets embroidered by women artisan communities in Africa.
36 backers pledged £8,729 to help bring this project to life.

About

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£8,729

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We are thrilled to launch our first collection of one-of-a-kind, gender neutral, repurposed army jackets embellished by hand with glass beadwork from women artisans in West Cameroon working at the Fondation Jean-Felicien Gacha.

ARTESAN is a vintage-inspired, slow fashion brand collaborating with women artisan communities in Africa to create modern capsule collections. We're about individuality, self-expression, sustainability and craft. 

Designed in London, we are on a mission to create a unique brand fusing African craftsmanship with European flair through modern silhouettes. 

MISSION

We're bridging the gap between African women artisans and international customers. We showcase traditional techniques on contemporary designs and support the communities that inspire them. 

Our signature is global fusion, and these jackets mix borrowed elements from the past to create an effortless style of fusing workwear with the exquisite craftsmanship of age-old African techniques. Simple, clean lines combine with colourful, intricate details to form a bold personal statement of authentic workwear and ethnicity.

Artesan's aesthetic is inspired by vintage and utilitarian clothing. The repurposed one-of-a-kind pieces are sourced from army surplus. Made from a poly cotton blend, cotton or denim, they are durable and retain their shape and fit for a prolonged time.

MADE-TO-ORDER : Your jacket is personal and unique to you. Order your custom made jacket and choose the colour of your beads.

 In most African traditions, beads transfer their essence of beauty and craft to their wearer. Our collaboration with women artisans sustains this beautiful craft.

Each colour has different qualities:

Right: Traditional elephant mask worn at Bamileke ceremonies
Right: Traditional elephant mask worn at Bamileke ceremonies

The Process

Ethical design is at the heart of our design and manufacturing process.

Our jackets are sourced and handpicked in the UK and France and sent to the artisan workshops in Africa.  Skilled women artisans sew beads made from recycled glass onto the cloth by hand in a meticulous process mastered by only a few craftspeople today.  

Our unique jackets are produced in a limited quantity and are numbered and dated.

All materials are sourced with sustainability in mind and this first collection is designed in London and produced in collaboration with African women artisan communities.

Facts about how your jacket was made

  • Refitting and tailoring of the jacket : 2 - 5 days
  • Beading production time : 10 - 15 days 
  • Quantity of beads used for your jacket (depending on each style) : 400g / 750 g  
(from left to right) Marie-Claire, Stella,  Igénie, Joséphine, Awa, Roukayatou, Zenabou
(from left to right) Marie-Claire, Stella, Igénie, Joséphine, Awa, Roukayatou, Zenabou

Choose your style and create your true art piece. Our original jackets are produced in a limited quantity, numbered and dated. 

MODEL #1 - NDOP  | INSPIRED BY THE TRADITIONAL INDIGO CLOTH WORN BY BAMILEKE PEOPLE 

DETAILS : POLY COTTON BLEND | 2 BREAST POCKETS | SHOULDER EPAULETTES | BUTTON FRONT WITH STORM FLAP | BOXY FIT | BEADS EMBROIDERY | LINING : POLYESTER


MODEL #2 - OBA | ORIGINAL VINTAGE OG-507 UTILITY JACKET FROM US ARMY

DETAILS : POLY COTTON BLEND | TWILL FABRIC | 2 FRONT POCKETS | BUTTON FRONT | BEADS EMBROIDERY 


MODEL #3 - KUOSI  | F2 FRENCH ARMY JACKET

DETAILS : 100% COTTON | 2 ZIPPED BREAST POCKETS | SHOULDER EPAULETTES | BUTTON FRONT WITH STORM FLAP  | VELCRO PATCH | ELASTICATED SIDE PANELS | BEADS EMBROIDERY | LINING : POLYESTER


MODEL #4 - LEO "AMOUR" JACKET  | F2 FRENCH ARMY JACKET

DETAILS : 100% COTTON | 2 ZIPPED BREAST POCKETS | SHOULDER EPAULETTES | BUTTON FRONT WITH STORM FLAP  | VELCRO PATCH | ELASTICATED SIDE PANELS | BEADS EMBROIDERY | LINING : POLYESTER


MODEL #5 -  TRIBE JACKET  |  FLECKTARN IN CAMO

MODEL #6 - LEO "ORANGE"  JACKET  | F2 FRENCH ARMY JACKET 

 Which size of jacket to pick? 

We use vintage military jackets for our collection because we believe that repurposing clothes is a good way to be sustainable and environmentally responsible instead of wasting resources with new fabrics. We are strict on the quality of the jackets and use the authentic charm of vintage and handmade craftsmanship to make every jacket unique.

Choose your perfect size using the guide below. 

Funding will allow us to develop our project into a brand and expand our range of products. We will be able to go into production and have stock available for retail. We also intend to spend more time with our partner artisans to develop more collaborations. 

"Growing up in Paris, I've always been surrounded by beautiful things and through my multicultural background I've developed a sensibility for things from the past. 

Artesan was born from a passion for vintage and sustainability and a desire to work with talented artisans communities. After spending time working with a remarkable group of women in Cameroon, I decided to develop a neutral gender brand that offers sustainable effortless collections with a story to tell while connecting craft producers in Africa to international customers. It's about honouring the past while being firmly rooted in the present through contemporary designs."

-  Anne-Lise

About the project owner

Anne-Lise is a French entrepreneur who is the creative force behind ARTESAN. Passionate about vintage and crafts from a young age, she always dreamt of creating her own clothing line weaving authentic stories into the fabric of handcrafted clothing with a modern appeal. She grew up in Paris, attended Parsons School of Design in New York and was inspired by her time working in Cameroon to found Artesan.  She currently lives in London.


SPECIAL THANKS! I would like to thanks all the beautiful people who supported and/or got involved in this project – and especially: Madame Dumas, Igénie, Stella, Joséphine, Awa, Marie-Claire, Roukayatou, Zenabou, Géraldine, Joyce, Danilo, Malika, Bruno, Fleur, Odette, Alessio, Sharahya,Travis, Monique, AK, Alice, Azie and Bimpe.  

  • Show your unique sense of style
  • Help us empower the women artisans and enable limitless creative possibilities.
  • Be part of our movement

Risks and challenges

We aim to communicate with you transparently during our production process. Each of our jackets is beaded by hand individually and as you can appreciate handcrafted products take time to make. When sourcing beads some colours might be out of stock in which case we may need to source other suppliers. There are other challenging factors that we might encounter due to where the artisans are located but we will always work hard to make the delivery dates and have your jacket to you in time. our partnership with with the local NGO will help mitigate many of these challenges.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 19

    EXCLUSIVE PHOTO PRINTS

    THANK YOU !
    Exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign, this postcard set of 5 (148 x 210 mm) photo prints depicts some of the most beautiful images from Cameroon by the Fondation Jean-Felicien Gacha.

    + Personal Thank You Note

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    Pledge £22 or more About US$ 28

    1 x BEADED BANGLE

    Stack them all for a true style statement or wear it individually - these beautiful beaded bangles are handmade by the women artisans form the Fondation Gacha in Cameroon.

    *Profit from this sale is donated to our partner Foundation.

    + Personal Thank you Card

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    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 31

    TUAREG BRACELET IN BRONZE (UNISEX)

    This Tuareg-inspired bracelet can be worn by men or women. Bracelet in bronze with delicate engravings, designed individually by Cameroonian artisans.

    Handcrafted in Cameroon.
    Available in size S, M, L

    + Thank you card

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    Pledge £28 or more About US$ 35

    ONE KINJINZI PENDANT

    We handpicked this timless Kinjinzi pendant that you can effortlessly bring into your wardrobe. This recycled brass pendant sits on black rope for a modern, yet cultural expression.
    (Save £ 28) Designed by Adele Dejak
    *Comes with a black velvet rope.
    Made in Kenya

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    Pledge £35 or more About US$ 44

    CHANNEL CUFF BY SOKO

    We have handpicked this handcrafted bracelet made from recycled brass.
    (Save £55) Designed by SOKO
    Made in Kenya

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    Pledge £38 or more About US$ 48

    1 x BEADED STORAGE BOX

    Add a touch of style to your home with this small storage box or gift for someone you love. These beaded boxes are handmade by the women artisans from the Fondation Gacha in Cameroon.

    *Profit from this sale is donated to the Foundation.

    + Personal Thank you card

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    Pledge £47 or more About US$ 59

    CORNUCOPIA NECKLACE

    We have handpicked this beautifully made necklace made with jade, a stone that blesses whatever it touches.
    - Rope embellished with jade beads
    - Handmade in Cape Town
    (Save £ 48) Designed by Pichulik

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    Pledge £47 or more About US$ 59

    WINTER MALI NECKLACE

    We have handpicked this beautifully made necklace of lighweight coloured cord, this piece is incredibly comfortable and versatile. Wear it high on the neck or lower on a single length of cord.
    (Save £48)
    Designed by Pichulick
    Handmade in Cape Town

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    Pledge £55 or more About US$ 69

    1 x BEADED BRACELET + 1 X BEADED BOX

    Two handmade beaded accessories (box + bracelet) made by the women artisans from the Fondation Gacha.

    *Profit from this sale is donated to the Foundation.

    + Personal Tank You Card

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    Pledge £90 or more About US$ 113

    ONE BEADED BAG BY BUSH PRINCESS (SMALL)

    We have personally sourced this beautiful and simple shoulder
    strap bag beaded by Maasai women from the Maasai community in
    Ngong hills. It has a natural leather interior with magnetic button on
    top to close and a detachable clutch.

    Designed by Bush Princess (save £70 from retail price £160)

    Measurements
    Height: 33cm
    Width: 32cm
    Handle drop: 24cm
    Depth: 2cm

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    Pledge £140 or more About US$ 176

    ONE BEADED BAG BY BUSH PRINCESS (LARGE)

    We have personally sourced this beautiful and simple shoulder
    strap bag beaded by Maasai women from the Maasai community in
    Ngong hills. It has a natural leather interior with magnetic button on
    top to close and a detachable clutch.

    Designed by Bush Princess (save £40 from retail price £180)

    Dimensions:
    Height: 41cm
    Width: 40cm
    Handle drop: 25.5cm
    Depth: 2cm

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    Pledge £140 or more About US$ 176

    LEATHER TALA BAG

    We have handpicked this bag ethically made of Kenyan leather. It features an adjustable shoulder strap long enough to be a cross body. It features a natural leather interior and one pocket for your phone. Tala adds a touch of style to everyday outfit.
    (Save £40) Designed by Bush Princess
    Made in Kenya

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    Pledge £360 or more About US$ 452

    EARLY BIRD - ONE BEADED JACKET

    * Special Discount * Retail price £450

    Make a statement with this one-of-a-kind piece, embroidered with glass beads by women artisans communities in Cameroon. Inspired by the meaning and quality of African heritage beadwork, our jacket is a revolutionary art form. Work this statement piece effortlessly into your wardrobe.

    Make it even more personal. Add £ 25 if you want to have a personalised name badge.

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    Pledge £405 or more About US$ 508

    KICKSTARTER SPECIAL - 1 X BEADED JACKET

    KICKSTARTER SPECIAL (Save £45)
    Retail price £450

    Make a statement with this one-of-a-kind piece, embroidered with glass beads by women artisans communities in Cameroon. Inspired by the meaning and quality of African heritage beadwork, our jacket is a revolutionary art form. Work this statement piece effortlessly into your wardrobe.

    Make it even more personal. Add £ 25 if you want to have a personalised name badge.

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    Limited 2 backers
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    Pledge £648 or more About US$ 813

    EARLY BIRD - TWO BEADED JACKETS

    * Special Discount *
    Retail Price £ 900

    We create clothes to share for both men and women.

    Choose your desired style later on.
    Make a double statement with two unique reclaimed beaded jackets at an incredible price.
    Inspired by the beauty of African heritage beadwork and traditions, our jacket is a revolutionary art form. Work this statement piece effortlessly into your wardrobe.

    Make it even more personal. Add £ 25 if you want to have a personalised name badge.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge £689 or more About US$ 864

    KICKSTARTER SPECIAL - 2 X BEADED JACKETS

    KICKSTARTER SPECIAL (Save £211)
    Retail price £450

    Make a statement with this one-of-a-kind piece, embroidered with glass beads by women artisans communities in Cameroon. Inspired by the meaning and quality of African heritage beadwork, our jacket is a revolutionary art form. Work this statement piece effortlessly into your wardrobe.

    Make it even more personal. Add £ 25 if you want to have a personalised name badge.

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)