Experience Africa and let its inspiration take hold of you. YOU KHANGA is one project that combines two distant cultures – AFRICAN LIFE & ITALIAN STYLE, a merger of the mystique and romance of Africa with the experience and excellence of Italian footwear craftsmen. The YOU KHANGA pumps and slippers range is born in Kenya, where the khanga materials are crafted providing unique quality cloths that give a ‘one of a kind’ character. The cloths are then sent to Italy to be crafted into quality unique footwear. The results are ‘one off’ products with no two identical pairs. Each khanga is unique and can’t be recreated, including some of its small imperfections.
WHAT IS A KHANGA?
A khanga can be anything in equatorial Africa. First and foremost it’s a printed rectangular shaped piece of material in bright colours and decorated with sentences, proverbs, and good-wishing riddles written in the Swahili language. For Kenyan women it’s also a lifestyle: transform and use the khanga as a dress, a headdress, it can be used to carry children on someone’s back and even to decorate houses.
Every YOU KHANGA product is unique for a simple reason: no khanga equals another. They are similar but not identical. Every one of them has an identity of its own. Mass production do not exist in Kenya; therefore each shoe will be cut in a different point of the cloth, making each pair unique – even by a small detail.
We would like to contribute as much as possible to the development of the local population. For this reason we produce the small khanga bags by hand on location and part of the profits of the YOU KHANGA creations will be invested in charity projects dedicated to the women and children of Kenya. With our first collection, spring-summer 2014, donations will be given to the ASANTE SANA ROBERTO CHILDREN’S HOME, an orphanage in Mambrui.
Veruscha Rossi, is the owner of the YOU KHANGA trademark, she was born in Grosseto and lives in Capalbio. After having completed her classical studies, she has managed a family-owned restaurant and bar: Il Frantoio. This seasonal activity has permitted her to travel the world and visit Australia, South America, the United States, Europe, and above all Africa. She met her husband in Kenya in 2005, moved to Malindi in 2006 and after two children returned to Italy in 2010. It’s the African experience that gives birth to the idea of producing products utilizing the unique khanga cloths and people.
Benedetta Ceppi, is the creative-director of YOU KHANGA. Originally from Lecco she now lives in Milan. She is a fashion stylist and collaborates with different national women magazines. After her studies in fashion-design at Milan’s IED Institute she enters the world of fashion with a work experience at the style office of the Ittierre Group. Modaonline.it allows her to explore the publishing industry. Initially a writer, she subsequently joins Mondadori as a stylist. Passionate of travel since childhood and for family reasons, Benedetta has visited Kenya and Malindi regularly and she still returns there least once a year. The idea of uniting her two worlds, Afrika and Fashion, is born here.