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Asantii Aims to Become the World’s First African Global Fashion Brand

For Rwandan-born entrepreneur, Maryse Mbonyumutwa, the time is ripe for an African fashion label to take its place on the global stage. With over 20 years of experience in garment manufacturing across the globe, she is turning her focus to Rwanda, where she plans to use her existing garment production facility as a springboard for a new affordable luxury brand, Asantii. The Asantii collection, named after the Swahili word for “thank you,” is the product of a group of 15 designers from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. The first collection celebrates Rwanda’s natural landscape with a palette of apricot, indigo and forest green. Graphic prints and embroideries reference an Adinkra symbol from Ghana representing the “all seeing eye,” as well as the Ashanti fertility doll. Materials include traditional Faso Dan Fani cotton fabric from Burkina Faso.