South African Design at Maison & Objet

10 exporters making their European debut

Aug 09, 2016 by Irene Vermeulen

Scandi-inspired upholstery fabrics with a good dose of African chic, spherical lamps made of precise, interlocking pieces of indigenous wood veneer, contemporary African baskets designed in Cape Town are among the products that will be on display at Maison & Objet this September. 10 designers and manufacturers from South Africa are making their debut in the European market, participating in Maison & Objet in Paris from September 2-6, 2016.

Craftscurator has been coaching a group of 29 companies from South Africa in developing their business, and preparing for the export market. After participating in a curated exhibition at 100% Design in Johannesburg last year, this group of 10 exporters is now ready to meet buyers and decorators in the European market. Come and find them in hall 1 Eclectic stand A80/ B79.

Skinny laMinx is the label of Cape Town designer Heather Moore. Her designs draw on her environment and experience – both global and local – and the result is midcentury style, scandi-inspired and Japanese-crazed pattern and colour, with a dose of African chic. While Skinny laMinx goods and textiles are to be found all around the globe, the business remains small and resolutely local, with design and manufacture happening in Cape Town, South Africa.

Design Afrika specializes in finely crafted hand woven African basketry, developing functional and sculptural baskets for the global market. Over the years, they have developed close relationships with rural weavers in more than 10 African countries. Successful marketing of these pieces have ensured that these traditional skills are not lost.

Minima is a South African-made range of digitally-crafted wooden lighting and furniture. Hand-finished in Cape Town, each piece is made using sustainable birch-ply wood or hardwood veneer. Designed by Jacques Cronje, minima's classic range includes Scandi-inspired ceiling lights that are elegantly understated yet hold their own in commercial or residential spaces.

Beloved Beadwork hand weaves intricate jewelry in Cape Town. Their conceptual, expressive neckpieces, earrings, bracelets and rings are made using glass beads. With a needle and thread, and some lovely algorithms, amazing statement pieces are created, that are being sold in boutiques and museum shops all over the globe.

Vogel is a South African design and manufacturing company, specializing in high quality timber products. Their new collection consists of sculptured wooden wall hooks, floating shelves and side tables. The range is designed for wholesale and export. The products come in a flat pack format, to minimise transport costs. The range is predominantly made from their factory offcuts and 'waste' timber.

Evolution Product creates stunning textiles for the home. They are researching the history of South Africa's botanical art, collaborating with museum and universities. Studying century old artworks gives them inspiration to create contemporary prints for textiles. Evolution's latest collections includes cushion covers, wall panels and fabrics in the most amazing blue tones. Besides supplying to leading concept stores, Evolution also creates bespoke pieces for projects, closely collaborating with decorators and stylists.

De Steyl furniture is created and manufactured in South Africa and has a crisp, urban aesthetic that appeals to a design-led, environmentally conscious consumer. Following the success of their modular Play Play range made from sustainable Birch plywood, owner Deánne Viljoen has designed a new system of interlocking storage drawers called 2DO Stackable Storage System™. The products are machined using the latest CNC technology, assembled by skilled craftsmen and finished by hand.

Cowgirlblues is a design studio and dye house specializing in the creation of quality contemporary products made from locally (South African) grown wool and mohair fibers. Their throws and shawls are knitted using only the finest quality yarns and are available in a range of sizes. Each item is individually dyed by hand, in a custom colour palette.

Saks Corner designs and manufactures wooden furniture, and is combining the latest technologies with traditional hand-made techniques. They create mid-century inspired wooden and upholstered furniture. The Umuntu range by Saks, blends flat pack Scandinavian inspired design in solid oak with African texture, colour and patterning.

Indigi is a dynamic South African lifestyle brand which merges contemporary design and local craftsmanship. The collection consists of locally printed textiles, furniture, lighting, décor and accessories that tell a cohesive story infused with African influences. The company was founded by Natalie du Toit in 2011. Having grown up between South Africa and Australia, Indigi is a culmination of Natalie's fascination with indigenous cultures, love of bold pattern, colour and form.

You can find the 10 South African companies at Maison & Objet Paris from September 2-6, 2016 in hall 1 Eclectic stand A80/ B79. In this stand, hosted by CBI, you can also find 9 other exporters from Guatemala, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Madagascar. If you can't make the trade fair, Irene is always happy to provide information on the 10 South African exporters, and the other 19 participants in our Export Coaching Programme.

You are also welcome to contact the exporters directly:

Skinny laMinx | Design Afrika | Minima | Beloved Beadwork | Vogel | Evolution Product | De Steyl | Cowgirlblues | Saks Corner | Indigi | CBI |

Read this article in Dutch on the Stylink platform

2DO Stackable Storage Systemâ„¢
by De Steyl from George, South Africa
Garlic Gourd
by Design Afrika
Weaving of Garlic Gourd
Hand woven in Zimbabwe
Digitally crafted birch lamp
by Minima from Cape Town
Lamp made of wood veneer
Manufactured by Minima
Upholstery fabrics
by Skinny laMinx
Kannitraki baskets
by Design Afrika
Weaving kannitraki
Made in South Africa
15 different types of beads
Handwoven in Cape Town
To Have & To Hold pendant
by Beloved Beadwork
Nguni head coat hook
Designed by Vogel
Necklace made of overlapping geometric shapes
Handwoven by Beloved Beadwork
Nested side tables with a Ndebele pattern
Designed by Indigi
Umuntu range of side tables in oak
Designed and manufactured by Saks Corner
Individually hand dyed throws
Made by Cowgirlblues
Printed embroidered stone linen
by Evolution Product from Johannesburg