This New Women-Owned Site Curates the Coolest Home Decor from Africa

In this age of Amazon Primesame-day home deliveries, and global online shopping marketplaces, we tend to think we can get anything from anywhere (and fast). But as Nana Quagrain discovered after moving from South Africa to New York, that’s not *truly* the case. Commuting back and forth between Brooklyn and Johannesburg for years while working in infrastructure finance, Quagraine realized that the contemporary African design she loved was conspicuously absent in retail-obsessed New York. Creating 54kibo was a way to fill the gap.

“The world of design is currently very Euro-­centric,­ but it’s truly a question of access,” Quagraine tells Brit + Co. “It’s our vision that, over time, contemporary African home decor will be routinely considered by design consumers.” And African design *is* having a moment, in spite of the relative difficulty finding it on store shelves. “Over the past decade, a number of museums ­including the Tate, the Smithsonian, MOMA, the Brooklyn Museum, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta ­have been building up their [African art] collections and exhibitions,” she says.

This cultural moment in particular is ripe for the resurgence of these styles. “In a pop culture context, the excitement around Black Panther was incredibly validating of Afrofuturism, and the pride that both Africans and African-Americans share has helped give rise to a new interest in learning about Africa and dispelling the myths that have proliferated about it,” says Quagraine. Continue reading…

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