6 outstanding local products that wowed at Milan Design Week

Featured as part of the 'Sacrosanct' collection, curated by award-winning designer Thabisa Mjo, these pieces revealed SA's talent, skill and cultural heritage to the world's design lovers

21 April 2019 - 00:10 By Tracy Lynn Chemaly

A South African design collective headed by award-winning designer Thabisa Mjo, and supported by Nando's, was received with much success at Milan Design Week this month, presenting work by almost 10 local designers.
Titled Sacrosanct, the collection was a representation of our country's handcraft heritage and diverse cultural identity, all set within a step-inside pod designed by Mjo.
Exciting and unusual, these pieces celebrate our country through the beading, weaving, patterning and storytelling that make SA unique.
Take a closer look:
1. BEAD CRAFT
Mjo's Mash.T Design Studio's Potjie Server was inspired by the potjie pot that her KwaZulu-Natal grandmother would use for celebratory occasions. Mjo elongated the round pot shape to form this oval server decorated with imagery of the KZN Midlands she recalls from her childhood.
These inserts, all beaded by the Qaqambile bead studio in association with the Spier Arts Trust, talk to the cultural significance of storytelling through beading.
The server has been hand-painted by collaborator Sakhile Cebekhulu in a pattern that represents the streets of Joburg, resulting in a furniture piece that highlights both past and present.

2. PATTERN PLAY
Meaning "rays of sunshine", the Imitha Rug by The Ninevites continues founder Nkuli Mlangeni-Berg's ode to indigenous local craft. It is made with 100% mohair from the Eastern Cape, and is woven in the Karoo, demonstrating the local materials and pool of talent available in our land.
Taking the original black-and-white Imitha and filling it with colour to match the Sacrosanct exhibition, this new iteration is a further development of The Ninevites' work that references the traditional patterns found in African baskets, pottery, murals and beadwork...

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