Gorgeous bags by Doreen Mashika

Doreen doesn’t only design bags but she is an all round designer- she designs anything from shoes, bags and stunning clothes. What I like about her designs is that she incorporates the western culture and African style. She is also one of the designers who manage to create something new and  exciting with African textiles – in this case with Kitenge fabrics. Doreen Mashika was born and raised in Tanzania, studied and work in Switzerland, and is now part of a growing homeward bound African diaspora. While in Switzerland she began her career  in the financial  industry, specializing in goods fund management. This is where she had her first contact with the fashion industry and designers, providing her a unique insight and appreciation of the sector. Inspired by a deep sense 
of affection for the cultural heritage and wealth of design 
possibilities in Africa, she returned to Tanzania and settled in 
Zanzibar to pursue her passion of design while building a successful 
Whilst worldwide many customs are in transition, Doreen Mashika firmly believes that the bedrock of traditional cultures in Africa is still a powerful force and one that is to be celebrated. Mashika speaks to that desire to look colourful but still be modern and polished. After Doreen designs a bags or shoes, she partners with women’s groups in local villages who make the goods largely by hand, using traditional African workmanship techniques.  She uses only 100 percent Tanzanian-grown cotton, which she purchases from women vendors in Dar es Salaam. They haven’t yet developed an organic certification program, so they always make sure they know what they are getting because the community is very skeptical of chemicals and don’t use them or use them sparingly. She also sources recycled “stones of the earth,” native gemstones that each carry a symbolic meaning and recycled glass and beads.

Doreen’s merchandise can be purchased at the following stores:
African Mosaique, Johannesburg SOUTH AFRICA
Galleries La Fayette, Berlin GERMANY
Iseli & Eng A G Life Style Boutique, Bern SWITZERLAND
Ethical Penelope Co. Ltd. Nagoya-Shi, Aichi JAPAN
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

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