Gladys Macharia: winner of African Designers for Tomorrow

After two months of mentorship by URBANARA of the three African designers, Gladys Macharia has been selected as the winner of the African Designers for Tomorrow competition.

Launched by former top model Waridi Schrobsdorff and FA254, the competition invited local designers to create special collections that showcased their countries and cultures. By celebrating young African talent, the competition aims to reshape the image of Africa and highlight the cultural and creative diversity across the continent.

As a proud sponsor of the Home Decoration category, URBANARA worked with each of the three finalists to develop their home accessories collection, before selecting a winner as a part of the official FA254 jury.

While each of the final collections were of an overall outstanding, the work of Gladys Macharia stood out.

“We were very happy with all of the results and there was so much talent and potential, that it was difficult for us to choose a winner,” said Claire Davidson, URBANARA co-founder. “But with her collection of table runners, napkins and bowls, Gladys has created designs that are a perfect fit for URBANARA. We love the combination of indigo blue, one of the main colours for summer 2015, and lightweight fabrics that are perfect for the warmer months ahead.”

Gladys, who works primarily as a jewellery designer in her native Kenya, used her years of design and fashion experience to create a collection that speaks of the East African landscape, a picture she looks forward to sharing outside the African continent.

“I would like to extend my most sincere thanks for choosing me as this year's winner of the homeware category of FA254’s African Designers for Tomorrow competition,” she said. “I look forward to having my tableware collection in homes across Europe this summer and for each table to tell a beautiful story of our work in Kenya.”

Gladys’ Spring/Summer collection, available online soon at URBANARA, is a beautiful example of how we can increase transparency and encourage local artisan production in our day to day lives.

“It is so wonderful that URBANARA is able to provide a platform for products made in Kenya and in showing local support by creating a trading platform between Kenya and Germany.

“Having this chance to produce the tableware collection for the international market will greatly stand to benefit the Kenyan artisan community and their livelihoods.”