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Prêt-À-Poundo: Jewelry Designer Mikuti x Urban Outfitters Pop-Up Shop

During New Pop-Up Shop of Urban Outfitters and Dossier Journal, called Bazaaaaar, we interviewed Jewelry Designer Erika Freund for Mikuti.


Urban Outfitters has struck the fashion world in an incredible way one more time. The company is now collaborating with Dossier Journal to bring artists and designers from Africa, Asia, and North America for a month-long pop-up shop. "A Zamrock-inspired pop-up modeled after ancient marketplaces, Bazaaaaar fuses art and cultures from around the world to offer a modern mix of sustainable fashion and artisanal goods."

The designers involved are Busua Beach Boardriders, Fashion Rising , Fresh Wall Street, Gold Coast Trading, Mazan, One Mango Tree and Sara Bernabe of Studio One Eighty Nine, as well as collections by African Lookbook, Android Homme, Annika Buschman, Buki Abib, Burkmann Bros, Chichia London, Della, Jessica Barensfeld Adornment, Mikuti, New Friends, Now Again Records, Object & Totem, Osei Duro and Wooden Hills Bedding Co.

Last friday, we assisted at the opening night party of the new pop-up shop for the Urban Outfitters store on 5th avenue in New York City. We had the pleasure of meeting the talented jewelry designer Erika Freund who has the unique skills and know-how to craft beautiful pieces of jewelry. Freund respects a well thought-out design and then handcrafts it in the traditional way, always keeping a good interpretation of its volume. We talk to her below.

Introduce yourself.

Erika Freund – Designer/Owner of Mikuti Jewelry.

What was your inspiration for this new collection?

My collection of necklaces and pendants were greatly inspired by Native American symbolism, such as totem poles, arrowheads, and tools they used in every day life. My beadwork is always inspired by the vivid colors of the East African Landscapes.

What materials did you use?

The pendants were made from repurposed ankole cow horn, (an animal indigenous to the region), which is an agricultural bi-product, and recycled casted brass. The bangles are hand-casted from aluminum scrap metal, along with traditions glass Czech seed beads.

What is your masterpiece of this new collection?

Tough choice! I would say that my masterpiece is the beadwork. I just love what we’ve been able to do with it, in terms of creating patterns. But my favorite piece in the entire collection is the Credence Pendant, available in both Black and White Horn. I wear it in white all the time!

How are you feeling now that your collection has been released?

I feel great about it. This was the first time I had ever worked with horn or brass, which was a lot of fun. Plus I was able to mix the mediums, which I really like doing.

Which African singer or band would you like to see wearing one of your piece?

Fatoumata Diawara!  I love everything about her.

What do you think are the current trends for A/W 13?

I think that color is here to stay. I feel like bright colors aren’t seasonal anymore. I also see a lot of mixing of different materials, which may not usually go together, which I love.

What tips do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

To reach out to established designers for insight, push your design ideas, and make sure you make time for all your friends who are NOT designers.

Describe your A/W 13 collection in one word.

Fresh.

How does it feel to be featured in Prêt-À-Poundo?

Awesome – HUGE fan of you since I saw you in Fela!

A word about Okayafrica. Okayafrica is ...

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