The Women Behind Amâna
9 November 2020
Each of my bags are named after an influential woman in my life. These women have made a unique and significant impact on my life, and I therefore wanted to represent them individually in my designs. Every design reflects a certain element that I have associated with the respective namesake woman, and I would hereby like to give a bit of a background to each wonderful lady, and how she has inspired me, not only in my designs, but in my life in general.
Maggie, short for Margaret, is my mother. My mother was a free-spirited woman. She was incredibly outgoing and spontaneous, and she never let anything hold her back. My relationship with my mother was tumultuous, the way most relationships between two passionate and strong-willed women are. Even so, I learnt a lot from my mother and her character, especially that everyone has two sides; the side we show to the world, and the side that we keep for ourselves. This is a quality that I wanted to depict with the Maggie bag – the differently textured leathers representing two different sides of her personality. The snakeskin leather shows the more unreserved, lively side of Maggie, whereas the black leather represents the side of Maggie that did not share with everyone, the proverbially ‘darker’ side. Both of these sides of Maggie’s personality are what made her special and interesting, and in the same way, the Maggie bag’s uniqueness stems from its contrasting features.
Carla is a close friend of mine who comes from Pretoria. She came to Namibia to study medicine, and although the fact that she is a doctor may paint her in a particular light, one should not be fooled by Carla’s academic exploits. As amazingly clever as she is, she is by no means boring. Carla and I had an instant connection, and I was drawn to her crazy and exuberant nature. Not only is she a friend that I can depend on to let loose and have a good time, but she is also a friend who has been a solid pillar for me during difficult times. I wanted to represent her constant and unwavering support with the Carla bag, which is a simple and bold, yet a dependable bag for any occasion. At whichever moment you find yourself in your life, whether you are experiencing moments of hopelessness, or whether you are in a space of peace and happiness, it is always good to have a Carla by your side.
Alexandra is a friend of mine with whom I share an exceptional bond. My bond with Alexandra was created fast and its roots run deep, as she and I have connected over both trauma and healing. Alexandra is an immeasurably strong and admirable woman. She is always open and honest, and she is unashamed about her imperfections. I can always depend on Alexandra to be unapologetically herself, and in being undeniably authentic, she always makes a statement and has an impact on whatever she does or wherever she goes. I believe the same can be said for the Alexandra bag. It is daring and different, and it is sure to capture the attention of anyone who sees is, just as Alexandra does. The Alexandra bag’s design is inspired by a woman who is equally as spirited and striking as the colourful snakeskin pattern itself. It is a reminder to always be true to yourself, and to be bold at all times.
Jeanne is my oldest friend. I met Jeanne in primary school, and I was a timid and ‘weird’ child, but that didn’t stop Jeanne from becoming my friend and making me feel like I belonged. If it weren’t for Jeanne, my school years would not have been nearly as manageable. I did not easily fit in to typical childhood environments, but Jeanne always made me feel welcome and loved. She is a wonderfully approachable and kind woman, and I can speak to her about anything. She is always straight-forward with me and will lead me on the right path, if I ever feel like my life is headed astray. Jeanne’s level-headedness and maturity led to the chic design of the Jeanne bag. With Jeanne by your side, you will feel confident and like you can achieve anything, which is how I have felt having Jeanne as a friend and a confidante. She is someone with whom I can cherish many memories, and also look forward to making many more.
Luna is my aunt on my father’s side. Luna is a neat and proper woman, and she is exceptionally bright. Her name, Luna, is therefore apt because it means ‘moon’, and the moon itself is almost as bright as Luna is. She is a talented writer, and I admire her creativity and the way that she uses her writing to represent beauty and art. Luna and I haven’t always been especially close, however my relationship with her has developed. Luna is like the glue that keeps the family together, which is why I have named the only wallet in my collection after her. A wallet is an important and often underrated item that holds many necessary and significant things together. In the same way, Luna emphasises the importance of keeping family together, and she is the one who motivates us all to stay connected. I respect Luna’s unyielding insistence on staying in contact with loved ones, because meaningful communication can be so easily forgotten.
I will continue to take inspiration from strong and wonderful women in my life, and I hope my future designs will do justice to the wonderful ladies who come across my path. I am certain there will be many more, and in turn, Amâna will grow even further to become a brand that not only represents timelessness, style,and class in fashion, but also strength, confidence and female empowerment.