About the products
The Coming Home Collection Part I:
SHOES + BAGS:
The Coming Home Collection was an ode to part founder Amy (Akudo) Iheakanwa’s return to Nigeria and her attempt to explore this rich, diverse and complex culture that she still had so much to learn about. The collection explores Aso Oke weave as its main base material based on its durability, beauty and opportunity for colour experimentation. The significance of the Aso Oke cloth to Nigerians, particularly the Yoruba tribe was also a predominant factor for its use in this collection, particularly the fact that it possessed historically royal ties and the desire for the Shekudo woman to recognise the significance of the cloth while wearing her Shekudo piece.
WHAT IS ASO OKE:
Aso Oke (pronounced Ah-sho-kay) is the traditional wear of the Yoruba’s (the tribe of the south West people in Nigeria) worn on special occasions by the Yoruba’s usually for chieftaincy, festivals, engagements, naming ceremonies and other important events. Aso Oke weaving - which has been around for over 500 years, is created over an intricate multi step process on a narrow strip loom and mostly woven by Yoruba men weavers.
OUR ASO OKE:
The weaves in this collection draw inspiration from the 500+ year old Aso Oke process while incorporating elements of Lagos and its surrounds. The continual flurry of colours that met Akudo on her return to Nigeria, (from the woman selling ground nut in Lagos Island wearing her baby pink T-shirt and Ankara skirt, to the dilapidated forest green stair case in Ebute Metta) have all made their way into the weave patterns.
Each weave pattern is individually designed in house and executed by our Master Crafstmen.
After many disappointing market trips, Shekudo made the decision to carve most of its heels (and some of our shoe molds) in house because of the continual lack of consistency when aiming to find shoe heels in the market.
Our heels are made from local Okpekpe yellow wood and Abura white wood carved by hand in Lagos. They are dried and treated before being sent for shoe production.
A pressing issue which is faced by many shoe makers in Nigeria is the lack of supply when it comes to materials such as leather, embellishments, lasts (shoe molds) and heels. A particular style of heel or shoe mold can run out in the market (due to it being purchased by market sellers as batches of 'stock') where it is not restocked for weeks once depleted, and when it is - often it is a different colour or shape. This issue often leads to inconsistency in the design process or a delay the production process.
Our silver is 925 sterling silver sourced from Northern Nigeria and put together in Lagos Nigeria with minimal machinery. We have a small team of master Goldsmiths who have had their knowledge passed down through generations.
The designs for this collection are based on the many organic shapes often presenting in the local environment or common motifs that were and still are significant to Nigerian culture.
For example, the Adaku, Ikpu and Zirachi earrings were created with Nsibidi (or Nsibiri) in mind, a system of symbols indigenous to what is now southeastern Nigeria dating back to approximately 2000 BCE. Nsibidi was often used on wall designs, calabashes, swords, and tattoos although aspects of colonisation such as Western education and Christian doctrine drastically reduced the number of Nsibidi-literate people.
The power possessed by Women was also a major factor in the earring design process. From the physical female form and the possession of Goddess qualities - based on traditional Nigerian beliefs systems, to the exploration of ideas about what it means to be a Woman.