Every Saturday morning a spritely cucu brings us fresh vegetables from her shamba in Kiambu. I had never really noticed her kiondo, probably because I am always eager to see what she has inside. But this Saturday I paid attention.
I had just interviewed designer Adèle Dejak about the kiondos in her Kalon Collection. The leather straps are secured with lovely big knots and she told me she drew inspiration from how straps are traditionally attached to kiondos: a hole is made on either side and the strap used to tie a knot. And sure enough the canvas strap on cucu’s large basket was secured with two large knots.
In Adèle’s own words this design is a “jazzed-up version of a kiondo”. This basket was made by a women’s group in Nyeri and adapted in the Adèle Dejak’s workshop in Kiambu. The leather is sourced from Kenyan tanneries and the bag has a khanga lining and a zip cover flap that you can close with a padlock.
This story was produced in partnership with Blankets & Wine. Maridadi.co attended the tenth edition of the Blankets & Wine festival on Sunday 10 July 2016, and interviewed the designers who participated in the festival’s fashion pop-ups.