YOU KHANGA is one project that combines two distant cultures – AFRICAN LIFE & ITALIAN STYLE, a merger of the mystique and romance of the African khanga with the experience and excellence of Italian footwear craftsmen. The YOU KHANGA pumps and slippers range is born in Kenya, where the materials are crafted providing unique quality cloths and give their ‘one of a kind’ character to these made in Italy products.
Each khanga is unique and can’t be recreated, including some of its small imperfections.
What is a khanga?
A khanga can be anything in equatorial Africa. First and foremost it’s a printed rectangular shaped piece of material in bright colours and decorations with phrases, proverbs and blessings in Swahili. For the women it’s a lifestyle choice: transform and use the khanga as a dress, a headdress, to carry babies on their backs or even to decorate a house.
Every YOU KHANGA product is unique for a simple reason: no khanga equals another. They may look similar, but they are not identical. Each one has its own identity. Mass productions do not exist in Kenya, for this reason each shoe is cut at a different point on the material ultimately creating a unique pair each time.
BIOGRAPHY OF THE FOUNDER
is the owner of the YOU KHANGA trademark. She was born in Grosseto and lives in Capalbio. After having completed her classical studies she has managed a family-owned restaurant and bar: Il Frantoio. This seasonal activity has permitted her to travel the world and visit Australia, South America, the United States, Europe and above all Africa. She met her husband in Kenya in 2005, moved to Malindi in 2006 and following two children, returned to Italy in 2010. It’s the Kenyan experience that gives birth to the idea of creations with the unique khanga cloths and its people.
is the creative director of YOU KHANGA. Originally from Lecco, she now lives and works in Milan. She is a fashion stylist and collaborates with different national women magazines. After her studies at Milan’s IED Institute, she enters the world of fashion with a work experience at the style office of Ittierre Group. Modaonline.it allows her to explore the publishing industry. Initially a writer, she subsequently joined Mondadori as a stylist. Passionate of travel since childhood, and for family reasons, Benedetta has visited Kenya and Malindi regularly and still returns there at least once a year. The idea of uniting her two worlds, Africa and Fashion, is born here.
AFRICA FOR Benedetta & Verusha
We would like to contribute as much as possible to the development of the local population in Kenya. For this reason we produce the small khanga bags by hand on location. We will also donate a part of the profits from any YOU KHANGA product to charity projects dedicated to women and children in Kenya.
We will start with support to the orphanage Asante Sana Roberto Children’s Home in Mambrui.