Nubian Collection in ELLE Magazine
NUBIAN COLLECTION OF MOZAMBIQUE
Nubian, based in Mozambique, is an African, artisan lifestyle brand inspired by the bohemian African culture. Originally a term that described an ethnic nomadic group from northern Sudan and southern Egypt where the powerful Nubian women are given the roles of warriors and leaders of the tribe, Nubian combines fashion with traditional African prints, with each print telling a unique a story of women. Here, we speak to the woman behind the brand, Amanda Maandag.
What inspired your collection?
Two year ago I moved to Vilanculos in Mozambique, a small town near the sea with light blue water, palmtrees and white beaches. Vilanculos is quite small and finding fashion items are scarce. Fashion is one of my biggest passions and I wondered how I would be able to survive without it. But something caught my interest.
Early in the morning the local fishermen go out in the sea to catch the fish for the day. In the afternoon the women wait for them at the beach to collect the fish to sell at the market. All these women wear the most beautiful ‘Capulanas’, African prints, traditionally around their waist. It’s like a catwalk, where you can see the newest and most beautiful fabrics which have arrived in town. Watching this inspired me to design clothing out of these funky fabrics to show everyone the beauty of Africa. So last year in September, I introduced Nubian Collection at African Fashion Week in Amsterdam, anxiously waiting to see if people will appreciate my bohemian African-gypsy aesthetic. Luckily they did! Earlier this year, in July, we opened our online store nubiancollection.com are are shipping our clothing worldwide.
What’s your fashion background?
Originally from the Polder in the Netherlands, I studied media and marketing while working at one of the big online fashion magazines in the country. After finishing my studies, I travelled around the world for five years as a model, and was constantly surrounded by fashion and the newest trends. I also lived in Cape Town for 5 years and have since found a new home in Mozambique, where I founded the Nubian brand.
What do you think is the must-have fashion item this summer?
How does the African culture influence your work?
I love to dream, so I used the creativity that flows from dreaming to built up a new concept. I worked out ideas and met up with the local Mozambican tailors and ended up designing unique items out of the African fabrics. Working close together with the local Mozambican tailors is very important for me. They have so much talent, but never really get the opportunity to do anything with it. So that’s why we all are part of Nubian. Every item is made with strands of love and compassion. Nowadays, it is more and more important to know where your clothing comes from and appreciate the artisan way of making clothing.
What advice would you give aspiring young designers who do not have access to fashion institutes?
Just do it! I didn’t study design, but I constantly strived to achieve my dream. If you want my advice, learn from your surroundings, grow your capacity, and constantly be inspired.