ATUU is a brand designer, here to inspire people; taking them upon a personal journey that they too can be part of!
The Brand owner Keili Bent has told us her story, "My initial trip to Ghana was for the purpose of tracing my ancestry and identifying where I come from. This has always been very important to me. I was also given the opportunity to volunteer in the Eastern Volta Region which I eagerly accepted.
This was a great opportunity for me; I was travelling to the unknown alone, leaving my two children behind for a whole month, but I somehow knew that this was something that would benefit us all.
Whilst I was on this personal journey the most amazing thing happened! I had never felt so comfortable within my own skin, every insecurity or flaw I ever had disappeared. With my bare feet sinking into the African red soil where my ancestors had passed through, I proudly wore my natural hair, let the sun sink into my natural face whilst wearing BIG, BRIGHT, BEAUTIFUL, BOLD, AFRICAN colours. If anything I was subconsciously drawing more attention to myself. It dawned on me that this is the closest I have ever felt to being free!!! I didn’t want this feeling to end.
Half way through my trip, I was returning back to the Volta Region after visiting the slave castle in Cape Coast in silence, my heart full of indescribable pain and yet through the tears in my eyes I still managed to see that I was surrounded by nothing but beautiful, inspirational people. I saw the strength and resilience of the African people. I watched and admired them making something out of what many would perceive as nothing, without complaining, without excuses. It was something I needed to add into my own lifestyle and it was also something I needed to share!
I decided to try and fuse my two experiences together. If I couldn’t bring Africa home then I could bring a piece of Africa back with me, the clothes.
Each piece of clothing tells a story, the cloth is handpicked by myself in local villages then delivered to local seamstresses and tailors personally to ensure that it is of local produce as I recognised that the people up in the mountains are often forgotten about when it comes to business, and decided that this needs to change.
When a woman wears one of these garments they will embrace their beauty, embrace their spirit and feel confident as every item was made with the strength and passion of an African.
Each year ten percent of the profit will be reinvested back in to the villages helping to create jobs, the purpose of this is to help provide the villages with a platform to showcase their talent and work ethic. This will help to enable them to become more independent and provide stability for their families.
After this experience I thought it was only right that I gave my brand a Ghanaian name.
I decided upon ATUU which is twi, language of the Ashanti people, one of the many tribes throughout Ghana and in English translates to EMBRACE."
Elementz of Couture has been working with Atuu and several projects and we look forward to seeing what her collection has in store for our 2018 show, her designs smashed it for our 2017 winter show!!
You can support her cause directly via the link below: