Eleni Labrou of Akedo expresses the cultural pluralism of South Africa through her latest collection and this exclusive shoot by Steve Marais
“I wanted to represent the diversity in South Africa and the fact that, although we are all different, we are still connected,” says Akedo founder Eleni Labrou about her latest collection. “By contrasting clean silhouettes with handcrafted prints and textures, I also hope to challenge ethnographic expectations of African design.” Labrou, who originally established the directional womenswear brand in 2014, worked with local craftspeople and tradesman to create elements such as carved bone masks, tortoise shell buttons and hand beading. These add a unique character to powerful pieces such as a boxy cashmere coat, thigh flashing wool dress and pleated trousers. The spirit of the collection has also inspired this exclusive editorial by photographer Steve Marias, who captured model Jordan Butler on the wild edges of Cape Town.