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Buyu by Jamhuri Wear Holiday 2012 Collection Available for Pre-Order at Heritage1960

In Swahili, the word “jamhuri” means “republic,” a form of government in which public officials are, at least in theory, either elected or appointed to serve the public’s interest. With headquarters in New York City and Nairobi, Kenya, clothing and lifestyle brand Jamhuri Wear offers products that celebrate the post-colonial state of Africa’s 54 sovereign countries; the contributions of those leaders and activists fighting for political stability and accountability in their respective countries; and the artisans, musicians, educators, and grassroots organizations striving to economically empower themselves (or local businesses and artistic collectives) in order to ensure future financial self-reliance and a better quality of life  for future generations. Known primarily for its graphic tees, Jamhuri Wear has recently expanded its reach via the launch of Buyu by Jamhuri, a capsule collection of travel accessories named after the fruit of the Baobab tree, also known as the Tree of Life due to its ability to retain water and to the medicinal properties of its leaves.

Sojourners and eco-conscious consumers will appreciate the sophisticated construction of the pieces in the collection — all made by artisans in Kenya using bark fibers from sustainably harvested baobab trees. Thse fibers are handwoven by artisans in the Tseikuru region and later paired with natural leather to produce the final products in a workshop in Karen, Kenya. Though the collection officially launches in October, right before the holidays, Heritage1960 is offering consumers the chance to pre-order their favorite pieces during a limited-time-only trunk show set to wrap on Friday, August 17th.

The collection’s centerpiece is the Kiondo Hold-All Bag ($395 at Heritage1960.com), a weekender bag (which, coincidentally, has transitioned into everyday use for Fall 2012 ) made from woven Baobab fibers and featuring leather straps and handles. Measuring 12″ in height, 20″ in width, and 10″ in depth, the Kiondo Hold-All pays homage to the market bags traditionally seen in Kenya and it features such organization-enhancing features as a wide internal zippered closure , interior  pouch pockets, exterior compartments along the duffel’s leather side panels (one an unobtrusive slot with a zippered closure and the other a bulkier pouch with a fold-over flap an snap closure), and a removable tan-colored shoulder strap for hands-free toting. The baobab fibers are woven to create a versatile, free-spirited, Boho chic striped pattern in earthy shades of yellow ochre, sienna, chestnut, dark mahogany, maroon, rust, and russet brown. In addition to being durable, these sustainable fibers are inherently water-repellent and fire retardant.

Another key piece is the Kiondo iPad Case ($95 at Heritage1960.c0m), also 100% handmade by artisans in Kenya out of baobab fibers. The slim pouch, measuring 9.8″ in height and 7.8″ in width features horizontal cream-, rust-, and oak-colored stripes with a slightly ribbed, corduroy-like texture. The zippered case, designed to accommodate both the iPad 1 and iPad 2 models, features a soft micro fiber lining to protect your delicate tablet, while the pouch-like design allows you to easily sleep your gadget in and out of its protective coat. Dark brown leather frames the square-ish case for added polish, while the triangular strip at the top and center of the case is embossed with the brand logo.

Can you keep up with the kiondos?

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