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Marketing Berbers Abroad – Avenue for Cultural Preservation?

While globalization can have an antithetical role to the preservation of indigenous cultures, a Berlin fashion label has recently played a pivotal role in protecting a native Berber sewing technique. Andrea Kolb, founder of the fashion label Abury, says she conceived of the idea a few years ago, after friends commented enthusiastically on a Berber-made embroidered leather bag purchased on a visit to Morocco. Abury brought together underpaid Berber artisans and a global fashion market yearning for Berber products. Kolb’s project posed challenges, though: She struggled to locate craftspeople with skills for making the bags and then launched training programs while offering remuneration of about $1000 per month. A Berber artisan produced the basic pattern and a French design firm developed forms for modern bags, cellphone cases and more. Profits are directed towards community investment. Cost-efficiency of such projects remains a challenge, yet Kolb hopes that in the long run, global markets can create structures that appreciate, preserve and sell products of local design and traditions. – YaleGlobal

Marketing Berbers Abroad – Avenue for Cultural Preservation?

Abury of Berlin plays preservationist and matchmaker between the fashion markets and Berber craftspeople who embroider stylish leather bags to order
Jonathan Gifford
Deutsche Welle, 28 February 2013
Click here for the article in Deutsche Welle.
Source:Deutsche Welle
Rights:© 2013 Deutsche Welle