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Ownership and Provenance

Do you remember the Himalayan Birkin by Hermès?
Winston Luxury leather handbags

A quick throwback to Week 1 of the course on The Rise of the Global Connoisseur and the pursuit of investment purchases.

The Forbes article stated that “more than 3,500 designer handbags were sold at auction in 2019, raking in a whopping £26.4 million ($32.9 million). The most coveted? The crocodile skin Himalayan Birkin by Hermès, of course, which has long been considered the most collectible handbag in the world.”[3] So what happens when in March 2020, Fashion Activist and Historian, Shelby Ivey Christie[4] tweets this:

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January 2021, Vogue Business reports “Winston Leather, a Nigerian leather brand, celebrated the biggest sales in its 30 years in business last June. The boost was thanks to a tweet in March from fashion historian Shelby Christie highlighting how its tannery, based in Kano, Nigeria, supplies leather to luxury fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren.”[5] One tweet has had a chain reaction and put a little known industry insider knowledge on the map and Winston Leather has since extended it’s product range.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Senegalese Fashion Designer Sarah Diouf, founder of fashion label Tongoro[6], has been listed amongst Fast Company’s 50 most innovative companies for 2020. An exclusively online direct-to-consumer business model has some of the world’s most famous personalities singing her praise.


CNN Interview with Sarah Diouf

Ethiopian label Lemlem[7], founded by Liya Kebede, model and designer, as a way to preserve the centuries-old weaving techniques of her native Ethiopia, creating jobs for local artisans. Stockists include Net-a-Porter, Harrods and Farfetch, and is now included in the roster of H&M’s many luxury designer collaborations.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

“La Réunion’s Patchwork Dresses Turn Symbols of Suffering Into Things of Beauty” headlines one of Vogue’s August 2020 articles about the sustainable fashion start-up by psychology graduate Sarah Nsikak.[8] When the pandemic hit in 2020, Nsikak began to focus on made-to-order patchwork dresses inspired by the women of Namibia’s Herero tribe, which was almost destroyed during the colonial wars between the Herero and the German Empire between 1904 and 1908. After surviving these wars, the Herero women designed, wore, and thus adapted the patchwork dress, a style worn by their oppressors, as a sign of rebellion. Who wouldn’t want one of those.


Congolese Fashion Designer, Anifa Mvuemba, founder of the direct-to-consumer women’s fashion label Hanifa, created a 3-D digital catwalk show during the pandemic. Released on Instagram Live, the designer never imagined the response she would receive from the global fashion industry as the show went viral. Inspired by her Congolese roots and the stories her mother told her about the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the women who lived there, Mvuemba sent curveous avatars in perfectly tailored outfits into a digital universe. She is hailed with revolutionising the industry and is included in Fast Company’s most innovative companies 2020.[9]

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.


  2. The Deeper Luxury Report,
  3. Forbes,
  4. Shelby Ivey Christie Twitter:
  5. Vogue Business,
  6. Sarah Diouf,
  7. Lemlem,
  8. Vogue, Aug 2020.,
  9. Design Indaba,
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Africa to the World: Analysing the Global Appeal for African Luxury Fashion

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