|The brand Mikuti is a direct result of designer/founder, Erika Freund’s efforts to bridge the unlikely. It is the expression of her adventurous spirit, fierce courage, and exploration of possibilities. She has a deep desire to create beautiful things and a passionate vision that sees only unlimited horizons in spite of the obvious realities of Sub-Sahara Africa.
Having an already established love for travel and a sincere curiosity of the world, Freund spent 4 years traveling throughout East Africa, (specifically, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Rwanda), seeking out the best workshops and discovering hidden raw talent in the region. Along the way, she made committed efforts to learn about traditional techniques and how to access the highest quality local materials. This groundwork created a foundation for her to create respectable jobs for some of the region’s most skilled and highly regarded individuals, while developing a mindful supply chain. It allowed her to create adornments of the upmost quality, with a distinct design aesthetic exhibited in her interpretation of traditional beadwork, mixing of metals, and other unlikely materials.
|Ultimately allowing her to address and contribute to the basic needs of the local economy and purposefully connecting everyone to a more established global market, giving Sub Sahara Africa both an opportunity and platform to be the incredible sourcing destination that it is.
These are the principals and foundation of the Mikuti Brand.
Freund seeks her inspirations from the beauty of the Swahili coast and magnificent landscapes of East Africa. The colorful hues and traditional adornments of the rich cultures found throughout the region, paired with her own interests of symbolism, spirituality, alchemy, and our connection to the world provide a kaleidoscope lens for her vision and enthusiasm towards design. Always a lover of fashion and true embracer of personal style and expression, her designs are an extension of her bold spirit, daring, and playful ways.
Mikuti has been featured in Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, Mara Hoffman’s Resort Swim Show at MB Miami Fashion, London’s Fashion Week, The Hub of African Fashion Week in Addis, Ethiopia, and Swahili Fashion Week in Tanzania.