Hamaji Magazine interviewed the designer and owner of Kumesu, Tshiongo Wiedderkehr Bampangila Betu Kumesu. The stylist took us back to where it all started.
Hamaji Magazine: How was Kumesu born?
Kumesu: I am a Congolese designer, the youngest of a family of ten children. I studied Management in Lausanne and hold a Master’s degree in Business Administration. I joined Deloitte in Geneva where I was an analyst for ten years but always had a particular interest in fashion and handbags. In 2013, my husband, who worked at Procter & Gamble, was transferred to Lagos. We then moved in the African economic lung, Nigeria. Lagos is the most populated city on the continent. This move to Nigeria marked a turning point in my life. I discovered leather craftsmanship and it was there that I decided to embark on a creative journey, which is my true passion. I always wanted to provide Africa with a brand of luxury bags made by Africans. In 2015, Kumesu was born. The same year, the brand was presented at the Kinshasa Fashion Week. The circle was complete.
HM: Where do you get your inspiration from and what is the target market for your brand?
Kumesu: it is in the explosion of colours in local markets that the idea of Kumesu was born. We offer luxurious and timeless bags that provide a sense of pride both to the craftsmen who produce them and to their happy owners. For its Permanent and Tropical collection, Kumesu uses the scraps of leather on more luxurious items, which are produced by Nigerian tannery workshops for the most prestigious brands. By using these scraps of leather, we give them a second life and create exceptional pieces for an insider clientele while minimizing the impact on the environment.
HM: Where can Hamaji Magazine readers find Kumesu handbags?
Kumesu: Kumesu’s creations can be found on our website https://kumesustore.squarespace.com, www.kumesu.com as well as in the specialized stores in Africa and Europe. We also publish the creations, videos and events on social networks: Instagram: @kumesuofficial and @kumesulifestyle youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m55dvXQliA