A “Piece” of awesome Handcraft – Eugenie Drakes tells us more
Who is Piece, where are you based and what do you do?
Piece is a brand that has been involved in the handcraft sector for the past 20 years. We are based in Johannesburg and have a retail store at The Firs/Hyatt Centre in Rosebank and work with many rural communities throughout Southern Africa. Using Fair Trade principles we facilitate sustainable business through working closely with our producers, sharing design trends, providing business support, training and mentoring. The result is pieces that hold the essence and excellence of Africa and highlight the traditions and intelligent hands of her people.
Your work is stunning, are the pieces produced in house ?
Master Beader Beauty Maswanganyi produces work in store and does customised pieces for customers when needed. Beauty recently designed and made a pair of cuff links which were presented to the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward. The balance of the pieces are made in rural and urban areas in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland and have been worn by amongst others, Princess Charlene of Monaco, Fern Mallis, Founder of New York Fashion week, Noni Gasa, Lira, and more. Beauty and I created a collection for the Face of Africa live Final Broadcast in 2010.
African Fashion shoot for Marie Claire
Tell us more about your latest Marie Clare India project and any other exciting projects in the pipe line?
Talented stylist Louw Kotze was contracted to do an African Fashion shoot for Marie Claire, India and all the accessories used in this shoot were from piece. It was exciting for us as Beauty and I had been selected as part of a group of 18 people from 5 African Countries to participate in a craft exchange in New Delhi and some of the pieces featured were from crafters that we had worked with in India. Another shoot for L’Uomo Vogue featuring Lira in mens suits and wearing a necklace from a collection from piece as well as hats has just been released in a feature which shows the positive side of Africa.
What are you currently working on?
We are currently working on a showcase for the Global Directors conference for 18 of the worlds leading brands.
What advice would you give to young South African creatives looking to do what you do.?
Follow your passion, be focussed, work hard and keep your feet on the ground. It is not always easy but if you believe it is possible – then it will be.
Where can our readers view your catalogue?
We do not have a catalogue per se as we keep presenting new things as we have a wonderful regular client base and need to keep them excited. Our website will soon be revised and then we will be learning how to maximize social media…… another journey. Piece does have a small presence on facebook which will be more efficient when we are up and running with new site etc.
More images from the African Fashion shoot for Marie Claire