Building on its original brand of African design and drawing on inspiration found during its creative director’s trips to South Africa, Ngala Trading is launching Ngala Bespoke, a line of handcrafted, limited-edition accessories and accent furniture.
“Our hope is that as you explore our new Ngala Bespoke category, it brings you the same sense of exciting wanderlust and discover as it does to us,” says Lawson Ricketts, creative director and co-founder of the New York-based company. “We encourage you to read about each piece in this ever-evolving collection and its individual significance to its maker and the African continent.” The company’s website feature not only product descriptions but names and photos of the artisans behind each piece.
The initial offering of Ngala Bespoke includes the highly intricate original artwork of Ardmore ceramics, as well as Yoruba chairs, traditionally created for Yoruba tribe kings and queens and embellished with thousands of seed glass beads hand applied to the fabric covers. The line also features side tables, hand woven by master weavers, as well as cast brass bangles and anklets that were once used as currency in West Africa. Initial pieces are sourced in Nigeria and South Africa.
Specific pieces in the collection include:
- Brightly colored Ardmore ceramic Crested Crane urns, made in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. The clay was thrown by George Manyathela and painted by Siyabonga Mabaso. A pair retails for $3,350.
- Black-and-white Yoruba chairs, covered in cotton fabric embellished seed glass beads ($2,150). Made in Nigeria, these are vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces, with decorative repair work that Ngala Trading says adds to the “intrinsic value and beauty of the items.”
- The Ardmore ceramic Elephant side table features an elephant base — and a mischievous monkey — in a palette of peachy pinks and moody blues. The clay was thrown by Lovemore Sithole, sculpted by Alex Sibanda and painted by Sthabiso Hadebe in Kwazulu-Natal ($8,250).
Due to the nature of the Ngala Bespoke line, interior designer and other buyers are encouraged to visit the Ngala Bespoke section of the company’s website regularly, as the company says new items will be added on a continual basis.
“Ngala Bespoke offers designers a chance to discover products that are created as unique pieces or special designs that are unable to be sourced regularly or replicated,” the company says.