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8 Dec

Meet The Black-Owned Label Reshaping The Luxury Bag –

Black people invented luxury, let’s be honest.

And as an industry estimated to be price 297 billion by 2026, it’s no surprise that Black entrepreneurs are continuing to make their mark on the luxurious market, proving once and for all we’re here to remain. Continuing that trend is Archyn Orijin, Founder and Executive Creative Director of the eponymous brand that sells handbags and accessories. 

On the intersection of culture, travel, and design, ORIJIN CULTURE is creating signature pieces that carry the culture — and the continent — in all places they go. 

And already, his Africa purses are in all places, after going viral for his or her powerful design representing the diaspora and the worldwide influence of Black culture. 

But Archyn didn’t start the business for the cash. Reasonably, it honors his personal and ancestral background. He was inspired to design the bag after having a dream of a girl wearing Africa on her back while walking boldly through a sea of people that parted as she passed through. From this dream, Archyn began a five-year iterative process working with a talented team of artisans.

The result? A shocking piece of wearable art constructed from premium materials for optimal durability and flexibility. 

Meet The Black-Owned Label Reshaping The Luxury Bag

For ESSENCE, Archyn discusses the inspiration behind Orijin Culture, how activism has fueled his creativity, and why we must always all keep the continent near our hearts.

How did you start in accessory design?

You already know how they are saying “regardless of what you do, what God has gifted you comes back full circle? Or like my Caribbean friends would say ”Who Jah bless no man curse”? I feel my story is a testament to that because one would assume that I went to an art or fashion school to pursue accessory design, but I didn’t. I’m a natural artist who, although won art competitions while growing up in Ghana, got here to the US to check computer information systems. Crazy, right? I’m sure many, especially Africans, can relate to the pressure from parents to turn into doctors and engineers. Back once I was growing up, art was not something you’ll mention to them because they simply couldn’t see what potential was there. 

My profession path was to be a pc programmer. But even within the IT space, I gravitated toward design. After teaching myself website design, I ultimately got a job as an online designer & developer in Philly until I moved back to Ghana. That’s where I discovered joy working with artisans, and I officially made the shift into designing accessories. As my confidence and keenness grew, a friend of mine and I made a decision to partner up and create wood sunglasses. Then I ventured off to create watches – interestingly enough, my first major media feature was from ESSENCE Print Magazine featuring our watches. I’ll at all times treasure that moment and have that duplicate as a keepsake.

The Africa shaped bag is loved by social media. Are you able to tell me a little bit of the inspiration behind it?

It got here from a dream I had! It’s a ravishing story that I really like to share. Many which were with us within the Orijin Culture community for a very long time know that our journey began as a magazine, which I used to be privileged to launch in W.E.B. Dubois’ home in Ghana. This outlet was intended to attach all African descendants together. While running the magazine for 10 years, I noticed that many within the Diaspora wanted to attach deeper with Africa but felt a way of distance for various reasons. That void bothered me lots because I knew that the more we connected on various levels, the closer we’d turn into. I feel that more love and unity will eventually eliminate the stereotypes we’ve had amongst one another. Because the magazine content was not enough, I looked for other ways to attach. The Africa shaped bag began manifesting in my dreams. At some point, I dreamt of a girl walking down this long aisle with Africa on her back and a crowd of individuals admired her respectfully as she passed through. From this dream, I used to be inspired to start a five-year iterative process working with a dedicated team of artisans in Ghana. Together, we perfected the bag’s shape, which has been sculpted into the gorgeous image of the African continent.

What stories do you hope to share through Orijin Culture? 

The stories I hope to share through Orijin Culture are embedded into our brand name as an acronym — O.R.I.J.I.N.C.U.L.T.U.R.E stands for Our Root Is Just Inseparable, Nonetheless, Cultivating Unity & Love; Through Understanding, Reconnecting Empowers.

The stories I hope to share are the wealthy great thing about our cultures and the true stories of our pride that don’t get told often. The great thing about all of it is that I’m not the storyteller, but reasonably our customers tell their very own stories after they carry Orijin Culture. Their pride exuded after they wear their Africa bags, cuffs or scarves unapologetically make statements of price and empowerment well beyond fashion. It’s the story of us loving us. The never ending story of us reconnecting whether African, African American, Caribbean and all descendants across the worldwide Diaspora, we’re seeing us as one people on this world.

It’s the story of roots and heritage, knowing that regardless of what “his story” inflicted upon us—separating us from our motherland—our story of resilience and reconnection is the now recognizable beacon of our power and value. Our story, our history is rewritten by us to encourage many on this world. That’s the story we’d wish to tell, regardless of who wears our product-–you might be a part of a fantastic story being told with pride.

How has your activism fuelled your creativity? 

Should you see what now we have passed through as a people by just reflecting on the injustices inflicted upon George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so lots of our people, you see in those moments how he fought to show our pain into power. Not only did we unite to protest, but now we have also been purposeful and intentional about what brands we support, which says lots about how our consciousness has furthered our constructing of Black economics and generational wealth.

As I even have a robust passion for connecting all African descendants together and bringing Africa to you regardless of where you might be, I feel I’m driven by a purpose beyond me — a purpose for us to have the opportunity to say we’re Africans not because we were born in Africa but because Africa is born in us. And the wonder is us carrying Africa with us in style and with pride, feeling at home despite the fact that we could also be removed from home. That sense of belonging is what wakes me up on a regular basis.

Do you think that consumers are more conscious concerning the brands they support? 

Definitely, especially in these times and this beautiful generation of young ones rising. It’s all concerning the story and purpose behind the product, inclusive missions, and authentic representation. It’s about being a component of something greater than the brand.

Your online business has grown lots previously yr. How have you ever managed to scale up so quickly?

I feel other than the standard we give, I feel this growth has resulted from us being authentic and embracing all who respect our mission to hold the culture. People of various cultures and backgrounds have supported our brand and proceed to accomplish that worldwide. They buy first because they love the distinctiveness of our products, and after they get to know more they proceed to support because they love what we’re about. It almost looks like our customers turn into disciples of our brand, and word of mouth has scaled us massively. You might be sure to be stopped when wearing our products that opens dialogue for cultural connection, which is the intent behind all of our products.

What’s next for the Orijin Culture brand? 

I’m enthusiastic about Africa – I really like her shape and the whole lot she is. Some say I’m obsessive about Africa. The reality is I’m. I invented the Africa shaped bag, I’ve invented the Africa Shaped Scarf, and next up can be one other invention intentionally made to attach all African descendants. It’s slated to launch in October.

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