Inspiring Change: The ABURY Design Experience

By Kerstin Tschernigg, originally posted on Eco Fashion World

“It’s in your hands!” – Harper’s Bazaar Germany is presenting a unique open call to international fashion students and emerging designers to preserve world crafts and culture. The ABURY Design Experience is an annual contest in search of emerging designers to create an accessory capsule collection using traditional crafts knowledge from different cultures. Winners will receive a travel and production budget of up to EUR 5,000 and will spend up to three months either in Morocco or Ecuador, creating their collection with local artisans. The collections will be marketed and sold under the name of ABURY and the designer. 50% of the profits will be re-invested in education projects in the respective countries.

The winners will not only receive the EUR 5,000 travel and production budget to develop their unique ABURY capsule collection, as well as a full ABURY PR package, but will also be invited to travel to Berlin between July 03-11 to attend exclusive events and valuable Berlin start-up insights, such as this year’s Berlin Fashion Week. ABURY Exclusive Partner KPMG will enhance the winner’s entrepreneurial skills with a one-day financial training workshop on how to write a business plan and give special advice on the specific challenges of the fashion industry. Additionally, for an all-round media coverage, Harper’s Bazaar Germany will cover the winner’s collections and profiles for Harper’s Bazaar Online as well as not only the profiles of the ten finalists will be listed on Not Just a Label, but the winners will receive their unique feature on the website.


Who is behind ABURY?

The ABURY Design Experience is a ground-breaking initiative of Berlin based fashion label ABURY. The main goal is to enable people, emerging designers and artisans, to shape their future with their own hands. The ABURY Design Experience has been created to transform this idea into reality.

Andrea Kolb, Founder and CEO of ABURY, is an incredible social entrepreneur, sustainable thinker, and kind person throughout. As the founder of the communication agency Calliope, she later moved to Marrakesh to open The AnaYela, a city “Palace of Inspiration” and acquired a breakthrough success with her artisan ABURY Design Experience with Media Partner Harper’s Bazaar Germany, Exclusive Partner KPMG Germany, and many more following and supporting. She shared her secret to authenticity with Eco Fashion World.

Andrea Kolb

A Q&A session with Andrea Kolb, Founder and CEO of ABURY —

EFW: By bringing together traditional, old world crafts with avant-garde design, ABURY is seeking to lend design the emotional component which you say has been missing in recent times. What can we imagine when thinking about this emotional component?

Andrea: “Emotion is something you feel – so come by our store and touch one of the products. You will immediately feel the love that the people who made them put into these bags or garments. These products are handmade in the true sense of the word. They seem to be perfect but when you look closer you see some irregularities that make them unique and loveable. They are individuals with a soul and a story, a product that spend hours and hours in the loving hands of an artisan.”


EFW: We loved seeing the projects you have conducted and the ones, which are still ongoing, such as the sewing school project for women and ecological educational experiences together with and for children. What has been your most memorable experience so far and why will the winners of the ABURY Design Experience take home valuable lessons learned in Morocco and Ecuador?

Andrea: “There are so many touching moments, but if I have to pick one, it was when I wanted to do my first contract with a crafts community and the head gave me his hand and said: “this is the most valuable thing I have – if this is not good enough, we can’t work together.” And we shook hands and this is how everything started. For the young designers diving into a new culture means opening the horizon and learning to adapt to a completely new situation. Clocks tick differently – and it is a wonderful experience to learn that a different tick can be enriching.”


EFW: The French ABURY Berber Collection designer Yannick Hervy has stated that authenticity both in his designs, of the tools, the technical procedures that are transferred from generation to generation, and his choice of materials are vital for the success for his collection. Andrea, as the Founder and CEO of ABURY Collection, you have also, when moving to Marrakesh, Morocco, opened a city palace called The AnaYela (“Place of Inspiration”). What inspires you and helps you stay authentic in your daily life?

Andrea: “Authenticity means being real, not an imitation, being true to yourself – which probably is the hardest thing of all – because how do I know who I really am? Every day and each experience brings you closer to yourself and especially the challenges you face while diving into another culture, learning about your fears, dispositions, but also about your qualities and strengths, brings you closer to yourself – and therefore helps you to be authentic.”


How to showcase your talent on the ABURY Design Experience —

Applications are now open until March 08, 2015. The requirements?

Participants should be 21 years of age or above, and, if already graduated, applicants ideally should apply within five years of their graduation date. Harper’s Bazaar Germany and ABURY will select 10 designers for the semi-finals. One of two winners will be selected through online voting, and the other by the prestigious jury panel – including Bibi Russell, Fashion for Development; Kerstin Schneider, Editor in Chief, Harper’s Bazaar Germany; Stefan Siegel, CEO, Not Just A Label; Diana Verde Nieto, CEO Positive Luxury; and more.

For further details, please visit ABURY and follow #itsinyourhands.

Kerstin Tschernigg is an international journalist and Metaphysician, specializing in mind-body-soul awareness and international news reporting with a human interest angle. Supportive of eco fashion and passionate about organic lifestyle products, Kerstin feels strongly about the protection of our planet and living a holistic life. She is the initiator of her private charity project One Word Changes, which stands for gender and race equality, mind and spirit education, as well as community-based sustainable development in Africa. 

Eco Fashion World

Eco Fashion World's mission is to promote eco fashion companies through informing consumers of their options and linking them to where they can find the products. Also, it provides an extensive resource to mentors in the eco fashion industry. Let's build this eco fashion community - together!

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