The brand’s DNA emerges, Muun – a fashionable reinterpretation of the traditional basket.
Back in 2004, Audrey then a Japanese- speaking interpreter and fashion consultant for Japanese companies in liaison with Europe, decides to go on a trip. Bound for West Africa to discover the crafts and the craftsmen from Senegal and Burkina-Faso,the idea of creating Muun actually takes root in the heart of the small town of Nyariga in North Ghana.
An unexpected meeting between two worlds happens when Audrey stumbles upon a traditional round Ghanaian basket and meets the man behind it, Tahiru, a passionate craftsman. Expert in the traditional art of straw-weaving, he explains his work and confides in her his hope of one day seeing his baskets on the European market at a just and fair price. The idea takes shape and Muun’s first collection of straw baskets is shown. From that moment on, the bags catch on thanks to their natural aspect, their quality and their style.
However, launching a collection with a Ghana-based production has its fair amount of surprises… Time and energy became the foundation to the now Ghanaian women-based community who apply the codified Occidental market’s models’ standardisation such as the respect of measures, colours etc. This meant for the community learning the basic concepts of reading and writing. Audrey’s suitcase when travelling from France to Ghana is always full of tape measures!
A cooperative organisation run by Tahiru was created to give structure to the community’s work and also establish a true working relationship between the community and Muun. Thus, in the heart of Nyariga, Tahiru’s dream henceforth shared with Audrey and the rest of the community of women is made real…
The links woven between the West of France where the brand set up its headquarters – not far away from its partners (with the Mamet Workshop and ISTA of Saumur) – Ghana, of course, but also Georgia (with the Nutsa Workshop), are constant, supportive and inspiring.
Inspired by Scandinavian design, a constant pursuit of Japanese minimalism as well as cosmopolitan and surprising influences, Muun has reinterpreted the traditional straw bag into a timeless and aesthetic object.
All carefully selected natural materials wrought by women (and men), working closely on the Muun adventure. The brand’s identity lies in the association of noble materials and singular skills.
Straw: Ghana’s elephant grass provides thin and resistant straw. The grass is harvested, dried and weaved locally thanks to centuries’ old craftmanship of the Nyariga Craft Society women in Bolgatanga, Upper East Ghana.
Leather: Selected for its supple texture, Muun’s leather is the result of a natural plant-based tanning process which gives it its exceptional grain, shape memory and patina. This extraordinary work is done by the Mamet and Varennes Workshop near Saumur, in the West of France, to whom Muun entrusts the production of its leather pieces.
Wool: The winter version of the Muun bag is knitted with light spring wool which is collected, prepared and knitted by the Nutsa handicraft workshop women from Caucasus in Georgia.
Cotton, linen and jute: Weight, elasticity, rigidity, suppleness, colour: the choice of fabric is also a determining factor in making the cloth bag and the pouch. Muun prefers natural materials such as cotton, linen or jute. These items are carefully made by people with disabilities working for ISTA.
For more info visit www.muun.fr