ComplexAssesories X Vitae London
On one of my regular trips to London I had the pleasure of being invited to the pop up shop launch of a very inspiring entrepreneur and fellow Afropean. William Adoasi. Usually how it goes for me is that a friend of a friend has a friend and you get an invite. This time around one of my clients, Faith Child a UK hip hop artist who´s German tour I had the pleasure to manage was wearing this watch every time I saw him. I never really asked about it, however that brand name “Vitae” which is Latin for Life (yeah I had Latin at school hurray) was very intriguing. So when I was in London to visit my other friend who I did a brand consulting session for, on her upcoming jewellery line, she brought up a London based black owned brand that inspires her. Low and behold it was “Vitae” and guess what? They were having their first pop up shop coming while I was in London town. We went there for sure. The pop up shop was absolutely my preference of style. Very minimalistic, almost striped naked, clean and unpolished with bright, white light. There was no distraction, as in performing artists to enhance the image or create brand identification/projection point for customers. That's what is usually done with Pop Up shops; they are there to figuratively and literally make noise, get the brand out there and gain more recognition for it. Not this time. This was different. We entered and a two very kind ladies welcomed us. It was very informal and therefore so authentic to me. They handed us little gifts and a sweet booklet which told us “The Vitae Story”. I didn't even look into that book cause I was instantly intrigued by the iPad installation, I saw further up the stairs in the pop up shop. I'm just into wide open spaces with installations of any kind. That installation with about 20 iPads was taking the visitor step by step through the story, vision and process of the Vitae brand. With very strong and positive images of south Africa paired with detailed descriptions that were easy to understand, even if you are not into fashion and manufacturing in depth, that installation allowed its viewer to recognize the need of supporting the brand without throwing the well know petty party for the poor African children. As an African woman raised in Europe I could tell that whoever is behind this brand must be African and wants to give a graceful portrait of his own. Obviously we iPads Africans are confronted with a lot of misrepresentation about Africa in the western world. Yes there is a need in Africa and the causes for that a just as complex as this blog, however I often wish this need would be portrayed with more grace and dignity for my people. And that's exactly what this iPad installation did. Brilliant! Just brilliant.
We talked to William and his beautiful wife. I had the chance to really see their sincerity with this project which obviously now is a full blow entrepreneurial venture. Vitae London is affecting and making change in the world positively, with dignity for those who are being helped and style for those who invest in empowering others. You wear the watch, look at the time and be reminded of a contribution you made that's so simple yet so impactful. With every tick and tock you stay connected and are reminded of purpose beyond yourself. You already know where this is going - I bought a watch. I would have bought 100 more, but you know ...the way my bank account is set up… I was almost out the shop when William called me back and invited me to their exclusive evening launch event. That was my first invite from the designer itself and what a pleasant one as well. I went home dressed up a bit, forced my boyfriend with me and changed our date night up, and it was more than worth it. It’s been awhile sinceI'vee been to such a positive fashion brand launch where folks actually like each other, the cause, the product, the music and the free drinks. It was just love everywhere.
We had a great time and I’m happy to now call myself part of the Vitae family.