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Trendy Africa: Austrian fabrics - The West African Heritage


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Embroideries produced in Austria for the West African market

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Trendy Africa: Austrian fabrics - The West African Heritage

  1. 1. Austrian Fabrics: the West African Heritage | Trendy Africa Seite 1 von 7   Home  News  Events  Photos  Autos  Fashion  Property  Places  Editor  Headgear  Blog  Subscribe« Pope Benedict XVI visits Cameroon; says condoms not the answer in the fight against HIV/AidsAustrian Fabrics: the West African Heritageby tosan on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009  Email  Print  Share Subscribe Digg Facebook StumbleUpon Sturvs Muti AUSTRIA - For more than 40 years Austrian embroideries represent the highest quality level ofAfrican clothing tradition. These premium textiles are fixed to people who are wearingembroideries as a symbol and metaphor. A tight business relationship between West Africancustomers and Austrian manufacturing companies assure innovative and qualitative productsas well as modern design developments.To intensify the knowledge about the West African market/customers two Austrian fashionexperts made a comprehensive investigation and accomplished a research study about theWest African embroidery market. Silke Jurkowitsch and Alexander Sarlay are impressed by thealways well dressed West African people and the deep-rooted clothing tradition. “Cloths are amirrow of the person, cloths show the spirit of the people”, they say. The project is dedicatedto all people who cultivate a clothing tradition and who take care about their clothing style.The motivation for this project is based on learning from history of more than 500 years oftrading with textiles between West Africa and Europe. Still today, there are the same factorsand mechanisms used for doing business. New things are as well absorbed instantly andtransformed into the existing tradition. Also fashion is a typical western phenomenon; thethings which are counting in the African world are the traditional ones. 19.03.2009
  2. 2. Austrian Fabrics: the West African Heritage | Trendy Africa Seite 2 von 7[Show as slideshow] 19.03.2009
  3. 3. Austrian Fabrics: the West African Heritage | Trendy Africa Seite 3 von 7Traditional clothing still is a symbol of status, reputation, wealth, etc. Furthermore money forhigh qualitative and valuable products is still available. The product itself must be developed,marketed and sold in a 100% true-package to the customer. Therefore, copied, cheap, lowquality and second-hand textiles are only a way to be “decorated” in the correct cultural wayeven for people with little money. One of the only existing USPs of Europe is the richness of 19.03.2009
  4. 4. Austrian Fabrics: the West African Heritage | Trendy Africa Seite 4 von 7creativity and the close relationship to African customers. In this project, creativity is the maindriver for staying in front of the competitors in the high-end African embroidery market.The project objectives therefore are the exploration of the niche for Austrian embroideries, torecognize the key factors of designing embroideries for different African cultures and to identifythe key factors for trading in West Africa.The methodology is divided into three levels: Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow. The “Yesterday”part is developed based on existing literature in the fields of ethnography, cultural aspects,religion, art, strategy and marketing. This is followed by the “Today” part, which is aconcentration on the actual situation in Africa, Europe, Asia and Near Middle East done in aqualitative way (e.g. observation, interviews, and photo documentation) directly in West Africa.Finally, the “Tomorrow” part consists of the combination of specific challenges for the Austrianembroideries in West Africa as well as international best practices which lead to a positioningfor the Austrian embroideries and thereof important project propositions.This project can contribute to new knowledge by developing a research model in the future forspecific high-end products in Africa. The conclusions derived from this model could be therecognizing of the importance of the eye-level, the awareness of the customers´ background innation, religion, tradition, and the usage of the customers language to market the niche of theproduct successfully with different marketing Silke Jurkowitsch, Alexander SarlayAbout the AuthorsSilke Jurkowitsch and Alexander Sarlay were born in the western part of Austria: They grew upwith a long fashion tradition in their living area and have a wide ranged experience workingtogether with textiles, decorative and crystal components. Their know-how about textile andcrystal business opens new innovation projects in every industry. A main focus is onopportunities and chances in different parts of Africa. Today they live as real cosmopolitans,most of the time they are travelling between Africa, Middle East and Asia. Their alliancecombines cross-cultural creativity, leading global business networks in different branches andprofessional Project Management.ContactSarlay & Jurkowitsch ConsultingSilke Jurkowitsch: silke@sj-c.ccMobile: +43 660 3111 550Alexander Sarlay: alex@sj-c.ccMobile: +43 660 111 20016094 Tosan AduayiFiled under: FashionRSS feed | Trackback URIComments » 19.03.2009