out of africa


You may know the name or beautiful textile work of melbourne based designer Nicky Gabriel... what you may not know is that she, her sister Val and friend Carmel are the great granddaughters of the famous Great White Zulu Chief John Dunn hml thinks this is quite a formidable family tie. Chief John Dunn was both a friend and ally of Zulu King Cetshwayo, and awarded John 49 Zulu wives and 1000 hectares of land in the Zulu Kingdom... that's a pretty big pat on the back! As the ladies are self described "failed Zulu Princesses" and non starters in the obligatory series of tests of booty shake and pot on head balance that would let them claim their tiara's they decided to put their existing talents in marketing, entrepenuring and textile design togehter and open a store to showcase contemporary african craft and design. It's truly a fantastic shop and is called ShweShwe. According to Nicky "We named our shop, "Shweshwe" after the fashionable wax coated fabric of Africa. We loved the nuance of it's meaning, "the sound the cloth makes when you walk". Really what could be better.
SHWESHWE is at 210 brunswick street fitzroy and well worth a visit, make sure to check out the the excellent food wrapping neckpieces, giant felt 'rocks' and plastic bottle top window treatments. Genius.

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