Gift Guide: 54kibo Product Designer’s Favorite Items


54kibo is both a luxury retailer and a community for designers from Africa and the diaspora. We are fast becoming a go-to retailer for product designers creating contemporary African designs for the home. The bright colors, striking patterns and high quality craftsmanship, not to mention rich history of the people and cultures that inspired the products, make our thoughtfully curated selections eye-catching conversation pieces. We asked some of our product designers for their top selections. Read below for top picks by Lisa Hunt, Faty Ly, Malene Barnett and Candice Lawrence.


"The Ilé Ilà Adunni Pon chair in that bold yellow is calling to me! It looks comfortable and I love the detail in the upholstery and the wood frame. The pattern on the back is so good, it’s all in the details! The Ndebele Necklace Lampshade in emerald has been on my wishlist since I first discovered it and 54kibo about a year ago. I’ve never seen anything like it before, all the elements work so perfectly together and I can imagine it being a conversation starter installed in our dining room." - Lisa Hunt

"I love the necklace-inspired lampshades by Candice Lawrence. They are contemporary, feminine-looking, and authentic at the same time. I love the fact that they’re handmade so a lot of love and craftsmanship was put into them. I already purchased 2 for some of my design projects!" - Interview with Marie Burgos 

“Ite Chair - Alaafia Rocker – I love furniture that provides comfort, especially after a long day, I want to rest my feet and relax. Also the colour combinations of this rocking chair are gorgeous. I can see this chair being a conversation piece in a living space.” - Candice Lawrence

"I also love the woven necklace pendant lighting, milo armchair, and the djembe tables, .... you can see the tradition and craftsmanship. I recommend exploring every page on the site! " - Dana Baugh

"The Modern Gesture Woven Necklace Pendant Light in Cobalt is so fabulous. I love things that are sculptural. If it's sculptural in any sense, I want it in my home. The fact that it has moving parts and that I can design it in a way that works for me, it's the best thing I've ever seen." - Melanie Edmunds 


"I love Simone Brewster’s bold jewelry pieces. I also appreciate her 15-collection of individual cuttlery; it is bold, sensuous, and provoking!" - Faty Ly


"And last is the AAKS Baw Pot Shoulder bag. It's so charming. So I have something that's an accessory and things for my home." - Melanie Edmunds 


"Ceramic textile artist Malene Barnett is another “fan of handmade textiles,” and pointed us to this throw with a contrasting geometric pattern that is hand-spun and loomed by local artisans in Ethiopia. Aside from loving it’s made-by-hand nature, Barnett appreciates that the blanket is “lightweight and has a minimalist design." - NYMAG The Strategist's 27 Best Throw Blankets According to Interior Designers 


"The Black Cascade kilim rug, it was the first cotton design we produced and had those thick yellow tassels that gave it richness and a truly unique look. [From 54kibo]..The sisal baskets! Whenever I see them, I relate to Africa, which is the main reason we joined 54kibo. We felt that the mission to combine the rich African origin crafts in one place is an amazing idea to get the different vibes of Africa and the diversity of its people." - Ibrahim Shams


"Next is the Tana Bath Towel in Grey. It's so gorgeous." - Melanie Edmunds 


"I'm obviously very biased toward the swaddles, but I love the Adunni Ottomans and the Mutapo Ceramic Platters." - Njoki Gitahi

Read more about Simone Brewster and her designs.

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