The springbok horn is an African talismanic charm which is believed across Africa to bring good luck to those who wear it. Okapi’s expert artisan’s craft each individual horn making each signature piece completely unique
Okapi is strongly guided by the African philosophy of Ubuntu ‘I am because we are’. This means that we strive to incorporate social upliftment into our production practices. The majority of Okapi’s materials including the springbok horn are sourced as bi-product of established farming practices. By incorporating the springbok horns into the products, Okapi is taking what would be waste in order to create sustainable jobs on the African continent
WATCH THE MAKING OF A SPRINGBOK HORN HERE.
The Aziri is the newest addition to the Okapi collection. Taking its name from Aziri the Goddess of love, who protects women from harmful pairings. This beautifully crafted structured tote is both elegant and versatile.
The Aziri began its journey as an initial sketch. Once refined and completed the prototype was created. From this our master craftsmen and craftswomen set to work, meticulously hand crafting each bag.Every aspect of the Aziri is made entirely in Africa from locally sourced raw materials.
Get a behind the scenes glimpse at our Master Craftsmen at work here.
Shot in Cape Town the hometown of Okapi, the inspiration behind the 2014 campaign was to represent the true spirit of Cape Town and its influence on the collection.
The campaign images aim to illustrate the sophisticated yet underrated and relaxed nature of the city.
The springbok is the national animal of South Africa. It is a medium-sized brown and white gazelle that roams the open plains and grasslands of the dry inland areas of southwestern Africa. Their natural habitat extends from the northwestern part of South Africa through the Kalahari Desert into Namibia and Botswana. Springboks occur in numbers of up to 2.5 million in South Africa alone.The springbok is categorised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “Least Concern” as the species is widespread and one of the most abundant antelopes of the southern African region. There are no threats to its long-term survival.
Both male and female springbok have distinctive horns which average 35cm in length. Springboks are regularly farmed for their meat and the horns are merely disposed of. The horns are therefore obtained as a bi product of existing farming practices.
The springbok horn is a signature feature on every Okapi bag. Each horn is sustainably and ethically sourced from the Karoo region of South Africa. The springbok horns are prepared by hand at the source and polished by local artisans in the Karoo. As each horn is unique the hardware on the horn must be uniquely crafted to fit each individual horn, a process which requires much time and patience.
Okapi have been creating opportunity out of waste by using this age old African Talisman as a signature aspect of each Okapi bag. Learn more about the making of the springbok horn here
Many of Okapi’s bags are created using our signature blesbok skin which is unique to Okapi. A Blesbok is an antelope indigenous to South Africa characterized by a distinctive white blaze on the face and a horizontal brown stripe above the eyes. The blesbok is one of the most abundant animals in South Africa, it is not classed as endangered and there are no threats to its long-term survival. Further information regarding this can be found at the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s website here.
Given the authenticity that is at the very core of Okapi we were drawn to the use of the blesbok skin due to its authentic nature which includes scarring and evidence of the animal living in its natural environment. Blesbok skin is in keeping with our ethos as it is sustainably and ethically sourced as a bi-product of the food industry in Africa.
Okapi has pioneered the use of blesbok leather. Traditionally blesbok skin was neither dehaired or coloured. The development of this bi product of the food industry was a prolonged process which required much patience. All of the research and the development for the use of blesbok skin took place in house.The process began with farmers around Africa who produce the skins as a bi product of existing farming processes. Following this the skins go to the co operatively run tannery in Outeniqua, with whom we have developed the finished skin. Some of our blesbok skins are embossed with a zebra print. Skilled artisans use a hot plate to stamp the skins with a zebra print, creating an effect which is unique to Okapi. The development of this leather has been a challengeing and lengthy process in order to achieve the level of quality which is synonymous with Okapi.
View more of the Blesbok collection here
After each Springbok horn has been polished and prepared, they are fitted with handmade gold hardware. View the making of the Springbok horn video here.
Diamonds are set by hand into the Springbok horn of the black crocodile small Yemaja, making this the ultimate luxury handbag.
The Springbok horn seen on the Mawu in Red Zebra Blesbok
100% of our bags are made and sourced in South Africa, making Okapi the first authentic African luxury brand.