The Kuya Collection consists of warm, cozy sweaters, cute ponchos and playful accessories such as necklaces from seeds and stones, knee-high socks, headbands, hats, and hand-knit backpacks. The timeless collection, predominantly in off-white and navy (“the new black”) color schemes, evokes a feeling of warmth, and right away you feel enveloped by the love and passion of these women who hand-knitted each piece for up to 85 hours.
Daniela Franceschini is a designer based in Berlin. She was born in Spain with Italian and Swedish origins. Daniela studied Fashion at IED Madrid and her graduate collection was exhibited in PITI Woman, Florence. After interning with Spanish designer Elena Benarroch Daniela worked as a costume designer for advertising before being accepted to the Masters program Sustainability in Fashion at ESMOD Berlin. She specialized in Social Sustainability, specifically in fair trade, codes of conduct and human rights. Working in Nepal for a collaboration with an NGO, her dream to travel the world, working with marginalized communities, recuperating endangered crafts, and bestowing artisans the value they deserve, was cemented.
On the one hand it represents the recognition of my work and on the other hand the opportunity to work with a team that shares the same values and concepts, which is very important to me. At Abury, I have the opportunity to develop design strategies beyond an object or market. Strategies that leave a footprint in the life of a community, positively affecting many families. These beautiful experiences also left a footprint on me.
Each community has a different sociocultural context that must be investigated and understood first. The quality of the result depends on the will and pride of the craftsman, it is a team effort. In the latter case, working with women in Ecuador allowed me to create stronger ties than if I had not been there. You’re constantly reinforcing your common goal to gain their confidence, demonstrating your commitment towards them. The result is also the look of satisfaction on the craftsperson’s face. Her desire to accomplish more is awakened.
One part of the collection is inspired by the colors of nature surrounding the village. It is a more classic product with curved lines and textures, the other part is a simplification of the ethnic drawings. Each woman is a specialist in a type of technique and as they were revealing their knowledge the collection was taking shape. Knitting techniques have names given by women that resemble daily objects or scenes of their lifestyle, like the “ojo de llama” technique (llama eye).