Our story began in 2008, in the airport lounge of Sao Paulo, Brazil, while waiting for my return flight to Cameroon. I sat down next to 2 elderly ladies who struck a friendly conversation with me:
Lady 1: Excuse me, hi! May I ask you a question?
Me: Sure, go ahead.
Lady 1: Are you from Africa?
Me: Yes, I am.
Lady 1: Wow, how nice! I love Africa!
Lady 2: What is the capital of Africa?"
Me: Oh, Africa is a continent with 54 independent countries, each with its own
Lady: No, I mean “Africa, Africa”. What is your main capital?
I admit, I was dismayed, but I took it as a chance to tell people about my beloved Africa so I gladly explained to them Africa’s geography, 54 countries and all, and the 2 ladies did seem grateful for the new knowledge they gained.
Then again in 2015, at one of the fellowship events for a 10-week Entrepreneurship for Good with The Do School, I was asked the same question: “What is the capital of Africa?”
This saddened me - how the rest of the world knew so little about Africa, and that chances are, the little they did know are based on misconceptions and inaccurate perceptions. I knew then that this is something I needed to change. It dawned on me - how I could make use of my passion for entrepreneurship and fashion to share knowledge about Africa, and more importantly, break stereotypes and change perceptions about it.
So I did. I collaborated with local artisans and brilliant craft smiths and worked on bringing their wonderful creations into the international market, at the same time, bringing pride and sharing more of Africa to everyone.
In 2016, I met Pamela. A digital nomad and lover of Africa. She too shared the same sense of frustration that I had, along with the same desire of showcasing Africa’s majestic beauty to the rest of the world, through fashion. We both wanted to correct the many misconceptions about the land we love. We are a people with creative spirits and brilliant minds who can masterfully create beautiful things. Through our distinct and exotic handcrafted jewelry, we dreamed of showing Africa to the world, little by little, piece by piece.
And so 54Queens began.
~ Belinda, co-founder
54 Queens Fashion
54 is for the number of countries in the breathtakingly beautiful continent that is, Africa. From the crystalline rock formations in Mozambique to the volcanic rifts in Kenya, from the sparkling waterfalls in Zimbabwe to the snow capped mountains in Kilimanjaro, Africa is naturally grandiose and majestic.
54 countries, diverse in ethnicity and bonded by culture. Each one deserving of credit and honor. 54 countries with a wealth of brilliantly creative artisans who turn African imprints and indigenous materials such as ankara, woodin, bogolan, quinte and pagne tisse into masterfully crafted shoes, bags and jewelry.
Queens represent the women.
Women of influence and power. The leaders, the rebels, the agents of change. The independent women who take pride in their heritage; confident and comfortable in their own skin. Women who are brave. Those who are soldiers of love, bearers of light, healers of humanity.
Who we are
54Queens is an accessory and clothing brand that aims to redefine the world’s perception about Africa by celebrating women around the world with beautifully distinct pieces and materials locally handcrafted by African artisans.
We believe that women are QUEENS. Women who express themselves freely. Those who walk with their heads up high, proudly standing for who they are and what they believe in.
Women who show the world who they really are, with the garb and jewelry they choose to wear, that exudes their unique, regal charm.
What we do
54Queens break from stereotypes. We work with skilled local artisans and collaborate to bring masterfully handcrafted accessories and clothes outside of Africa.
Our materials are meticulously sourced and selected; our products made from fine-quality leather, suede and indigenous African fabric, such as wax, bogolan, bazin, ankara, quinte and pagna tisse (wool) to bring about that distinct blend of African fashion and style.
Our designs are a mix of different fabrics and materials, cutting across geographical borders and embracing multi-cultures. We are here to show that there is beauty and harmony within diversity. We are here to help empower women through style and inspire them through fashion.
54Queens is here to bring out the QUEEN in each one of us.