Out of Africa

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Ann Trzebinski takes her inspiration from the African earth that she was raised upon.  Her connection to the land and people of Kenya inspire her extraordinary designs and soothe her deeply rooted spirit.   Handmade, original, high end sophisticated "art" made from the finest raw materials and much attention to detail are parts of the Anna Trzebinski lifestyle brand.  It all began 20 years ago with 200 pashminas.




      The Yoruba tribe of Nigeria hand beads the exquisite chairs, each unique and sold in pairs.

I was thrilled to discover this wonder treasure trove in Aspen recently and then came to find out Anna is featured in Departures Magazine this month.  Aspen is a perfect location to set up shop.  The well traveled or sophisticated consumers, many international, traveling thru this small town want something unique!  Everything has become so global, so homogenized, it was thrilling to see such unique, authentic pieces that you just can't find anywhere else (except maybe Nairobi)

It's funny,  I saw Ralph Lauren in some of Anna's pieces.  When researching this post, I read an article that said, at her camp, Lemarti's Camp, on the banks of the Ewaso river, over lunch with Ralph Lauren, he actually said to Anna, "You are the authentic me of Africa."  Ralph's words rang in her ears.  With that she opened her first store in Aspen.  Madison Ave is next (perhaps by the Ralph Lauren store?)




Her eclectic, beautifully curated store full of tribal art steeped in African tradition and history rests comfortably with the most magnificent leather, supple suede and python jackets, throws, pashminas adorned with feathers, horn and bone accessories, beaded accessories, exquisite shoes, luscious bags, and handmade furniture.




Animal skulls, indigenous to those drying naturally in the hot African sun are cast in silver or bronze








 I was fascinated by the cocktail tables!  They are created with a shadow box like center and can be filled with any number of interesting items.  While I was in the store I saw ostrich eggs, moths, and butterflies.  They will consider custom work.  The ancient wood that encompasses them comes from shipwrecked arabic sailing boats called dhows are marked, gnarled, and have a perfect patina!

 


Anna mostly employs single mothers, having been one herself  (after her first husband died) and understanding the hardship.  It takes years to train employees at this high level of a luxury brand that carries with it integrity and soul; like it is hand stitched into the fabric of each piece.






It's a family affair ~ Anna's daughter Lana inlays stones and sea glass in the jewelry, and her son Stas, a sculptor,  created pieces exploring how we, as a race, need to think about the connectedness we face to the world around us.





















Everything Anna does is imbued with respect for and a love of tribal customs and traditions.  She married a Samburu tribesman (her second husband), Loyaban Lemarti.
Anna said, "I honestly believe what we have here are not just things, but something with a true heart." The love that goes into these pieces certainly shows.









* ph: Peter Beard




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