Behind the Label | Aman Lamu

Sandy Bornman lives on one of the most enchanted islands in the world-Lamu. This African paradise is the inspiration for her collection, Aman Lamu. This chic and easy collection features African khanga fabric and is completely made by hand. Read about what inspires Sandy and about her favorite spots on Lamu.

Sandy Bornman lives on one of the most enchanted islands in the world-Lamu. This African paradise is the inspiration for her collection, Aman Lamu. This chic and easy collection features African khanga fabric and is completely made by hand. Read  about what inspires Sandy and about her favorite spots on Lamu.

 

 

 

What was your inspiration for Aman Lamu? 

When I arrived on the island almost 14 years ago I realized what was missing was a small boutique most sublime with simple but classic garments made of pure cotton and fine light silks for the island?s endless summer weather.

 

 

What is unique about your process of production? How do you come up with the designs for your caftans?

Aman has a production team of only three and any beadwork is given to the Maasai women. The tailors, Joseph and Chadrick are wizards with their manual sewing machines as we have to endure power cuts on the island. Depending on the textiles I find we often sew one off garments and keep the production of most designs small especially with the rare African khanga fabric. The idea for a caftan design arrive in a subconscious way, usually inspired by the fabric. It?s instinctive to keep the caftan chic and effortless so one can wear it with ease.

 

 

How has Lamu impacted your design work?

Lamu has influenced Aman?s design work with it?s elements from the centuries old Arabic architecture with it?s simple clean lines, carved doors and henna designs for hand printed patterns. The island has absorbed centuries old trading routes from Persia, Oman, Yemeni and India. Inspirations also come from growing up in Africa. It?s amazing how one can draw so much inspiration from nature. The intricate patterns on shells and the spectacular colour combinations of birds and sea creatures.

 

 

Where are your favorite destinations to travel to for inspiration?

I travel to India for it?s colour, chaos and textiles and the rest of Africa for printed cotton fabric and noisy colourful markets.

 

 

Since you live in Lamu, can you share some of your favorite places with us?

  1. A day trip on a sailing dhow with snorkeling and charcoaled grilled freshly caught fish. 
  2. Spectacular sun set dhow trips in the Lamu channel.
  3. Peponi Hotel where sundowners are an institution and run by the Korschen family since 1967.
  4. Frank?s Beach Bar for a delicious seafood barbecued lunch under shady trees on the beach.
  5. Baitil Aman ? a locally owned 18th Century residence where your traditional Swahili dinner is served under the stars by lantern light.

Who is your Muse? Describe the Aman Lamu Girl?  

My daughters inspire me to no end with their own creativity and lightness of wit. The Aman Lamu girl is subtle, barefoot, classy, fabulous and tastes of sunlight. The only dress code on the island is to be effortless and individual.

 

 

What three things from L-atitude are you coveting most for summer?

Honorine Jewels ? Lilli Rings, Laura Siegel?s Tesuji lshibori Infinity Wrap and Simone Camille?s Mecca Bag 

 

 

GLOBETROTTER STATS

? Souk or Department Store? Souk ? for atmosphere and finding treasures.

? DIY or Concierge Service? DIY where I can.

? Buy Everything or Buy Nothing? Buy something.

? Camping or 5-Star Hotel? Camping 5 Star.

? Drive or be Driven? Coming from an island where there are no vehicles driving in a city is a challenge so a driver for the city otherwise self drive.

? Room service or Street Food? Street food.

? Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag? Aiming for a carry on bag but usually end up with lots of luggage.

 

To shop the Aman Lamu collection, please click here