Meet Abury - Artisanal Luxury
Hailing from Berlin, social entrepreneur Andrea Bury is the force behind Abury. It was her desire to preserve the heritage of the traditional Moroccan Berber bag that led to the creation of this innovative company. With a tagline of “Making It Fashionable to Care,” Abury is one of the ultimate “look good, feel good, do good” fashion companies in the world.
First off, what's your name?
Where are you from?
What's your biggest source of inspiration?
The culture and traditions of the products' conceptual origins, combined with the modern design sensitivities of an international designer. As all our products are a synergy of traditional craftsmanship and modern design, the beauty of them is found in the combination of the inspirations that are drawn from both worlds. One of our signature pieces, the Gold Berber Bag, was inspired by modern metallic color trends and functionality, while its embroidery draws from the beauty of ancient Berber culture, crafts, and architecture!
Do you think true innovation in fashion is still possible?
Yes, absolutely! Just look at the social and environmental challenges in fashion in response to the backlash the industry as a whole has faced, being one of the greatest contributors to CO2 emissions. The potential for innovation is huge, but it's necessary that fashion be brought into the context of sustainability in order to break new ground.
Do you prioritize aesthetics or functionality?
At Abury, we believe that true innovation lies in the combination of both, along with a third aspect, meaning. Our products have to be unique, which we ensure aesthetically by creating everything by hand via traditional craft techniques. They also have to be modern and therefore functional. Finally, they must achieve something that goes beyond look and feel - they need to tell a story, and change the lives of everyone they come into contact with for the better, by leaving an impactful social and environmental legacy.
Do you think collaborations between companies and designers are cash plays or real attempts at innovation?
Honestly, it's probably a mix of both. Designers can bring new viewpoints to stale companies from time to time in order to innovate and evolve. However, having said that, obviously some collaborations are done entirely for PR and cash, which while disingenuous, at least helps the designers push themselves forward into the public eye.
What first made you passionate about fashion?
I - and in fact my entire team - do not have a background in fashion. What drives us is the belief that with fashion we can make a difference. That’s exactly what makes us passionate about it. The realization that fashion and design have the power to change the world. The crafts market is the second largest labour market in the developing world, so the potential to create worthy jobs for people who are struggling to provide for themselves and their families is enormous.
Do you work better alone or on a team?
I’m definitely a team player. In fact, team work is absolutely essential to constantly move forward, and is part of the essence of what we believe in at Abury. Everybody has a unique set of skills, but no one person has all of them. Joining forces is the only way to really make an impact, or as we like to put it in our M.O.: "together, we make it fashionable to care".
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
I would do a trip around the world! There are so many places with amazing cultural heritages that I would love to visit, yet can't prioritize. I would love to travel through rural areas to visit artisans and learn about their skills and traditions.
Do you have any rituals when starting a new design?
First, we select an artisanal community that we want to work with. Then, we choose a designer via the Abury Design Experience - our international design competition. The process of designing the collection afterward is a collaboration between the designer, the artisans and us. Therefore, it's imperative to understand how all sides function. We all try to learn from one another as much as possible by sharing our skills and opinions.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of fashion?
Running and swimming - I need to move regularly to clear my head and really feel in sync with my body.
What is your favorite food?
I come from the south of Germany, so I love bread! All different sorts, too - from pretzels to dark bread.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation, so that I could avoid taking the plane and instantly visit various craft communities around the world! Communication is everything, and although digital technology has made it easier to connect globally, it doesn't offer the same value as a genuine face-to-face conversation.
Check out Abury's new collections here.