ANANSE® creates pieces inspired by African culture. We combine contemporary styles with symbols and designs originating from west Africa that have been passed down from “ye nananom,” which means "our ancestors" in the Akan dialect of twi. Our style is an inheritance that speaks to the African roots of our customers worldwide.
Story is a common thread of humanity and we believe that African people worldwide should tell and control their own narratives, and clothing is our way of contributing. We use the African art form of story telling through textiles as a means of sharing the visual language of the African identity.
The ANANSE® clothing company was started in 2015 by Sepo Achampong who was inspired by the story of the spider, called ananse in the akan dialect of twi, and its unique role in textile making in his home country of Ghana. It was during his journey to learn more that he had asked his mother about how textile making in Ghana began. In answer to this question his mother told him the story of the two young men of Nana Kuragu and Nana Ameyaw, who were in the forest hunting one day when they came across the ananse weaving its web in the bushes.
After observing and learning the ways of the ananse, the men returned to their village inspired, where they introduced weaving and went on to develop the textile kente which was initially worn exclusively by royals until it was later adopted by locals. Even more, ananse the spider has long been recognized as the Pan-African symbol of storytelling and it is used to tell stories in a host of regions around the world where Akan people touched soil during the maafa.
Ananse is a symbol of wisdom and identity. Our African ancestors kept the long held tradition of telling ananse stories through the centuries of their oppression. It was their way of preserving their authenticity, and of passing down a part of themselves to future generations. Those who taught their children ananse stories maintained an integral part of their African heritage. Storytelling was a way of reminding future generations of who they were and where they came from.