The brand combines ethnic materials and ideas with ‘Made in Italy’ production.

What do the Italian Alice Poli and the Congolese Stephanie Manoka have in common?

University studies in STEM (one graduated in biotechnology, the other in pharmacy), a passion for art and, obviously, one for accessories.

This is how Samboue was born: ballet flats, espadrilles, bags and home design objects that intertwine the Italian and African cultures in a rock-chic fusion that revolves around ‘Made in Italy’ production.

Indeed the shoes are made by an artisan from Biella who elevates the precious kuba fabrics, made from raffia, a raw material obtained from the leaves of the palma vinifera. Warped by men, but embroidered exclusively by women, these fabrics are coloured with vegetable and mineral dyes, following an ancient local tradition.

Respecting age-old working methods is essential if one wants to create the unmistakable geometric patterns and the exclusive colours that make the kuba fabrics unique. The two designers reinterpret and update these features in their accessories.  

Samboue stood out from day one for its social commitment: contributing keeping the art of weaving alive, on one hand, and improving the quality of life of the Kuba people, on the other. One example of this is their support of Dynafet Onlus, a not-for-profit organisation working to improve female literacy in the Kasai territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.