Amechi is a London-based design brand founded by Cameroonian-born product and furniture designer Amechi Mandi. Amechi is an Igbo name from south eastern Nigeria and means “who knows tomorrow” or “only God knows tomorrow”. Amechi Mandi is of Nigerian and Cameroonian heritage.
As is the case with most creatives, Amechi was creative before he even knew what it was. Around the early ages of four and five in his hometown of Douala in Cameroon he can vividly remember how he would draw his mum in the best clothes and stop and stare in amazement at his flamboyantly fashionable neighbour. It was some years later that a drawing Amechi showed his mother led her to declare that he could be a fashion designer himself, and so the dream of following in the footsteps of famous fashion designers began.
Fast forward a few decades, Mandi did not become a fashion designer, but would work in the industry for many years – stylist, buyer, founder of a fashion start-up, creative director at Voo Store Berlin, the list goes on. Eager to try something different, Mandi made the big decision to leave Berlin for London and go back to school for a degree in furniture and product design. After passing with flying colours, Mandi spotted a gap in the market and set about launching an interiors brand inspired by his heritage. A brand with a huge exploratory focus on traditional African textiles and cultures indigenous to the continent. Cultures and practices which did not come into existence as a result of colonialism, but which evolved and were self-determined by the local people over centuries.