Acknowledge Africa's history, reflect a global present,
and anticipate the uncharted future.
Heritage1960 is an online retail destination offering a curated view of global African fashion, lifestyle, and design. Named after the year 17 African countries won their independence, Heritage1960 celebrates freedom, individuality and unique style inspired by the continent.
Heritage 1960 hopes to dispel pre-conceived notions about African fashion, design and creativity. “Africa offers so much more than kente cloth and wax prints,” says the site’s Founder and Creative Director Enyinne Owunwanne. “It’s time we move beyond the cliché’s and begin to acknowledge that fashion coming from the continent is as rich, varied and sophisticated as anything you’d find in the US, Europe or Asia.”
In 2008, Owunwanne, a former Hedge Fund Operations Analyst, decided to leave the world of Wall Street behind and pursue a path of entrepreneurship. “By day I worked at a Hedge Fund, but by night I worked on establishing a vintage retail shop in Harlem with a friend. It started off as a hobby, but blossomed into a lucrative business. I decided to pursue a Masters Degree in Global Fashion Management at FIT so I could better understand the business side of the apparel industry.” Upon graduating, she worked as a US Business Development Manager at London-based trend forecasting company Worth Global Style Network (WGSN). “It was a great experience because I was able to further learn the ins and outs of a number of different businesses, from apparel to retail to wholesaling and sourcing.”
During a month-long sojourn in Asia, Owunwanne had an epiphany. “I was at the African Museum of Art in Seoul, Korea and struck up a conversation with the museum director, a lovely Korean gentleman with a profound interest in the continent. We ended up chatting for hours and it became evident just how far reaching and impactful African culture is. Throughout my travels over the years I’ve consistently seen evidence of this around the globe.”
Inspired by her conversation in Korea and her past experiences in retail, Owunwanne decided to create Heritage1960. Her dream is to provide a platform where consumers could learn about African culture—both past and present—and purchase items that reflect a global sensibility with an African soul.
"Many people are unaware of the rich and diverse offerings that ultimately stem from the continent. So through Heritage1960, we're presenting Africa in a unique and unforeseen light."
Each week, Heritage1960 will introduce a new designer to the site. “We really want our consumers to understand the story behind each brand so that they’ll feel an intimate connection to both the products and the wildly creative people behind them.” In addition to shopping, consumers can also browse Heritage1960’s blogs. H1960 Edit is a vibrant blend of music playlists, travel recommendations, must read books and editorials, including contributions from leading tastemakers around the world. While H1960 Muse is a visual representation of the people, places, and things that inspire Heritage1960’s team.
“The great thing is that you don’t need a passport to go on this journey,” says Owunwanne. “With Heritage 1960, Africa is only a click away!”