Haute Baso: Collaborating with Rwandan artisans

Haute Baso, a boutique brand founded by Candy Basomingera and Linda Mukangoga, is committed to collaboration with Rwandan artisans.

From the Series

“Haute Baso started in the back of Candy’s car,” says Linda Mukangoga “We had pieces that we would post on social media – Facebook and Instagram – and people would call.”

Co-founded by Candy Basomingera and Linda Mukangoga, Haute Baso is a boutique brand that designs and produces African inspired apparel and accessories. Trusting that their passion for fashion can serve as a vehicle for social change, they provide training and employment to women and young people at a fair wage.

“We work with artisans and we try to mix traditional and contemporary. We really try to be different but offer something of good quality,” says Linda. Haute Baso collaborates with artisans such as a rural-based women's beading cooperative and artisans who specialise in Imigongo, a traditional form of Rwandan painting where beautiful geometric and spiral patterns are painted in black and white with paint made from dried cow dung.

“We’re trying to find ways to merge these cultural skill sets with more functional goods,” says Candy.

Haute Baso showcases today’s Rwanda and translates a passion for art and design into a vehicle for social change. “I think the Rwandan aesthetic is an aesthetic that is kind of timeless but looks contemporary. It’s a lot of geometric shapes, black and white that make it both very universal and traditional,” says Linda.

“You always have to be innovating,” says Candy. “You post something on Instagram and in the next three days someone is posting the exact same thing except maybe they changed one part,” says Candy.