Maria Caley is the head designer of Amakeya Design. She has also been teaching textile and fashion studies at the University of Namibia since 2008. Her work as a designer and artist explores and reflects Namibian cultural heritage. She studies the clothing material culture of different tribes from Namibia, then draws from their decorative elements and techniques to transform these traditional elements into something modern. One example of the blending of traditional into modern is the way she mixes modern beads with traditional ones made from iron, copper and brass in her garments. When she began college she intended to become a psychologist but took extra courses within the arts. She was so taken with the arts courses that she switched over and never looked back. Her goal is to build a locally and internationally recognized brand focused on sustainability, and provide a living wage for its workers.


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Maria Caley


header image: courtesy of the artist
photo credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo