Air Afrique, a new magazine born from a partnership between Bottega Veneta and a young Parisian collective, sets out to create a fresh platform for Afro-diasporic art and conversation. Drawing inspiration from the pan-African magazines of the 20th century, Air Afrique aims to transmit African cultural heritage while fostering cross-border creativity and discussion.
Honoring a Cultural Patron: The Air Afrique Legacy
The name “Air Afrique” pays homage to the pan-African airline that operated between 1961 and 2002. The airline facilitated cross-border transportation and became a significant patron of arts and culture. Air Afrique magazine aligns with the airline’s cultural vision and draws from its in-flight magazine, Balafon, known for celebrating the cultural and historical diversity of the African continent.
A Cultural Tapestry: Uniting Archival and Contemporary Expression
Air Afrique magazine, published in French and English, weaves archival material from the airline’s cultural patronage and contemporary cultural expressions from French, French-Caribbean, and African artists and writers. The magazine aims to transmit a sharp, precise aesthetic that reflects the African cultural heritage by combining the richness of historical contributions with the vibrancy of present-day creativity.
Reviving African Transcendence: The Mission of Air Afrique
Lamine Diaoune, Founder and Creative Director of Air Afrique, expresses the collective’s mission to revive the African transcendence that Air Afrique represented. They aim to preserve the airline’s cultural heritage, reignite conversations around Air Afrique, and build on its example of cultural engagement. Djiby Kebe, a collective member, emphasizes the aspiration to share the Air Afrique archive and capture the current moment of change in Black awareness and expression.
Bottega Veneta’s Support and Limited-Edition Collaboration
In its partnership with Air Afrique, Bottega Veneta lends its brand name, platforms, and support to the magazine’s launch, aiming to build and connect engaged communities of readers. Additionally, Bottega Veneta collaborates with Franco-Sudanese designer Abdel El Tayeb to create a limited-edition series of blankets exclusively for Air Afrique. El Tayeb’s unique compositions, featuring the finest wool, silver leather, and shearling from the Bottega Veneta archive, pay homage to Afro-futuristic designs inspired by his Sudanese heritage.
Bottega Veneta for Abdel El Tayeb
Bottega Veneta’s Commitment to Cultural Engagement
The collaboration with Air Afrique is part of Bottega Veneta’s distinctive approach to print media partnerships, focused on supporting new and revived cultural magazines. The brand recognizes the craft, creativity, and power of smaller-scale publications that give voice to specific communities. This initiative aligns with Bottega Veneta’s long-standing history of cultural engagement, which dates back to its association with Andy Warhol and the iconic “When Your Own Initials Are Enough” campaign in Warhol’s Interview magazine.
Conclusion: A Platform for Afro-Diasporic Creativity and Conversation
The partnership between Bottega Veneta and Air Afrique marks a significant moment in celebrating and amplifying Afro-diasporic creativity and cultural engagement. With its blend of archival material and contemporary expressions, Air Afrique magazine aims to transmit African cultural heritage and foster cross-border dialogue. Together, Bottega Veneta and Air Afrique create a platform that honors the past, embraces the present, and sparks conversations that transcend borders. bottegaveneta.com