What is Kali Works?
Kali Works (also: Kali.Works, Atelier Kali) is Canada's premier pan-African boutique brand. Our two founders, Alex and Lindy, are immigrants of African origin who wanted to add a traditionally and modernly authentic sense of fashion that is unmistakably African made or influenced. Started in Vancouver and now in Montreal, we create and fully embrace a distinct sense of pan-African pride.
Kali means spicy, hot, nice, dope, in Kiswahili—one of the world's most widely spoken languages. Works (or Atelier) represents our method of working with artists and producers from all over Africa and the diaspora to bring you a culturally and artistically prideful product.
What Makes Kali Works Different?
We are an exclusively collaborative operation, especially given our small scale. We work with artists and makers from all over Africa (and in the diaspora) for our collections. We have had products designed and made in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, DR Congo, Cote D'Ivoire, Botswana, South Africa, and many more in our short history.
Because we're a culture-forward brand, we emphasize this in how we make our products. We strive—as much as possible—to have our products sourced in the country of cultural origin. For example, our bogolan/mud cloth collections are hand made in Senegal.
Can I Wear Your Products? They're Gorgeous, But I Don't Want to Appropriate Your Culture.
Our products are for everybody. At the end of the day, we consider that you will be supporting an authentic black BIPOC business who is also working to support other small businesses and independent artists in our supplier's network. If you have specific concerns or you'd like to be extra sure (e.g. if you're gifting someone), please reach out to us—we got you!
Where Can I Find Kali Works?
Due to the small quantities we have available, our boutique is exclusively online for now. We have a select number of items at UBC's Museum of Anthropology gift store in Vancouver, BC.