Ayana Accessories: African Tribal Heritage In Accessory Design

Student Status



Ayana Accessories is an African inspired accessory line with a contemporary twist. Ayana, an African name that means ‘beautiful blossom’, aims to create contemporary statement pieces influenced by different African tribes, including Dinka, Samburu, and Zulu Tribes. Revisiting Egypt’s African heritage ultimately improves the nation’s understanding and knowledge on to other African countries upon being enlightened – especially tribes that share the Nile with Egypt. The pieces are meant to be the highlight of the outfit, being worn with basic shirts and letting the accessories speak for itself. Each piece embraces a character and an identity of its own – starting with unique African name, all the way to a unique beading sequence that distinguishes each piece from another. They all also are distinguished with their own backstory each, obtaining a story of their own, being told and shared through the art of accessories. Amongst the most common design element attributed to most of the pieces, apart from the common design element attributed to most of the pieces, apart from the common usage of copper and beads, is the triangular form – an iconic symbol within the African tribes that correlates the piece to only the female gender. Similar to how pink is usually attributed to females, triangles within the Zulu tribes identify accessories for only females. The was ultimately taken and redesigned in a manner to suit the contemporary theme of Ayana and our modern day. What once was an idea a mere inspiration, ultimately formed Ayana and brought contemporary African accessories pieces to life.


Arts Department

First Advisor

Bahia Shehab

Second Advisor

Ghalia ElSrakbi

Third Advisor

Haytham Nawar

Committee Member 1

Ahmed Ellaithy

Committee Member 2

Ahmad Saqfalhait

Committee Member 3

Ayman Ismail



Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


This piece of art work is part of the "Interdisciplinarity and Design Third Graduating Class of Graphic Design Students The American University in Cairo – Spring 2018" catalog. Held at the AUC Sharjah Art Gallery on December 21st, 2018, the "ALT w Shidd" exhibition showcased bachelor projects by the third Graduating class of Graphic Design students. This year’s projects were divided into 5 panels according to their tackled themes. The panels included “Digital Design”, “Fashion Design”, “Publication Design”, “Advertising”, and “Retail and Branding”. A team of internal and external jury members were invited to each panel in order to provide ourstudents with critical feedback and evaluate the final outcome of their projects according to conducted research, applied methodologies, and undertaken creative design process. Jury members from within AUC included Ahmed Ellaithy (TTO -Technology Transfer Office) Ahmad Saqfalhait (GRDN), Ayman Ismail (Venture Lab), Brenda Segone (ARTV), Heba Safeyeldine (ARCH), Marwan Fayed (GRDN), May Hasebou (GRDN), Mahamad Khalil (GRDN), and Sherif Samy (GRDN). As for external jurors; they included Amira Aboulmagd (Al-Shorouk Publishing), Majd Elsherif (Matter Branding), Mohab Anis (Innovety), Nigel Fletcher-Jones (AUC Press), Sahar Zoghby (FP7), Samy Elias(Sahara Printing), Sawsan Mourad (El Beit Magazine), and Suzie Graiess (Association for the Protection of the Environment).


This record describes an artistic or creative work which was prepared as part of a course of study at the American University of Cairo. The creators retain all rights to the original artistic or creative works described herein.

Publication Date

Fall 12-21-2018

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