ZAAF was founded in 2014 with the goal of creating economic empowerment to African artisans and a new perspective and standard of global luxury. Our vision is to create unique products people love and want to buy as this is the most sustainable of approaching economic development. Building on our prize – winning and internationally recognized work established in Ethiopia, ZAAF is developing long-term growth opportunities across Africa, partnering with skilled artisans to develop high-end designer products that celebrates the boundless depths of our continent’s ancient cultures, designs, and natural wonders that have laid the foundation for the next wave of incomparable creativity, luxury, and style. Abai Schulze is the Founder and Creative Director of ZAAF. Her life journey has taken her from an orphanage in Addis Ababa to the United States and the rest of the world. Abai is committed to using her academic background in economics and fine arts from her alma mater George Washington University to create unique and practical expressions of beauty.
ZAAF’s creativity has been recognized in various ways ranging from appearing on runways at New York Fashion Week, to being featured in Elle, Lucky and Vogue, to receiving the UNESCO Tremplin Prize for Entrepreneurship. In 2018, ZAAF was nominated for Socially Responsible handbag design at the Independent Handbag Designer Awards in New York. ZAAF products are now being carried in boutiques in France, Nairobi, and Ethiopia and the USA. ZAAF opened a first of its kind experiential design-and-shop boutique in National Harbor, Maryland and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.