Designers We Love: Bonolo Helen Chepape

WORDS Ashraf Booley

With her collection of bold scatter cushions, designer Bonolo Helen Chepape of LulasClan celebrates women in a rather unusual way.

Founded by 25-year-old graphic designer Bonolo Helen Chepape, LulasClan is an interior design and decor studio that combines African aesthetic with the best of the West. “Lula” is the direct translation of Bonolo’s name in Zulu, and “Clan” references her love of her Pedi culture. LulasClan’s launch collection of scatter cushions is aptly titled Meet the Other Side of Africa.

“Our first collection is a depiction of a new kind of Africa that celebrates the different personalities of women,” says Bonolo. “It is bright, bold and eye-catching.” The graphic illustrations of women – based on both fictional and real-life characters – are digitally printed on cotton fabric featuring various motifs. Some of the women depicted are friends, “like Thando, a friend who is soft, so the scatter cushion reflects this in the use of soft pastel hues”.

Bonolo new collection, a line of furniture that also draws inspiration from graphic illustrations. “There’s something about translating 2D art into 3D functional objects of beauty that I absolutely love,” she says.

LulasClan recently launched the AfricanWest collection, which you can shop here. The pillows cost R450 each and are available from the LulasClan website.