Five | Six Textiles is a home decor brand that honors the heritage of traditional woven textiles from Côte d’Ivoire. We produce home goods in collaboration with the artisan collective of Waraniéné. Founded in Brooklyn in 2015 by Emma Wingfield and Laine Henry, Five | Six Textiles embraces time-honored weaving techniques, blending them with a modern aesthetic, and translating them into products that reflect your well-traveled home. It’s art with a function.
Five | Six Textiles evolved out of a conversation with the artisans of Waraniéné in the summer of 2014. Emma, a African Art Historian, was on a trip researching artist workshops when she met Vali, the head of the collective. Vali expressed an interest in collaborating with someone who could increase exposure to consumers outside their community and consult on silhouette design. More business beyond the borders of their community means a more sustainable daily life and ensures the longevity of this practice. Emma went back to New York and told Laine, a designer, about the conversation and Five | Six started to develop. Emma and Laine formed a partnership with Waraniéné that celebrates their philosophy and approach to weaving with a desire to create a productive community that works, collectively, to keep the rich history of their shared craftsmanship alive.
Our mission is to produce ethically made textiles that blend a modern aesthetic with traditional weaving motifs, to foster a world of responsible consumers, and to preserve an ancient art that is quickly dying out.
Five | Six Textiles is building a sustainable business that creates a dialogue with the local artisans and the global community. As an artisan-to-consumer business, we spend time developing our model with Waraniéné rather than for Waraniéné. We considered what Waraniéné wants out of this partnership beyond consistent wages. Our business model invests a percentage of each purchase to be designated into a fund to help with their local educational, health, and business development programs. Better access to education and healthcare can transform lives and means that less time is spent worrying about the future.
The name Five | Six Textiles is a play on The Coast of the Five and Six Stripes, a name for Côte d'Ivoire occasionally found in old travel books. Five and six stripes refers to the cotton cloth traditionally produced and worn in this area.
Emma is a researcher and writer based in Brooklyn. For the past three years she has worked with museums and galleries in New York City that specialize in African Art. Emma’s background includes more than eight years of research on West African art from the pre-colonial to the contemporary. She studied African Art and Archaeology at University College London and is interested in the economic development of the art market and it’s effects on local and global communities. Emma met the artisans of Waraniéné during a research trip to Côte d’Ivoire in 2014 and is dedicated to working with them to promote their beautiful textiles. She believes that art is functional and should be enjoyed by all.
Laine has a deeply rooted passion for design; from her BFA from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia to her 10+ year career as a fashion designer in NYC. She's designed the lines for several internationally known brands and pursued her own creative exploration in graphic design, typography, and user experience design in her spare time. Her creative motivation has always been to perfect the delicate balance between art and commerce.
Four kilometers down a red dirt road from Korhogo, Côte d’Ivoire lies the village of Waraniéné. Traditionally weavers, the community has perfected their craft for centuries and their textiles are captivating works of art. The village incorporated in the 1970’s and began weaving predominantly for commercial purposes, selling directly to tourists and local consumers. Today, each geometric pattern and use of color still has a specific meaning, but the weavers are free to create, develop, and modify as their artistic eye sees fit. This means that their motifs are modern interpretations of traditional patterns, re-imagined for the contemporary aesthetic, and continuously evolving. These communities function as a social, artistic, and economic space with traditions being passed down from generation to generation. By focusing on where these art forms originated we can preserve these traditions so they can endure, continue to evolve, and become a reliable source of income to anyone who wants to make this their livelihood. To read more about Waraniéné, click here.
The collective has over 300 active members who contribute in various ways to the production of their textiles. The development of this community is overseen by Vali Coulibaly and 10 other elected officials who lead the collective.
Head of Waraniéné
Secretary for the women of Waraniéné