Artist & designer Margaux Rusita is a true global citizen. Originally from Georgetown, capital of Guyana, she moved to London at 23 years old to split her time between courses at the London College of Fashion and a long-time role as an assistant to designer Catherine Walker, a favourite of Lady Diana Spencer. It was in London that she met her Burundian husband, whose country she now calls home after building a life & business there for the past 12 years.
Her experiences, spanning 38 years and 3 continents, lend a rich and cultured point of view to Margaux Wong, an artisanal luxury jewellery and accessories brand where Amazonian low-waste values meet precious East African materials diverted from a waste-bound path to create treasurable, distinctive artwear. Founded in 2000, the brand has travelled the world with Margaux, and is now permanently based in Burundi along with her husband, 5 children, and an all Burundian team handling everything from sculpting to packaging.
Maximising every resource was a way of life for Margaux growing up in Guyana. “I have been working with sustainable materials for almost 20 years. I’ve used found objects from every beach I’ve ever visited - shells, bamboo, sticks and glass.” The care and consideration of her homeland’s lifestyle is well illustrated in how she was taught to use a coconut: Drinking the refreshing coconut water right from its shell, eating the fruit’s crunchy flesh, using its husk to scrub pots and turning its shell into utensils and accessories. Nature was and is to be used with honour, care and respect.
These Amazonian values form the basis of her sustainable approach to all creative ventures. They also have natural parallels in Burundi, which like many African countries, has built beautiful cultural practices around respect for natural resources. “When I moved to Burundi, I made an effort to source underutilised local materials. After travelling around our region, I was inspired to do something different with cow horn and find artisans who could craft it.”
Art is the lens through which Margaux first set her eyes on fashion. Her work is designed to bring the transcendent personal experience of art to the daily routine of self ornamentation. “My mum often attached large sheets of plain paper to the walls of our wooden home so that I could enjoy painting and colouring – she is my hero. While in boarding school, I would escape into the art lab while my classmates slept at night. Art has been a means of escape, fantasy and therapy for me all my life.”
20 years into an inspiring career in art and design, Margaux is looking to take her brand’s luxury wearable art even further. She is expanding its future to include a wider range of precious metals, precious stones, and contemporary designs over the next few years, pushing the boundaries of what our creative industries consider possible in ethical and sustainable sourcing.
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