Ashley Wangui Gatimu
My full name is Ashley Wangui Gatimu. Wangui is the name of one of the nine Kikuyu (Kee-Koo-you) clans; it’s also my grandmother’s name. My last name means “sharpshooter” in Kikuyu. I wanted my art to not only be Black centered but centered around our heritage.
So my last name became my alias and brand name; my middle name shows up periodically as part of some of my pieces. In my culture, names are important; we pass them down. All of your children are named after you and your partner’s family. That’s when I thought about how we all grew up watching European fashion designers name their luxury brands after their European names. So why shouldn’t I have a fashion house named after mine? Named after one of the nine daughters of Mumbi and the original nine clans a sharpshooter.