Selfridges has teamed up with Instagram sensation In Casa by Paboy to bring a new collection of maximimalist cushions to our sofas.
Launched during lockdown by 28-year-old Paboy Bojang, a Gambian asylum seeker living in Naples, In Casa by Paboy earned instant acclaim for it’s joyful cushion covers.
Bojang posted his first designs – made from vintage fabrics on a borrowed sewing machine – into Instagram abyss in July 2020. But his zesty colour combinations and frou-frou fringing, ruffles and piping proved a tonic for the drab days of lockdown and his account @in_casa_by_paboy now has 15k avid followers.
“We all need a bit of joy in our homes after such a tough two years,” says Bojang. “One of the best things one of my customers told me once on Instagram is that after the hardest day of her week she came back home, looked at the cushions and the colours made her feel much better.”
Selfridges was among one of the brand’s earliest fans and approached Bojang to design an exclusive collection for the department store back in January.
It’s taken time to scale up his one-man-band operation and Bojang has since employed fellow migrants to help grow his business.
“Selfridges got in touch right at the very beginning of In Casa by Paboy,” he says. “At the time we were still a very small team and weren’t in a position to do the collaboration. Luckily, as our team grew we could pick up the conversation again!”
The collection of 100% cotton cushions is inspired by the colourful architecture of Naples and nearby Pompeii, but also the frills Paboy remembers from women’s clothing in The Gambia.
The cushions are on sale from £95 as part of Selfridges’ Project Earth for Communities initiative, an edit of brands committed to supporting local manufacturing and fair working conditions.
“For this special Selfridges collection, Naples and its history has played a big role in the colours I have chosen. I’m obsessed with combining pinks and reds that mirror the Bourbon buildings here and can also be seen in the frescoes in nearby Pompeii,” he says. “This collection is all about being bold and adventurous with colour and bringing joy into our lives when it has been such a hard few years.”
Bojang arrived in Italy from The Gambia in 2015 after a gruelling two-year journey across the desert and Mediterranean Sea, and spent a further two years in a refugee camp on his arrival.
He went on to work at a majolica pottery workshop making tiles and vases, but lost his job when immigration services failed to renew his paperwork around the outbreak of Covid. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Bojang set out to found his own business drawings on the skills he learned working at his uncle’s tailoring shop in his hometown of Serrekunda.
“For me it’s insane that people can walk through Oxford street and spot one of my cushions,” he says. “It’s the first time that cushions are physically in a shop, I really hope that the collaboration will mean more people will get to know In Casa by Paboy and learn about what we do here, in our small studio in Naples.”