Like so many others, London-born, Brooklyn-based Jade Aktonlia discovered the solace of the outdoors during the chaos of 2020. It didn't take long for her to notice a lack of products geared towards people of color, though. Neither did it take her much time to create what she wanted to see: a brand built on a foundation of inclusivity that's inspired by global heritage, contemporary design, and authenticity—she named it ITA Leisure.
Working with a small team, Aktonlia launched ITA’s inaugural Beach & Park collection in June 2021. The line features an assortment of eye-catching outdoor products, including totes, towels, blankets, a lounge chair and table, with prices ranging from $60 to $175.
Through its Radical Acts of Leisure campaign, which features images of people of color participating in casual outdoor activities with the stylish collection, the brand is combating the industry-wide preception that enjoying time outside is only a white experience.
While the entire lineup is fun and colorful, it’s the Leisure Chair and Leisure Table that take center stage. Made with powder-coated aluminum frames and handwoven PVC cord, both pieces are produced in collaboration with Mexico City’s VETA studio. In three nature-inspired colorways, they’re bold and timeless (reminscinet of the recent REI x West Elm collection), and make perfect spots to park your rear end with style.
On the softgoods side, both the Beach Towel and Outdoor Blanket are nods towards traditional Ghanaian kente cloths, while the striped nylon Market Bag is inspired by totes seen in bazaars around the world (and isn't far off from the ubiquitous checkered laundry tote).
As a Black-owned outdoors brand, ITA works with BIPOC creatives and designers on all its products. But ITA isn’t quite finished with beach and park goods yet either—the team plans to add more essentials to the collection by 2022, including goods for camping, hiking, and gardening in the future.
Here's hoping a paddle ball set or a beach ball count as essentials.