Check-out the cool and colorful outfits from young British designer duo Abi Fashesin and Ashley-Rae Tapping. They founded their fashion label LOUD on facebook a couple of years ago. Pretty inspiring how far you can get nowadays with Social Networks! The two ladies mix traditional prints, that represent their cultural heritage, with contemporary designs. I totally love their vibrant and modern outfits
I came across the Paris-based label Zankara Creations on the blog Ciaafriqueand what can I say, it was love at first sight. Especially the accessories have gotten to me. Isn't the model in the first and third picture with the overload of necklaces just stunning? Black basics mixed in with African Prints always work in my opinion.
Q: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Sindiso Khumalo: Sindiso Khumalo is a women's wear brand with a strong focus on contemporary textile print design. The brand combines bold African graphics with a sophisticated minimalist construction. The concept behind Sindiso Khumalo is based on how the fashion textiles industry can create new possibilities and future collaborations between Africa and the global fashion environment.
Q: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Sindiso: Inspired and confident.
Q: What is your cultural heritage and how does it inspire you?
Sindiso: I am from South Africa and I grew up in KwaZulu-Natal. Zulu culture heavily influences my work, but so has South Africa in general. There are so many dichotomies and contradictions that exists in South Africa and it means one is constantly questioning and reinterpreting ones position.
Q: What is your vision for future collaborations between Africa and the global fashion industry?
Sindiso: Its about creating partners in the fashion industry, and really creating platforms for collaborative work with those partners. An example of this is Duro Olowu collaboration with JC Penney or Tanzanian designer Doreen Mashika teaming up with US brand Edun on a footwear range. I think these are exciting partnerships and will hopefully bring greater empowerment to our continent.
Q: Your favorite item in your closet?
Sindiso: I'm really into accessories, especially ones that have memory within them. My mother gave me a pair of pearl earrings on my wedding day, I wear them all the time and never tire of them. They take me back to a very special time.
Q: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Sindiso: 1. Understand that this is a business, it must be relevant and you must understand your audience. What they wear, where they shop, what magazines or blogs they read.
2. You need to have a manic level of attention to detail. Don't compromise on your finished product, never settle for mediocrity.
3. Sharing is caring. All the people I work with have been referred to me, from my factory to my digital printers. If you have a great pattern cutter,refer them to someone else, that will ensure they're still in business for years to come.
4. Be an athlete with your work, don't stop pushing your craft.