Rebecca Adubanjo introduces us to a collection of six long dresses introducing African Ankara printed fabrics, building up colour and pattern. The cotton dresses have detailing on necks and sleeves, tucks and ruffles that make a statement for spring summer 2012. Inspiration comes from the Yinka Shonibare exhibition Little Rich Girls and Hussein Chalayan’s A/W 2002 collection. It is a womenswear collection that describes and celebrates the fashion identity of the Yoruba tribe.
Tell us how you got started and how long you have wanted to be a designer, career wise and personally growing up?
Initially, I never had the intention of being a designer but I have always had interest in art like drawing and painting. I decided to study art and design in college due to the interest I had in art, and took it further into designing in university because I got fully interested and wanted to make my own designs with my name.
Why become a designer, not a stylist or fashion journalist, is it the individual creative freedom?
I would rather become a designer because I love making and creating my own designs
How important is it for you to interpret your African heritage and showcase a slight western influence?
It is important to interpret my African heritage because it represents me and my culture both African and western due to my study in the western world.
My initial idea of a collection is sometimes from inspirations of pictures and also inspirations of m y family and background as this was my initial inspiration towards my graduate collection.
Seeing your graduate collection come down the GFW runway, will this be especially hard to let go creatively or are you ready to move onto new projects?
From my graduate collection at GFW, I would still carry on but will also move onto new projects so as to have a collection in different areas.
If you had to describe your ideal client what would they be. Lively energetic, colourful, young etc?
I would probably describe my clients as anyone who is interested in unique and outstanding designs whether young or old.
Have you ever had a frustrating moment where you can’t make an idea in your head, realised in reality through fabric?
Oh yes definitely, starting a project is always a frustrating moment for me because I never can make an idea instantly because I have too many ideas in my head, so thinking deeply and brainstorming is what I do when frustrated.
How involved do you get on fashion shoots, you handpick stylists and jewellery?
I don’t get involved in fashion shoots just yet
What’s the best advice you have been given about working in fashion as a designer?
Working in fashion as a designer will make me well-recognised in the fashion world as well as also having a unique, outstanding and eye-catching collection will make me well-known in the fashion industry.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
In five years time, I see myself being a top and prominent designer working both in the UK and Africa, in additions, having my own apprenticeship workshop in Africa Nigeria.
Interview by Von Von Lamunu