I was born in London, raised in the English countryside and of African descent. I was blessed to be able to visit different countries and cultures and attend great schools from a British boarding school to IED Moda Lab University in Milan where I obtained a master’s degree. Thanks to my background of travel, I have a lot of memorable adventures and I believe these great experiences led to my love for art in different forms from fashion to the theatre to creative writing.
What was the first article of clothing you’ve ever designed?
I believe my first ‘proper’ design for Eyola was the Anima red jacket. By ‘proper’ I mean the first garment that was in line with all my creativity and inspirations in place. Before these designs, one could always find me sketching alongside any past time whether it was watching TV or even having supper.
Who are some of your favourite fashion icons?
I recently watched a biography film about the life of Grace Kelly and I instantly fell in love with her graceful presence. Fashion icons to me go beyond the clothes and her grace, posture, love for skirt suits (a love we both share) and individualism really stand out a mile. I also find Wife of Napoleon III and empress of France (Empress Eugenie during the nineteenth century) very fascinating. I loved the rich intricate colours she explored with for her gowns, how she sought after one-of-a -kind creations and how she played a fundamental role in creating fashion as oppose to being a follower of fashion.
How would you define your city’s fashion?
London is a great city and it is quite interesting how each borough has it’s own style and feel to it. It is almost like having a few different cities in one when it comes to style. My favourite part of the city is East London, merely because women and men are free to explore with fashion. Anything goes and you can play and explore with different looks and styles, as well as completely rock your own individual slant on fashion. I love the freedom and confidence they have to express their individuality through the clothes they wear.
What are your favourite websites/blogs/ to visit?
Honestly I cannot name one as I am a bit of an explosion when I am logged on to the computer. It is for me another mode of travel and I find myself discovering so many different websites and being transported to different worlds. Having said that one of my favourite Internet pit stops is The Coolhunter.
How did the name – Femme de Rose – come about?
The British countryside is a place I cannot escape and since a young age I have been fascinated by nature. Since the age of nine I have loved going on country walks and I remember once finding an amazing fallen down tree that had somehow been moulded into some sort of cave in the heart of Dorset. I loved to sit there and write poems and I feel this is where my intimate bond with the open air and nature began. On one of my trips I had a thought that just wouldn’t stay out of my mind and the more I explored it I knew it wasn’t something to dismiss.
Being surrounded by flowers and watching them grow and come alive in summer and then disappear in winter, I became fixated and fascinated by the concept of giving birth to an idea. This then led to the idea of giving women the opportunity to create their own fashion and thus having the freedom to express themselves. After all fashion is a very personal thing in my opinion and I hope that women will embrace this new way of being true to herself and embracing her individuality, as no two women are made the same I wanted this to be the same with fashion.
What was your inspiration when you came up with the colour wheel collection?
The concept of our Colour Wheel collection derives from the inspiration behind the brand; the Victorian era. Victorians loved bold colours which played an integral role in all aspects of their lives from their clothing to their decorations and beyond. We used the colour wheel to help us choose and match complimentary bright and unusual colours in honor of the Victorian period; giving the classic blazer a modern twist with a burst of colour.
Your blazers are wrapped in delivered in furoshiki paper, what was the inspiration behind that concept?
As the concept of Femme De Rose evolved, I found that the more I went for country walks the more nature inspired me. I wanted to create a label where everything is reusable, from the classic blazer jacket you design (a staple that forever lives in your wardrobe) to the packaging. I wanted it to not only be a memorable experience, but one that would be eco-friendly. Furoshiki wrap honours recyclability and makes this form of gift-wrapping not only our signature but also ensures that nature is preserved. The beauty of this form of traditional Japanese gift-wrap is that it can be reused in many ways to create different products by using similar techniques to origami.
Are you planning to add more collections to Femme de Rose in the near future?
With the success of the Colour Wheel collection, we decided to continue making collections for Femme De Rose but still honoring the brand’s ethic to create tailored, classic, wardrobe staples. Each season we will make a small capsule collection inspired by fashion’s classics with a touch of Femme De Rose’s signature burst of colour. Our collections aren’t restricted to seasons however; we want to create fashion for life, not for seasons.