With Made in Africa by ARISE Magazine just around the corner from dazzling New York Fashion Week (NYFW), it's time to introduce you to the seven African designers who'll be showcasing their work at the landmark event.
Third in our series of interviews is Lisa Folawiyo, founder of Jewel By Lisa (JBL) - best known as the label which revolutioned ankara fabric. Folawiyo gives us an exclusive preview of what to expect from JBL's contribution to ARISE's Spring 2012 Designer Collective - and reveals the creative chaos behind her preparations!
Jewel By Lisa at ARISE Magazine Fashion Week - Lagos 2011
What do you think will define S/S 2012 for you?
We dug deep into our roots and crafted a story that formed the basis of our collection – it is woven into each garment, the fabrics and the accessories. I believe the things that will define us this season are our uniquely stunning prints – particularly "the dancing women" – the story we have told and how we have translated that into a modern womenswear collection.
What can we expect from your collection?
A modern translation of Nigeria in the 60s: using traditional menswear and classic garments or pieces from that era as inspiration to create ultra-feminine pieces for today's woman. As always you’ll see lots of exquisite hand-embellished ankara pieces (our signature) and of course our custom-made luxurious prints, which have been personalised for our inspiration. We’ve also expanded our accessories line with different types of belts and beaded bags.
Can you give us a progress report on your collection?
Everything is being worked on simultaneously, from the accessories to the garments, gifts and even music production. I would say we are coming to the end of production… our hand-embellished pieces are always finished at the very last minute because they require time and precision. Each day new ideas come, old ones are either discarded or perfected… It's all very chaotic, but it always comes together at the very end.
What three words describe how you feel as NYFW approaches?
Positively overwhelmed, expectant, excited
What essentials are you packing that you couldn't do without at NYFW?
Lots of key pieces! Sleek jackets, easy print dresses, my J Brand jeans, chic sandals for walking around in the city, sunscreen, vitamins, lots of water and my iPad! I love to dress up when I’m in the city. I’ve just gotten some leopard-print Giuseppe Zanotti shoe boots, which I so look forward to wearing.
Meet the other six Made in Africa designers: Asibelua, Bunmi Koko, KLûK CGDT, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Pierre-Antoine Vettorello and Tsemaye Binitie.