Designer Interview with I Am I
Collection Name: I AM I
Upcoming Show: Nolcha Show NYFW
Why did you choose designing as a career?
I've always been creatively inclined, but the process of designing and making is extremely cathartic, gratifying and challenging for me. Creating an object that then immediately interacts with the human form has allowed me to push the envelope when it comes to proportion, form and detailing which I find exhilarating.
Growing up, was there anyone in your family who made you feel like designing?
My mother was a huge inspiration who I still feel has an exceptional eye for detail. I recall rifling through stacks of my mother's Architectural Digests and trying to carefully recreate some of the styling from the pages, as best as my 7 year old hands could muster.
What things outside of fashion, inspire your brand?
I'm inspired by architecture, contemporary art and product design quite significantly but also by the natural beauty of materials and minerals that are found on the African continent.
What were your inspirations for the designs you are creating for the Nolcha Shows Fashion Media Lounge?
The pieces I'm creating for the Nolcha Lounge include some of my classic pieces such as the Torque neckpiece and newer pieces from the 2016 Elements Contained collection which all play with encapsulating within line and geometry.
Do you consider the environmental effects of the colors and prints you choose for your collection?
As a Jewellery designer, I aim to source all my materials from Kenya from metals to minerals, creating a more sustainable business model that supports local traders and artisans.
What drives your work ethic to become a better designer?
Having the privilege to do what I love. I spent 13 years in the advertising world after I finished my Bachelors in Jewellery and Silversmithing. I came back to my passion over 2 years ago and recognize that the opportunity I have is very precious and my approach to my work is a reflection of that I suppose.
Rules are meant to be broken, which are your favorite fashion rules to break?
I don't believe there are any rules in fashion that can't be broken. In fact, the most exciting fashion personalities have been persistently pushing the boundaries of "fashion" from Vivienne Westwood to Alexander McQueen to Coco Chanel to David Bowie.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a designer?
Winning the accessories category for African Designers for Tomorrow and the opportunity to represent at the Nolcha Fashion Media Lounge this year in NYC thanks to the East African Trade and Investment Hub!