Designer Anita Quansah gives the lowdown on her accessory design label
Anita Quansah London
Please describe your label in a couple of lines:
Anita Quansah London is a label that creates strong statement accessories, out of recycled and vintage material. The brand is a fusion of modern bohemian tribal mixed with culture.
Where were you born?
Where are you based now?
How did you get into fashion design?
I love fashion and all things beautiful. I guess this passion for design and creativity stems from my early childhood, watching my grandmother a seamstress teaching her students of more than 400 and making the most beautiful clothes from very interesting and embroidered textiles. Her passion for creativity, her energy and her determination is what drove me to start experimenting at a very young age. I guess also being brought up around women and watching their different styles evolve also had an impact on me.
What inspires your designs?
My cultural heritage has had a huge impact on my work. Coming from a mixed African background half Ghanaian and half Nigerian has exposed me to a lot of rich African traditions, cultures and materials and textiles. The bold and vibrant colours in Africa are phenomenal. I try to inject these into my work a lot.
I try to incorporate rich luxurious African prints in my work, mixed with vintage materials such as 1940's pieces and new materials such as chains, pearls and shells, which is amazing. It gives it a totally new look which is rare. I'm also influenced by everyday sightings, music, art, people of diverse cultures and styles etc.
What is the most difficult aspect of running your own label?
Lack of sleep!
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Designing and making statement jewellery that have become in a way conversational pieces. Winning an award for the "Best accessory designer of the year 2011" at the prestigious Fashion Finest award which was held in July 2011, and many more. I'm having a good time doing what I do and I will continue to use my work to express and push boundaries when it comes to accessories.
What are your hopes and dreams for your business in the future?
My ambition is to continue to better myself and my designs, to make the brand more accessible and recognised across the world. To be stocked in shops like Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty's, Neiman Marcus etc, and to continue to make people more aware of recycling. But most importantly, I want to continue to maintain the value of my craftsmanship and keep my creative spirit alive
What is the favorite piece you have designed and why?
That's a very hard question, because it is difficult to pick out a favorite piece. All pieces to me are special and all created with love.
If you could design an outfit for one person, who would you choose and why?
Iman, she is a remarkable woman, a great humanitarian, and role model for any generation. With her long neck, tall, thin frame, fine features, it will be an honor to dress her some day.
What is the most important advice you would give to young people looking for a career in fashion?
Three words: Dream, Believe Achieve. This gets me through anything.
And also believe in God, trust in him and everything is possible. Lastly, hard work pays off in the end.