I'm noticing that there are a lot of African or African descent designers arriving at our shore better yet knocking down the barriers for them to be viewed and heard. And I love it.
Finding out about this line called Naana B. fell into my lap. An email was sent to me by the showroom that holds the collection informing me that the line will have a sample sale. So I said to myself, this will be a great way of finding out who is behind this amazing African inspired line called Naana B.
It was so nice to find out that I was right about this line. Naana B. is crafted from pure love of its amazing West African heritage that Naana B. loves so very much.
Naana B. - Being a visual artist myself, who studied painting and sculpture, my work is inspired by Pablo Picasso and the cubists of that era. It's extremely bright, bold with lots of geometric prints.
Taiyon's Image - What's your ultimate goal?
Naana B. - My ultimate goal is to continue to support the Rural Community Empowerment Centre, a non-profit in Ghana where the collection is made. http://naanab.com/charity.php
Naana B. - Ultimately, art - and certainly, the clients that wear my pieces. I love the uniqueness that every women brings to work. I have many fashion muses.
Taiyon's Image - Can fashion still have a political ambition?
Naana B. - Fashion certainly does. Now more than ever designers are coupling their work with world causes - Fashion for Food, Haiti, President Barack Obama's Campaign. It's all inter-related.
Taiyon's Image - Who do you have in mind when you design?
Naana B. - Colors and pop art - I would love to design a line centered around Frank Lloyd Wrights work. I love architecture.
Taiyon's Image - Is the idea of creative collaboration important to you?
Naana B. - Yes-Creative collaboration is so important. When I travel I get a lot of inspiration. I meet a lot of artists who inspire my ideas.
Taiyon's Image - Who has been the greatest influence on your career?
Naana B. - My mother-she's one of my chief inspirations. She's a truly fashionable and elegant -and her life is a great creative spring board for my line.
Taiyon's Image - How have your own experiences affected your work as a designer?
Naana B. - Travelling all over the world, and experiencing different cultures and people has had tremendous effect on me as a designer.
Taiyon's Image - Which is more important in your work: the process or the product?
Naana B. - The process - Like any artist, I enjoy the making of each piece, from conceptualization to realization. It's like painting a canvas.
Taiyon's Image - Is designing difficult for you, if so, what drives you to continue?
Naana B. - Designing is not difficult. I think every designer has ebbs and flows. Sometimes ideas don't come as easily, but then on takes a break. I think a lot of designers would say, if it's not something you love, why do it? I love fashion and that love affair will never fade.
Taiyon's Image - What's your philosophy?
Naana B. - Be inspired and never compromise.
Taiyon's Image - What is the most important lesson you've learned?
Naana B. - The fashion business is tough. I've learned that you have to believe in yourself and always remember who you are and what motivated you to come into the industry.