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5 Minutes with the Designer – Wunmi Akinsola


pearls and portraits 5FC: Tell us a little bit about you? Have you always been involved in fashion and design?

Wunmi Akinsola (pictured right): Growing up in Nigeria, I didn’t have much access to the resources and support I have now. The general idea my family had for me was to become a lawyer. I was actually very much a tomboy growing up, but I realised that I like the idea of being able to make something out of nothing and I realised I was good at making prints.

FC: How would you describe your own personal style?

WA: Lazy with a splash of crazy. I put on the first thing I see but everything I own has something unique about it. I should make more of an effort but there is just no time.

FC: Describe your Spring/Summer 2015 collection in five words?

WA: A 21st Century Frida Kahlo.

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FC: What can customers expect to see from your Autumn/Winter 2015 collection?

WA: Glam tailoring.

FC: Where do you find most of your inspiration?

WA: Any form of art; books, exhibitions and most especially paintings. I recently developed an interest in travelling, so we’ll see where that takes me.

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FC: Where do you see the brand in three years time?

WA: It’s difficult to say as it’s only a few months old, but hopefully we’ll be known internationally and have a store or two in London.

FC: Who do you see wearing your designs?

WA: Solange.

pearls and portraits 3FC: What does it take to start your own fashion brand?

WA: Money, but more importantly guts. It also takes a lot of sleepless nights and early mornings.

“The most successful people start before they feel ready.”

FC: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

WA: Start as soon as you can and not as soon as you are ready because there will never be a right time. The most successful people start before they feel ready.

FC: Do you think there are certain skills that are needed to start your own business?

WA: Honestly, you need skills in most things. Financial skills most importantly but management skills, IT Skills and marketing are also vital.

FC: How did you learn to design and make your own prints, was this self-taught?

WA: I studied Fashion and Textiles at the University of Kent and while it was more design focused, I sort of strayed into the more textile department and I had to then change my focus in my 3rd year. I always knew that I could paint a little bit but when I discovered that I could use computerised programmes to turn my art into prints and manipulate them; that was it for me. I was like a kid in a candy store.

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