Interview with Nigerian fashion designer Autumn Adeigbo
If you ever wondered who was the designer behind Autumn Adeigbo check out my interview with her .
Ciaa :Tell us a little bit about yourself My name is Autumn Adeigbo and I am currently chasing my dream in the place where dreams can be made into reality- New York.
Ciaa : How did you first get interested in becoming a fashion designer? What is your background? Autumn: Fashion was always the reason I woke up in the morning. I never really enjoyed school because I never really fit in socially. Especially in college. I'm not sure when but somehow I became very socially awkward- especially in school. So the only reason I got up in the morning was to explore the creative depths of my closet. So even if the girls didn't like me in school they could never say I didn't look fly. In terms of my background I have Nigerian parents and we have lived in many places around the United States. I went to Spelman College and then studied Fashion Design at Parsons in NYC.
Ciaa : What would you say is the inspiration for your latest collection?
Autumn: My latest collection- Fall 2010 was inspired by Vampires and how Vampires signify eternal life. I asked myself the question- if Count Dracula's wife hosted a cocktail party in Transylvania, Nigeria, what would she and all her girlfriends where to the soiree? All the dresses are named after female "Vampires" or women who have crossed the threshold of death and are now living eternal lives as "Vampires" in Heaven. A Vampire never dies and neither do we. We Live Forever.
Ciaa : What does Africa means to you…..?
Autumn: To me- Africa means MAGIC. Everything from the people, cultures, foods, the fashion, the colors, the languages, the tribes, scarifications, ancestors, land, rainforest, desserts, islands, oceans, gold, diamonds, oil, tradition, respect, beauty, animals, cures for diseases, matriarch societies, dance, festivals, ritual, history I could go on and on. Its a powerful, magical place, abundant and rich and I believe we are starting to realize this on a global level. Africa is the motherland. I love Africa. I love Africans. I am African. Africa is me- magical me. Africa is you- magical you.
Ciaa : Do you work with only African fabrics? Autumn: I incorporate African textiles in each one of my collections. My first collection was entirely West African fabrics, and my next collection, for Spring Summer 2011 will be entirely African Fabrics. I also donate 5% of each dress sale to Women for Women International- in a effort to raise awareness and send monetary aid to Women survivors of Sexual Violence on the Continent- especially in the DRD (Democratic Republic of the Congo).
Ciaa : I am glad you are giving back to Africa .You just launched an online shop , how hard was that? Autumn: Well I launched my first sitewww.autumnadeigbo.comin 2008. And I am getting ready to launch shop.autumnadeigbo.com- the online boutique on June 15, 2010. It was a lot of hard work. But luckily it's my passion- my heart's desire so that makes everything much easier!
Ciaa : What's the most fun thing about having your own line?
Autumn: I'm the boss! That is the BEST feeling in the world.
Ciaa : How is life for a designer in NYC? Autumn: Hectic- every day is different. But there is so much inspiration in New York. People here have the best style so Its great to just walk around the city with a sketch pad and let your imagination go wild. Also you wouldn't believe all the people you run into just walking down the street. I've given my business card to Wendy Williams, Ludacris, Adrienne Baillon. Once I checked Paula Abdul's coat at a restaurant I was working in and slipped my business card in her coat pocket. The other day I was in the Garment District here in New York where all the design houses are and all the fabric and trim supply stores, and I saw Tina Knowles- Beyonce's mom- dipping in and out of fabric stores. So you just never know who you will meet and who will open a door for you. Once I saw Russell Simmons in the Garment District and I begged him to back my line. Haha! Pretty funny when I think about that now.
Ciaa : life in New York is amazing indeed with all the great people and inspiration .Who is your fashion icon? Autumn: My mom. She came to my first fashion Presentation here in the city and she showed up dresses in a leopard print skirt suit. My mom is a doctor, she lives in Indiana, and she's in her 50's but she does not care- she wears what she feels. I definitely got my fashion sense from my mom. Right now I also really love Olivia Polermo's style from the MTV show "The City"- I feel like she's the next Anna Wintour or something- definitely someone to keep an eye on!
Ciaa : What can we find in your closet ? Autumn:Lots of my dresses, a few pairs of Manolos, Louboutins, Chloes. I don't like to spend too much on fashion because I think it can be frivolous. Especially when there are people in the world without access to clean drinking water. But last week I bought a pair of leopard print Manolo Blahniks for $50 on Ebay! Buy nice quality but spend modestly. Look for sales, ebay, vintage shops, sample sales, etc. But I'm sorry you will rarely find me shopping at fast fashion stores like forever 21. I hate to have on something I will see on someone else in the street. I obsession right now is a classic Chanel Quilted Bag Jumbo size with Gold Hardware. I will not stop until I get one- probably on Ebay! I try to make sure I price my dresses to be wallet friendly. You are getting amazing quality dress for an amazing price.
Ciaa : Who is an Autumn Adeigbo women? Autumn: She's bad. Bad meaning Good. She thinks outside the box and is different. She appreciates high quality and design. She loves bright color and prints. She wants to help the world but sometimes feels so little, while the problems seem so big. She buys my dress because she wants to be connected to Africa while being complimented all day long. She's a really special woman.
Ciaa : Can any advice would Ciaafrique readers wishing to follow your footsteps? Autumn: Follow your heart. Stay connected to your higher power (yoga, meditation, prayer, nature). When the going gets rough ask your higher power for signs. Most importantly have a crystal clear vision of where you see your dream taking you. If you keep this vision in your heart and in your minds eye, events will unfold that will take you along to your dreams manifestation. Be passionate, be patient, work hard, don't procrastinate, don't be distracted by boys (or girls), clubs, drugs etc. Have fun but don't forget what's most important to you. If people don't support you they are probably just jealous, find people who are also making their dreams reality!
Ciaa : What do you think about the Emerging Skills, creativity, talents of African designers? Autumn: Its so beautiful to see different artists' interpretations of African fabrics- breathtaking really. African fashion is taking over!
Ciaa : Where do you see your label in the next 5 years? All over the world.
You can check out many interviews with other African designers by clicking here
So what do you think of Autumn Adeigbo? Is it one of your favorite fashion houses? designers? Would you like to see more from them . Always let me know if there are any other designers you’d like to see spotlighted on Ciaafrique in the future.