Thursday, 16 August 2012

Meet Brigitte The Lady Behind Green Mamba

Isn’t it wonderful how technology has transformed the way we communicate with each other on a day-to-day basis? Even though she was hundreds of miles away from me it didn’t stop me from interviewing her on her collection for the Africa Fashion Week London magazine. Meet Brigitte Meidinger-Fleckney the brain behind Green Mamba Designs; the clothing line breaking culture barriers to take African fashion to whole new world in Switzerland. Based in Switzerland but loyally burning the torch of her Ghanaian culture, Brigitte expresses her love and aspiration for fashion in this interview. Enjoy the lovely conversation I had with Brigitte and her journey as a fashion designer.




Bondi: Why did you choose fashion design as a career?

Brigitte: I regard myself being very lucky, to have been born and raised up in Ghana. The wonderful environment of my tribe (the Ashanti-tribe), with a strong sense for art and the rich culture of textile, has a very big influence on me and my work as a designer. As a child, I used to admire all women and men, gracefully wearing their "Kente" and all those colourful "Wax-Prints", on their prideful bodies. At the age of six, I then started to dress up my dollies like the grownups and never really stopped doing so, the only difference today, is that my dresses are made for "living dolls".

Bondi: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Brigitte: All kinds of shapes, movements, sounds and colors produce feelings in me.
Out of these feelings, I'm able to play and add my own creativity.
Bondi: Do you see yourself doing collaboration with another designer anytime soon?
Brigitte: I feel very isolated in Switzerland, with my work as a designer. It has been a very hard mission, to bring African textile close to the people. The Swiss-people seem to be afraid of colors and the African-people living here, prefer to spend their money on European and famous labels. And still, I've been very busy doing my own thing that I haven’t come round to think of connecting myself with another designer.
Bondi: Knowing how competitive the fashion industry is, what struggles have you faced and what kept you going?
Brigitte: I hope strongly, that time will change and that people in Europe soon will remember to wear colors to brighten up our good-moods. I'm tired of years and years of black and grey and black!

Bondi: What should we expect from your new collection?
Brigitte: All of my designs are unique and made by request. Unfortunately most of the pieces are with their owners. My time has been too short to work on a new collection. I hope by next year, I should be able to show more of my work at the AFWL.
Bondi: Where do you see your business 5 years from now?
Brigitte: Since I haven't had the chance to open my focus, it is hard for me to say how things will be in 5 years. I hope better than today.

Bondi: Are there other aspects of fashion aside clothing you wish to explore in the future?
Brigitte: I have a very broad interest for nature, beauty, art, design, music, dance and philosophy. Out of all these aspects, I'm able to create my own art. In my work, I create for women, men, children, show-artists, home-interiors, art-objects for exhibition. Something I haven't done yet: I would also love to design shoes.
Bondi: Why did you choose to showcase your design with AFWL?
Brigitte: Since my label "Green Mamba Design" is located in Switzerland, I haven't found a suitable Platform to present my designs. I have been waiting soo long to hear the good news that AFWL has started this Platform for Designers like me. I'm very happy about it
Bondi: What inspired your collection for the fashion show?
Brigitte: Every single piece I create is like music between me and the material. I don't really think of a fashion show when I'm working. However, I hope the few pieces I'm going to show, are suitable for AFWL-Catwalk.




Contact Brigitte on

Green Mamba Design
Brigitte Meidinger-Fleckney
Hasenrainstrasse 9
CH-4102 Binningen

Phone/Fax : 061 321 44 27
Mobile : 079 671 25 20
Internet : www.greenmamba.ch
e-mail : greenmamba@gmx.ch
Tuesday-Friday : 14.00-19.00
Saturday : upon agreement


Africa Fashion Week London: Green Mamba

So Brigitte Mender was the second designer I interviewed for the magazine but before I post the interview see her AFWL collection here.














The House of Adjeiwaah Interview.

So here's my interview as promised:



The House of Adjeiwaah
If you’re looking for a fashion line that blends African culture with that of the West in a sophisticated and contemporary manner then the House of Adjeiwaah should be on the top of your list. With the skilful combination of fine African prints in rich colour and texture, this line aims to complement the feminine beauty of every woman from the demure lady to the working lady to the young ladies not afraid to show some skin. With 5 different collections; Kaba Girl, Mini Me, Miss Independent, Runway and Timeless, the House of Adjeiwaah meets the need of different styles of women. And now introducing their new collection; Freedom to be showcased at the Africa Fashion Week London, enjoy the conversation I was privileged to have with the lovely Adjeiwaah; C.E.O of The House of Adjeiwaah;

Why did you choose fashion design as a career?

It has always been apart of my life and who I am, at first it was a hobby I would design for friends and family and then one day it hit me that I would regret it later on in life if I didn't start my own clothing line. The first step was overcoming my fears and becoming confident enough to show others what I interpreted as African & Western Fashion. 

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Majority of the time it is to do with the surroundings in which I find myself in; I could be driving, at a party, in church and a colour or a shape would just trigger off a new style in my head its such an exciting process.

Which international designers do you hope to work with in the future?
I would love to work with Jean Paul Gaultier he is a genius designer and I am a big fan of the Avant Guard look which he does so well. I also love Anita T Quansah London she inspires me alot and her work is so fearless; in the sense that she isn’t afraid to take risks.

I know how competitive the fashion industry is so what struggles have you faced and what kept you going?
I think the struggle is when people don't get you as a designer or your vision and they want you to change your style to fit what they want. This is why I wanted to create a collection called Freedom to have the freedom as an artist to design what i feel is in heart. Also for my audience to have the freedom to decide which of my outfits they relate to and believe reflects their personality.

Name one celebrity you would love to see wear one of your originals

I would love to dress Mary J Blige she is such an inspiration to me she has faced so much adversities but has overcome all of it and manages to still be on top of her game today. As a teenager I grew up listening to her, Jodeci, H-Town so she has a special place in my heart.  Mary J has this aura and an undeniable swag; she can pull off so many varied trends but always puts her own stamp on it, which I define as her Ghetto-chic look.

What should we expect from your new collection?

The House of Adjeiwaah's 2012 Collection is called FREEDOM it is specifically aimed at the fearless youth of today I’ve dedicated it to them as this is a time more so than ever that the younger generation no matter what colour, sex or ethnic background they are embracing Africa print and expressing their interest to represent tribal styles. Even now the high street stores like H&M, Topshop are creating outfits with a touch of print. I want them to see that there is a designer out there that can show an adventurous side and not be confined to a standard box look. I’m addressing them to stand up an have the FREEDOM to define their own sense of fashion and don’t allow others to put them down.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

A reputable and successful designer with my own boutique in both London and Ghana.

Are there other aspects of fashion aside clothing you wish to explore in the future?

I love all forms of Art and I studied English Literature and Language and therefore I would love to write a novel or do some fashion writing.

Why did you choose to showcase your design with AFWL? 

I wanted to set a high standard for myself and I also wanted to get a platform that would allow me to reach out to a varied and wider audience and I knew that AFWL would help me to do this successfully.
 

What inspired your collection for the fashion show?

I knew that different people of all ages and backgrounds would be attending and I wanted to try and reach out to all of them by creating a collection with a multiple variation of looks. However at this year’s AFWL I will release a second collection and I intend to focus more on one demographic and that will be the refined ladies in their flirty thirties.



The House of Adjeiwaah isn’t just another fashion line but one that likes to give back to its community by raising awareness of different charities that combat child trafficking and abuse in Ghana. Contact the House of Adjeiwaah on

Phone: 07931123456
Fax: (+49 0123) 456-7890

Africa Fashion Week London: The House Of Adjeiwaah

I was really privileged to have interviewed Adjeiwaah for the AFWL Magazine, such a lovely lady. I'll post the interview in my next post. But for now enjoy her AFWL collection which was very creative, most west Africans would understand why. If you looked closely at the material you would notice that it is the material that most of our catholic mothers wear and she has taken that and transformed it into these wonderful pieces. Absolutely brilliant.












AFWL: Yutees

The most colourful collection yet, very detailed dresses with frills, sequins and hats. Fishline dresses seemed to be the dominant silhouette here.
















AFWL: Keve

As for Keve the reverse is the case; a lady designing for men. This collection takes you from a desk to date in minutes; a rich blend of corporate and casual.