Her designs are simple, sophisticated and chic. Her personality is down to earth, outgoing and really friendly but most of all, am glad to call her my friend plus she gave me my first photo shoot model op’ This is none other than Vanessa whose fashion line is called iKWANG that ranges from dresses, skirts to head pieces. Her use of the Kitenge material brings an outfit from boring to red carpet ready.
APW: Where and what inspired you to start your own fashion line?
Vanessa: An old Congolese friend of mine inspired me to use kitenge and start my own designs.
APW: What is the best part of owning your business?
Vanessa: It has to be bringing ideas, whether my own or a customer’s to life successfully and also being my own boss so i have all creative freedom.
APW: Describe your design style.
Vanessa: I love very simple and realistic designs. I’m definitely not into the ‘gaga’ or crazy type of designs. I make designs which the customer can be comfortable wearing on any occasion or on the street.
APW: What is your advice on keeping up with trends?
Vanessa: I don’t think people should be pressured to follow what’s trending. Some trends are crazy! Everyone has their own sense of style and i think they should wear what makes them feel good, not what everyone else is wearing.
APW: As a designer you get so many customers who might not know what design suits them. What style would you think is perfect for my body?
Vanessa: A super duper bright colored Ankara skater dress would be definitely perfect for your body type.
APW: What is your favorite jewellery?
Vanessa: I love pearls. i think they are so classy and so versatile. They go on almost any outfit.
APW: What should people get rid of in their closet?
Vanessa: I just can’t stand handbags with worn out skins. They downgrade any outfit as they look so old regardless on how cute the actual bag is.
APW: That makes two of us on that one! If you were stranded on island, what items from your closet would you go with?
Vanessa: Haha but the question should be how would I access my closet if I’m stranded on an island? I don’t think i could get on that island!
APW: What is your favorite piece in your closet?
Vanessa: That’s a hard one. My fave piece ever owned is actually not kitenge. It was my black and blue chiffon and lace maxi dress with a thigh high slit. I’m sure you know the dress I’m talking about.
APW: It is such a beautiful dress! Any advise to those who want to join this industry?
Vanessa: They have to be as creative and aggressive as they can be. Work hard too.
THANK YOU Van! Check out her designs on instagram @vanessaikwang facebook @vanessaikwang