Today I'm happy to bring you an interview with artist and designer, Naana B. With a solid fine art background, the "self-confessed dream chaser and globetrotter" embarked on a journey to create clothing and accessories inspired by art and adventure. She's making a splash all over the press and here Naana talks to us about her passion and her journey.
What's your passion?
Fashion and art! I'm an artist first and foremost and a designer, inspired by the arts. I think the way every woman chooses to dress says alot about her and how she views herself in the world.
What inspired you to go into fashion?
I studied sculpture and painting at Columbia University in NYC as an undergrad. I created installation art using fabrics. I taught myself how to sew and took supplemental classes at FIT and Parsons. Shortly thereafter, I starting designing clothes and handbags.
What has been your greatest obstacle/challenge?
In this business you meet a lot of people with different intentions. On a business level it's hard to find people who "truly" believe in what you're doing. I think my greatest challenge has been learning to trust people and take risks with business relationships.
How have you dealt with/overcome it?
I've had a lot of fantastic collaborations recently and that's because I went with my gut and jumped right in.
What has your greatest achievement been?
I think my greatest achievement has been this project. The Naana B line is produced by an NGO that my mother started in Ghana, the Rural Communities Empowerment Center. It's wonderful that I've been able to work with my mother on this project. Proceeds from the line go to the women artisans that produce the collection.
Where will you be in 10 years?
I hope to have returned to Ghana, be living there full-time and designing. I am currently based in New York but have always had my sights on moving back.
How does Africa inspire you?
Africa is such a motivating force. Having been raised in Zambia as a young child, I have so many positive things to say about where we are now, where we were as a continent, but above all, where we need to be!
Anything else you'd like to share?
For all those young designers out there, always remember to believe in yourself and what you are setting out to accomplish. Anything is possible!
Anything we should look out for in the coming weeks/months/year?
Naana B's Spring 2011 collection! Coming soon …
Images courtesy of Naana B.