As I have previously mentioned, I am a lover of accessories. I believe when given the proper time, attention, and mix of materials, accessories become art. Wearable art, in my opinion is the crème de le crème of fashionable extras. These kinds of pieces add a dimension of beauty to one’s look. If I’m not wearing a print, I will rock a plain tee, good denim and a chunky bib or a stack of bangles to represent my personality. The right accessory is sure to be a conversation starter.
The Anita Quansah London brand celebrates African heritage and the beauty in recycling. The creative spirit behind the brand Anita, creates beautiful wearable art pieces, that start from a sketch. Her phenomenal talents have been sought after by designers and fashion houses such as Christian Lacroix, DVF and Jewel By Lisa, to name a few. Her unique skill set and flawless pieces are unforgettable. She is a beautiful representation of her culture and a grand example of where purposeful passion will lead you.
AQ: My love and passion for creativity drove me to become a jewelry/textile designer. After obtaining a degree as a textile designer from Chelsea College of art and design London, I entered the fashion industry, collaborating and creating unique embroidered textile pieces for some of the leading textile and fashion design houses such as Christian Lacroix, DKNY, Diane Von Furstenberg, Ischiko, Victoria Secret, Ecko and textiles Weisbrod Zurrer and Sandy Starkman.
Through my extensive handiwork and sheer passion for all things different and unique, I am fortunate to have collaborated with many designers whom have not only used my work as part of their collection or used as inspiration, but also featured my work on the runway. Designer such as Christian Lacroix, was my favorite designer to collaborate with because of his understanding and appreciation of my craft. I have also collaborated with African designers such as Jewel By Lisa, who too was an amazing fashion brand to work with. Their intricate art on African print through the use of beadwork, with that of Anita Quansah London design aesthetics, formed a great connections, which too was a memorable one. Amongst collaborating with fashion designers I have collaborated also with musical sensations and artist such as Alicia Keys, Keisha Buchanan, African musical artists such as Tiwa Savage, ASA, Nneka .
HH: Where are you currently based? Do you ship internationally?
AQ: The studio is based in Milton Keynes Buckingham shire,. Yes we do ship internationally, when you order from our new online shop on www.anitaquansahlondon.com
AQ: Anita Quansah London is a bespoke accessories brand that celebrates culture and that of beauty in recycling. All the bespoke one off pieces/ jewelry which, I create are not only perceived as art forms, but pays great homage to ancient African design/craft culture, aesthetics and bead work which are sadly and slowly disappearing, due to the power of mass production. With that said, Anita Quansah London tries to be an advocate in bringing African style to the global Audience, by using my work to promote and preserve Africa’s cultural heritage.
Also through my work, I hope to make people more appreciative of their body and how beautiful it is, and create body adornments that they will put on and feel very extra special.
AQ:There are so many prestige and social significance attached to various jewelries we adorn our bodies with. Whilst so many perceive the use of jewelry as a necessary prerequisite for attractiveness, most importantly every woman feel beautiful, powerful, sexy and regal when they have jewelries on. An AQL jewelry when on the body, not only connects the wearer to the past, where body adornment played a significant role in the society and was very much a powerful tool of sexuality, but it also tells a story which is that of a confident strong woman whom can command attention when in the presence of others or people around her.
HH: Your designs are a juxtaposition of materials, African beads, semi precious stones etc. How do you come up with the placement of the different materials? What influences your wearable collections?
AQ: The way I work is different. I allow my creativity to take control of my hand, using original skills of craftsmanship practiced by artisans in Africa whom appreciate the intricacy and passion for beadwork and creativity.
I can be inspired by many things, from culture, music, an art exhibition, to style icons and personalities that have made a mark in this beautiful world I'm fortunate to live in.
Most importantly, I will say my beautiful African heritage has a great impact on my work. The cultural aesthetics and the traditional materials used are symbolic meanings and significance to the society.
HH: Do you sketch your ideas or freestyle when making your pieces?
AQ:I always sketch before I start a piece, or sometimes I start a piece and allow my design skills to shape the piece which am designing. Sometimes this leads to me surprising myself. Because what was once an idea, have now been transformed into works that get people talking, like conversational pieces.
Because each piece is a one off, I like to make them unique and different. Each piece have their very own story which is weaved into them, these makes each one have their own identity almost and can appeal to anyone
HH: On a day you’re not working, what are you wearing?
AQ:I do dress very casual when not working. Jeans and T-shirt or a dress, which I wear very often.
HH: What’s next for Anita Quansah London? Do you have any upcoming events or projects?
AQ:My ambition is to continue to better my self and my designs, to make the brand more accessible and recognized across the world. To be stocked in shops like Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty’s, Neiman Marcus etc, and to continue to make people more aware of recycling. But most importantly, I want to continue to maintain the value of my craftsmanship and keep my creative spirit alive.
For 2012, I have numerous projects. I have an exhibition at the Barge House in London, which I will be curating with other artists. For me I will be curating the body adornment and jewelry exhibition. I have books to be released, which feature my work. I have fashion and trade shows too. So it's going to be a very busy 2012, we thank God for everything.
AQ: Three words Dream, Believe Achieve. This gets me through anything. Also hard work and perseverance pays off in the end. In this industry you will go through a lot of hurdles, but for me as far as you are focused and believe in yourself and your product you will always stand out from the rest. Also love every bit of what you do, as I am too in love with what I am doing and it gives me greater joy that it does to others as well, that is priceless
HH: Are you on any social networks?
AQ: FLICKR: www.flickr.com/people/anitaquansahlondon/