Something I’m regularly asked by friends, business contacts and acquaintances is “Why menswear?”
Honestly, menswear just captured my imagination. I saw men weren’t catered for to the same extent as women, certainly as far as African stylings were concerned, and menswear styles got me excited. I wanted to be involved in creating super-stylish pieces for men, and to play around with menswear in a cool way.
It was clear to me that men needed a seat at the African fashion table – men in the UK with African heritage, and men from all corners of the globe. I saw what would eventually be Stories We Cherish being at the forefront of providing that alternative to the little already on offer.
And that was key. There aren’t many UK-based African fashion brands, and even fewer specialising in menswear. With the prints and cuts going beyond the existing options, I wanted greater choice for that market, with styles that would motivate men to embrace Africa in the positive ways that are so important to me.
But, also, you’ve caught me out. As an adult, I’m an admirer and consumer of womenswear, but the costume department of my childhood provided me with plenty that was aimed at the boys. In fact, I have plenty of memories of my mama struggling to make me wear dresses when the tomboy in me wanted shorts and t-shirts. I guess it never really leaves you…