This our fourth FEATURED post as we look at future stars and this time we travel to the UK and London via Eritrea.
The guy who has the audacity to make such must have clothing for men is Zekaryas Solomon.
Having been named as one of Africa’s Top 10 Male Designers, as well as being awarded both the Fashions Finest Menswear Designer of the Year and the BEFFTA Best Male Designer 2012, Zekaryas Solomon continues to thrive as a London based, Bespoke fashion designer.
The end of 2012 saw Solomon as guest of honour at FAFA’s Fashion for Peace Gala held in Kenya. Moving into 2013 with the introduction of the first Womenswear collection. Taking part in the Ethno Tendance showcase in Brussels saw the incorporation of accessories, with bags becoming a prominent feature within the Spring/Summer ‘14 collection.
Eritrean born and raised in Germany, Solomon has been creating quite a buzz since his graduation from the London College of Fashion in 2010. With his background originally in Architecture and Design he launched his first menswear collection entitled ME and his second Rouge Et Noir.
Not content with turning menswear upside down on it’s head. Solomon launched his first women’s collection in summer 2013 and now continues to work on the convergence of his men’s and women’s collections to create a Fifth. His designs have been featured in numerous magazines like Sublime, LEONID, FAB, New African Woman and ELEM to mention a few.
When not working from his studio in North Grenwich, he manages to find time to teach students pattern cutting techniques plus garment technology and also teaches Tigrinya and Eritrean language to Bachelor, Master and PhD students of unfamiliar languages at Queen Mary’s University, London. Does he ever sleep!!
As we write he is preparing a show as part of the Eritrean Festival Scandinavia in Stockholm where he’ll be showcasing his limited collection womenswear and menswear, plus accessories. Then an exhibition in September at the Oxo Tower as part of design week. This just one of the ways you can cast an eye over his collection as well as of course his website where you can place orders to purchase bespoke and ready-to-wear garments.
This is the third instalment of our FEATURED section when we talk to a designer, singer or general all round fabulous person. It’s the turn of …The South is Blooming
1/ Designing for a famous person:
For a designer: Dries van Noten, he understands cosmopolitanism, pattern, colour.
For a non-designer: Kanye West (as the musician, not his fashion label), he’s experimental and doing his own wild thing
2/ Name two tracks (records) which sums up the label (it maybe something you would play to get you in the mood to work or use on a runway)
Julia by the Very Best, off their album Warm Heart of Africa: has the combination of edge and warmth that embodies the label.
Also Exhibit A by Dirty Paraffin: these Joburg based dudes are just so cool! They embody the best of secret Africa which the rest of the world still has to discover. Here’s a video:
3/ The name The South is Blooming
Symbolises the creative explosion that’s going on down south, specifically South Africa where I come from, but more generally in Africa.
4/ What we make/sell
We are a ‘mixstore’ – that’s a Dutch word for a curated store which sells pretty much anything that takes our fancy. At the moment heavily into Vlisco wax print accessories – awesome trilbies from Joburg based label Babatunde for instance – and even wax print kiddie shorts made specially for us in Cape Town. We also have a lot of home accessories and have just branched out into music and books. We’ll soon also be stocking some emerging photographers’ work and hopefully also art prints. All from deep dark Afrika!
All over the place really. Obviously a lot from the vibes of Joburg, the cool cats in Cape Town, the people, the landscape and the light in South Africa – we make regular trips. But we’re based in the Netherlands and there’s loads of inspiration in Amsterdam too. There’s cosmopolitans and creative people, geometry, colour, texture, light in most places in the world!
The second in our ‘featured’ series is TBC Clothing (The Teddy Bear Club)
Tell us about the company
TBC Clothing (The Teddy Bear Club) was founded in 2007 on the intuition of 2 young entrepreneurs, who since then have transformed their skills, knowledge and hard work into a successful brand that is well known for its originality, warmth and ability to produce recognisable designs, influenced by it consumers.
Who’s behind the group?
featured gives us the oppurtunity to showcase things, people and products we are excited about. We spoke to Sónia Nunes from Moldarina to find out what makes this little outfit tick….
1/ How did you get into making jewellery (how did you choose this line of work)?
It was accidental and happened six years ago when I experience the pleasure of creating jewelry, after a casual visit at a supply store. My first item was a complex beaded necklace with some textile parts. Since then I never stopped.
2/ Where do you get your inspiration from?
People and their thoughts, relationships and feelings are my greatest source of inspiration.
I do my work with care and dedication and I give my best to my clients but, for me, creating jewelry is my main way of self-expression. I don’t design for people, I design because I love it.
4/ Tell us a bit about the company – how many people / how long has it been going – plans to use different materials? How can we get hold of your product?
I started this project in 2011 with an online store and I’m working alone.
This year I opened an etsy store and I’m starting wholesaling in Portugal. My products are available at my online stores.
5/ Pick a song that get you in the mood to create
Leonard Cohen – I’m your man and Hallelujah