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I created my clothing line with a goal to make sure that while I was creating beautiful dresses for my customer, the people working behind the scenes were also earning a fair wage for their work.
I started my brand ANYANGO MPINGA exactly three years ago having been inspired to re-imagine the idea of African Fashion. At that time, I had decided that the best way to tell an authentic story and connect the audience to my work, was to share the things that inspire me, which most often I found on this beautiful continent. I also wanted to create clothing that would look good on every woman no matter what size, height or shape she is. I created a brand that stands for fairness and justice particularly in respect to ensuring a sustainable supply chain. Fashion houses tend to overlook and have been known to support manufacturers that enable modern slavery. I created my clothing line with a goal to make sure that while I was creating beautiful dresses for my customer, the people working behind the scenes were also earning a fair wage for their work.
The ANYANGO MPINGA woman is dynamic; she knows herself and pursues her goals with confidence, she is well travelled and appreciates quality and luxury, she is a non-conformist and loves to make a statement when she enters a room.
On where she gets style inspiration
I meditate a lot and in those moments of stillness, I often find answers for my creative process. I also love looking into African history and the interaction of African culture with other cultures. I watch a lot of period movies centred around and often get inspired by Victorian Fashion, the styling and details in the work. I love Art, travel and nature, which most often become my subject when I’m creating a collection. For instance my new collection Phonology taps into the themes of Universal love – that magnet which renders existence eternal, attracts realities and infuses life with infinite joy. Phonology is the study of systematic organization of sounds and how they are used in languages. This collection features “The sound of love” print, which has been fashioned from sound-waves of the words “I LOVE YOU” recorded in 25 languages. 10 of these languages are collected from the major tribes of Kenya; the remaining 15 are recorded in languages of places I have visited around the world, from Thai and Mauritian Creole to French and Spanish. The sound of love connects us all- as humans, we should all aspire to permeate our lives with more compassion and love.
The second print- the newspaper hummingbird print with the “Free As A Human” slogan- draws inspiration from a childhood riddle, “what’s black and white and red all over?” In this case, the answer is newspaper! This is a statement to illustrate how the exploitation of human beings and modern slavery IS still happening even when we claim to have evolved from this primitive practice. Free As A Human is an anti-human trafficking initiative I founded, rallying-fashion to combat modern slavery and advocate for sustainable practices within the manufacturing supply chain and play my part as a designer to end the use of child and forced labor. Free As A Human donates profits of sale from items to support Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART) Kenya, an NGO that works with young female victims of human trafficking to end this massive problem. The hummingbird used in this print symbolizes love, enjoyment of life and lightness of being. The delicate hummingbird invites us to enjoy life’s sweetness, lift oneself out of negativity whenever it creeps in, and express love more wholly in our quotidian endeavors. By making more room for love and lightness into our lives, we CAN work collectively to end modern slavery. Love manifests itself in different areas in our lives, be it at a wedding or when a mother first meets her newborn. The Phonology Collection is a manifestation of love in the various spaces of our lives, from romance to a smile shared by two strangers.
The Phonology Collection is a manifestation of love in the various spaces of our lives, from romance to a smile shared by two strangers.
How would you describe your label?
My label is bold, unassuming, authentic and timeless
What do you believe should be the foundation of every woman’s wardrobe?
A statement White Shirt, a Silk Sheath Dress and a pair of metallic shoes- they go with everything
Where can we purchase pieces from the brand?
The new collection is available online for pre-orders as of December 18th and also online at the Atrium Dublin. From Spring 2019 (around March), the collection will be available through select stores in Lagos, London and New York.
Follow them on Instagram @anyangompinga
Are you a fan of Anyango Mpinga ? If you’d like to be featured or there is a brand you think we should feature email style [at] bellanaija dot com. We’d love to hear from you!
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