We had a little sit down with the Creative Director of new brand Pearls & Portraits. The exclusive new brand, from designer Wunmi Akinsola, is a London based fashion label creating printed tailored garments using luxury fabrics. Each and every garment used either hand made prints or imagery from Wunmi’s very own photography to ensure the pieces are niche to the printed fashion market.
Tell us a little bit about you? Have you always been involved in fashion and design? What made you get into fashion design?
Growing up in Nigeria, I didn’t have much access to the resources and
support I have now. The general idea my family had for me was to
become a lawyer. I was actually very much a tom boy growing up, but I
realised that I like the idea of being able to make something out of
nothing and I realised I was good at making prints.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Lazy with a splash of crazy. I put on the first thing I see but everything I own has something unique about it. I should make more of an effort but there is just no time.
Describe your Spring Summer 2015 collection in five words?
A 21st Century Frida Kahlo.
What can customers expect to see from your Autumn Winter 2015 collection?
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
Any form of art; books, exhibitions and most especially paintings. I
recently developed an interest in travelling, so we’ll see where that
Where do you see the brand in three years time?
It’s difficult to say as it’s only a few months old, but hopefully we’ll be
known internationally and have a store or two in London.
Who do you see wearing your designs?
What does it take to start your own fashion brand?
Money, but more importantly gut. It also takes a lot of sleepless nights
and early mornings.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
Start as soon as you can and not as soon as you are ready because
there will never be a right time. The most successful people start
before they feel ready.
Do you think there are certain skills that are needed to start your own business?
Honestly, you need skills in most things. Financial skills most
importantly but management skills, IT Skills and marketing are also
How did you learn to design and make your own prints, was this selftaught?
I studied Fashion and Textiles at the University of Kent and while it was more design focused, I sort of strayed into the more textile department and I had to then change my focus in my 3rd year. I always knew that I could paint a little bit but when I discovered that I could use computerized programmes to turn my art into prints and manipulate them; that was it for me. I was like a kid in a candy store.