Designs by Misemi was initially created in 2014 to merge Ankara print with Western fashion, Mistura Yusuf made her vision a reality, designing the pieces she didn’t see on the highstreet but wanted to wear. Since then the brand has evolved but the message remains the same, it’s all about embracing your culture and being unapologetically you. She has two slogans you will see on most of her pieces, one of them being ‘self care season’ Mistura stresses the importance of taking care of yourself. Her other slogan is ‘they love the culture, but they don’t love us’, this highlights the importance of not only embracing your own culture but also being aware of how you consume the culture of others.
Words of wisdom from the founder: Misemi: “Do your research!”
Tinotenda Marova, is a first year fashion student with plans to make a big difference in the fashion industry. Originally from Zimbabwe, Tino describes how she always knew she’d be in the fashion industry somehow but it is difficult to express your creative side there. For her fashion is a statement of who you are and can change how you feel. Inspired by designers such as Rick Owens, Travis Weaver and Ludovic de Saint Serninand, Tino creates pieces that go against the norm and allow people to express themselves.
Words of wisdom from the founder: Tinotenda: “Start simple and work your way up.”
Studying BA Fashion Design: Womenswear at Central Saint Martins, Anika Leila has developed an innovative and sustainable system for her brand using old makeup to create prints. Spending summers with her ‘nani’ at a young age, she was inspired by her ability to make everything from scratch. Growing up, her love for fashion grew and at the age of 16, she got a job at Creams Cafe on Slough St and saved up enough for her very own sewing machine. Every garment holds sentimental value for Anika, with each print having its own personal story, whether it’s the print she painted at her desk at 3am when she can’t sleep or the dress she sewed at her breakfast table, while listening to her favourite podcast. It’s all personal.
Words of wisdom from the founder: Anika: “JUST GO FOR IT! – but when you create, create consciously and meaningfully.”
Da Goat Clothing came about as a result of lockdown boredom, Jevean Tenniece ‘JT’ took to a sewing machine, taught herself how to sew and constructed a pair of patchwork denim jeans. Although she is still in college, JT is a makeup artist, DJ and most recently the owner of a luxury streetwear brand. Da Goat Clothing has a different take on streetwear than most other brands, ensuring that their pieces are made sustainably. GOAT stands for ‘Greatest Of All Time’, and that is how these pieces are meant to make you feel.
Words of wisdom from the founder: Jevean: “If you love what you do it will be easier to stay motivated. Don’t be afraid to ask for other people’s opinions. Always push for greatness.”
GDSBrand is a streetwear brand exclusively for women, that aims to create community and spread positivity. It started out as Goddess but the name was later changed to GDS Brand , which stands for ‘Girls Do Succeed’. Pieces from GDSBrand have been sported by Sandra Lambeck and Alani Figueroa aka @wuzg00d. The owner of the brand Clarissa is a style icon in her own right, she is a fashion content creator known as @VintageDollRisa online. She has created a community of women who love all things streetwear.
Words of wisdom from the founder: Clarissa: “Never lose sight of your goal and the higher purpose of your brand.”
‘Don’t forget your PGB!’, Arielle would say to her friends before a night out. 19 year old fashion student, stylist and womenswear & accessories designer has always had a love for bags, and with her passion for designing, the formation of PrettyGyalBags was almost inevitable. At the age of 5 or 6, Arielle taught herself how to sew, and would make little bags and clothes for her teddies and dolls. At the age of 14, her mum passed down her collection of designer bags to her. You can see that her own designs are definitely reminiscent of vintage designer bags, while still being contemporary in style. PrettyGyalBags is not just for the girls though, they’re for everyone regardless of gender and age. In 2021, Arielle hopes to be even more experimental, creating more unisex pieces.
Words of wisdom from the founder: Arielle: “Don’t worry about followers, that’s not the goal.”
Sio Studios is for the girls who are conscious about what they are buying but still want to look cute. More often than not sustainable fashion brands, aren’t all that fashionable. They tend to have a mumsy, dated look about them, focusing on knitwear and basic pieces — Chelsea Siobhan set out to change this. She started making and selling her clothes on Depop, and it wasn’t until lockdown she really took her brand seriously. Inspired by the 2000s, Chelsea makes fun, figure hugging pieces fit for all body types and any occasion.
Words of wisdom from the founder: Chelsea: “Start small, even now I do all my shoots myself.”
AB$ also known as AB Dollars, is a DJ and Creative Director. The reason she started RONIEBOND was to create a community to unite women in the creative industry, it is bigger than a fashion brand. In 2018, Abs created her first fashion product to support the space for women in streetwear. Since then the brand has made a number of capsules, from the initial tees to more elaborate dresses, their pieces are very versatile. Each capsule serves a different purpose, and is for a different kind of person. Abs’ draws her inspiration from a number of different places, from African and Caribbean culture to the video vixens of the 90s and 2000s. But essentially, RONIEBOND is for the black british woman, the name suggests this as it is an amalgamation of Abs’ Nigerian name and the quintessentially British film icon James Bond.
Words of wisdom from the founder: Abs: “First of all, STACK YOUR CASH! Secondly, go at your own pace, there is no need to rush. Success doesn’t come overnight”
Written by Leonie Bell