This month, our topic of conversation is Sustainability. We’ll be speaking to African designers that design and focus on eco-friendly sustainable fashion.
This week our designer is MXDONNA, a luxury fashion brand launched in 2016 by a Nigerian designer, Cynthia Madonna Orji. The label fuses vintage elements with modern styles to create a trendy yet classic feel for the elegant women walking the fine line of chic.
Q: Who do you design for? Off the top of your head, do you have a muse?
A: MxDonna designs for the timelessly and effortlessly chic woman who's not scared to switch up her style whenever she wants to. She is daring yet very simple and classy. So, I honestly can't say I have a muse.
Q: What is your go-to color to work with? Why?
A: BLACK. Because black is mysterious, poetic, modest, and arrogant at the same time. Black is easy and can be mixed with any colour.
Q: Describe your recent collection in three words?
A: Bright, feminine, and refined.
Q: What is your favorite piece from your latest collection?
A: The MOROWA Dress.
Q: Your design process is incomplete without?
A: Music. New age and Folk music to be precise, they are very calming and help me think and focus better.
Q: Which design took you the longest time to create?
A: That would be the AWA Dress from THE CLASSIC collection.
Q: How do you implement sustainability in your work?
A: MxDonna implements sustainability in several ways:
Women Empowerment. Our team consists of only women and we train them to master their crafts.
We source our fabrics locally from local markets
We create new fabrics by hand stitching and mixing appliques and fabrics from leftovers and disposed fabrics. We also recycle clothing to create new designs.
Q: If you could dress anyone in your designs, living or dead who would it be?
Q: What are you most inspired by?
A: many things and everything around me inspire me from a beautifully aged interior to arrangements of flowers in a garden even the structure of an object or an artwork or a mood, feeling. My inspiration knows no limit.
Q: In your opinion, what sets your work apart from the rest?
A: I would say the attention to details. Our designs are always Africa inspired by Urbanism.
Q: When you think about the future of sustainable fashion in Africa, what do you envision?
A: I envision a future where customers are more aware and enlightened about sustainable and ethical fashion. There are a lot of African sustainable brands consumers who are now more aware of what sustainability is in fashion. Africa is also being targeted by international sustainable brands and I’m sure Africa will be the hub of Sustainable Fashion in the nearest future.
Q: Are there any other cultures that influence your work?
A: The African Culture in general influences my work.
Q: What comes next for your brand?
Q: Who or what would you say has been the biggest influence on your work so far?
A: Sustainability has been the biggest influence on my work so far.
Q: What part of you comes through the most in your designs?
A: My emotions to be honest.
Q: What was your aha moment, the point at which you decided to be a designer?
A: There was never the ‘aha!’ moment for me, I have always wanted to be a fashion designer since I was a kid.
Q: What would you say are your biggest fears are as a designer?
A: Production setbacks and poor marketing.
Q: What counts as fun for you?
A: Netflix with loads of comfort food and wine, or karaoke and wine.
Q: What is your perfect getaway from the work process?
A: Chilling in an amazing calm beach resort with an unending supply of wine
Q: What's a quote that inspires you?
A: In other to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.