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Sika’a is a brand striding ahead of the competition. Born from a passion to merge British fashion pandemonium with traditional African culture, it brings exquisitely handcrafted garments to women seeking something unique. Here Sika’a’s founder, John Tchoudi, discusses the new AW19 collection along with his dedication to empowering women and exploring African culture respectfully.
‘I knew I always wanted to be an entrepreneur...but not in fashion. It wasn’t until 3 years ago, after working for a well-known fashion brand, that I realised there was a real opportunity for premium ethical African fashion within the industry.
Our new AW19 collection reflects my passion for a colourful approach to everyday dressing and style. In African culture, colour plays a significant role. Not only does it express the beauty of the land but colour combinations tell their own stories. Tales that have been passed through the generations come back to life when we bring together various hues which is such a powerful thing. Whether this be rich yellows displayed through sun rays or vibrant purples pigmented onto freshly bloomed flowers, the colours and prints that feature in this collection all have their own memories to share. Modern life needs more colour. We spend our days surrounded by mundane greys, stark blacks and whites - monochrome seems to be embedded in our everyday world. And this is where my inspiration comes from. Bringing colour into garments that you’ll wear every single day.
Modern and effortless, always a bit of heritage and a touch of femininity. I love to experiment and am less concerned with how something looks over the emotions it stirs in people. I take pride in nailing down the perfect outfit for any occasion, whether that be to go grocery shopping or stepping out on the touch in the perfect event outfit.
The Sika’a team is small and dedicated. Because of this, we thrive on newness with an emphasis on quality. As we don’t mass produce, it is always easy for us to quality-control each garment. Our unbridled freedom allows us to constantly explore the themes and concepts that make us feel inspired. And, inspiration can come from anywhere - I am naturally intensely curious and thrive on trying new ideas. Through this, Sika’s has become synonymous with interesting textures, clever proportions and a carefully considered palette to help you create your dream signature wardrobe.
FABRICS AND DESIGNS
The heart of our brand is a keen eye for exquisite fabrics and designs. We work with a highly talented designer who stands alongside us in a dedication to respectfully celebrating African culture. The AW19 collection is no exception - showcasing rich colours, floral prints and exotically inspired details. Vibrant reds that play on the warmth of African heritage, midnight blues picked up from the night sky and bright yellows all play a significant role in our newest garments. Classic inspirations can also be seen. Florals will forever hold inspiration for us, in a variety of colours and shapes.
All of the fabrics in the AW19 collection have been printed to an extremely high standard by The Silk Bureau. These digital textile printing specialists distinguish themselves from the competition by focusing solely on digitally printed silk parades from the catwalk through to interior designs. Their tailor-made professionalism produces digital prints of the highest quality while also supporting British-born companies to make their creativity come to life.
ON SIKA’A WOMEN
Empowering the Sika’a muse to build her capsule wardrobe is key. A new collection is always part of an ongoing story. We know that when the new pairs with what we have done in the past, it gives a new lease of life.’ Our inspiration comes from women who appreciate their fashion choices thoroughly. These women recognise the impact the fashion industry can have on the environment and strive to understand more sustainable methods of production. They use fashion to express their personalities and heritage, wearing pieces that make them feel exquisite. Each garment feels luxurious against the skin, pairing high-quality fabrics with classic silhouettes. In doing so, we are able to pair old items with new to create looks that extend far past any fast fashion trend.
For AW19, Sika’a strove to step outside the box with our marketing collateral. Creating the world of the Sika’a woman, we embarked on a goal to express modern African/British culture accurately. We had very exact specifications for our desired models. After months of model castings and fit sessions, our dream came to life through the talent of our highly skilled photographers. Each photo creates its own mini capsule wardrobe, pairing silhouettes and complementary colour palettes together for clear inspiration. We are passionate about ensuring you receive the garment you’ve seen online. For this reason, we dedicate time to ensuring that all colours were accurately displayed through our images.
Sustainability is a pillar of our brand here at Sika’a and something that continues to hold importance in AW19. I work closely with local artisans, ensuring their work is celebrated and they are paid a fair wage for their talents. Every supplier we work with is vetted to ensure they are aligned with our ethical views and commitment to fair practice. Alongside this, all the fabrics we use are sustainably sourced, offering high quality and durability to rival fast fashion. Sika’a garments take their own showcase within your wardrobe and allow you the versatility to experiment. You can read more about our Sustainability Commitment and Responsibility here.
The Sika’a woman is strong, bold and confident of herself. And, our AW19 collection has been designed to help you express all of those characteristics and more. I think it’s why we have seen such success since we began our journey.
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