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London based Kinshasa-born designer, Tina Lobondi, describes her signature style as “subtle elegance in luxurious fabrics”. After studying at the London College of Fashion, the entrepreneurial designer settled into her West London studio and started her self-titled brand. Since then she has made great strides in the international fashion scene showing at Mercedes Benz Africa Fashion Week in 2014 as well as launching her SS15 collection. For her collaboration with KISUA, Tina combined luxe fabrics with iconic wax prints to create classic feminine garments that are as chic as they are quintessentially African. We interviewed Tina to find out more about what inspires her and her plans for 2015…

How did you decide to become a designer and where did you start?
I started drawing when I was 11. I always knew that I wanted to be in the creative world. I started my label 4 years ago and it has been the most exciting experience.

What are the key challenges you have faced as an African designer and what do you think is a solution for those challenges?

The key challenges have been to keep going and create 2 collections each year. I think there should be more support for designers through their careers but most importantly platforms to encourage them to show their work on an international level. In Paris, and many other cities they have fashion collective for designers. I think it would be good if we did have a similar system in Africa.

What are you inspired by right now and what are you working on?

At the moment, I am working on my new collection for Winter 15. I am always inspired by strong women, who inspired us to be the women we are today.

If you weren’t a designer what would you have been doing?

If I wasn’t a designer, I would be a singer or an actress. It is such a fascinating world.

How would you describe yourself as a designer?

I think I am quite stubborn in most areas but as a designer I like to connect with people and try new things.

What type of woman wears Tina Lobondi?

The type of women who wear Tina Lobondi are elegant and fun. They like quality clothing and timeless pieces in their wardrobe.

Any big plans for 2015?
2015 might be my biggest year yet.  Everything will be revealed in time….
If you had to choose between never seeing another item of clothing again or 100 million dollars what would you choose?
Well, life is not possible without clothing J.

Which designer(s) inspire(s) you?
I love Giambatista Valli and Valentino.
What’s your favourite thing about London?|
The atmosphere is amazing, the buildings and the food.



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