Me & My Passions
. I come from Sierra Leone, a small country on Africa's West Coast. I grew up surrounded by our textile traditions - gara, country cloth - but didn't pay particular attention to them. They were simply the things of everyday life. I loved fashion, though, and was always amazed at the wonderful garments with rich embroidery that tailors would make out of traditional fabrics.
It was when I went away to college that my real passion for the textile and ornament arts of "native peoples" began. College is a time when we explore who we are and what we want. So it was that I returned to the textiles and arts of my youth that I had been indifferent towards. With a new critical eye I recognized the beauty of the work, appreciated the craftsmanship, and understood the cultural significance of the artifacts.
Today I am fascinated by the textile and ornament arts of "native peoples" around the world. The intricate details, the craftsmanship, the beauty of the work and the stories the textile and ornaments tell intrigue me. In many indigenous societies in Africa, Asia and South America, the choice of colors and motifs in a textile are not always arbitrary or purely aesthetic. Colors and motifs can symbolize and tell stories of everyday life's struggles and joys.
But I also love fashion. I think clothes, accessories, and home decor are expressions of who we are.
. So I created Hibiscus as a platform to marry my two loves -- fashion and the textile and ornament arts of "native peoples." With Hibiscus, our designers explore and offer my vision of contemporary fashion with ethnic influences. We share with you the textile, ornament and design influences of peoples around the world. But we do it with a "twist." All our designs are stylish, contemporary fashions that fit into your modern life. Hibiscus offers Designs for your Exotic Side.
On AfricanCraft.com, I showcase work in mudcloth and fancy prints. These are two of the most popular African fabrics on the market today. I challenged myself to use mudcloth and fancy prints in styles that go beyond the typical African or strong "ethnic" designs that they are most often used in. If one starts out seeing mudcloth and fancy prints simply as fabric and not "African" fabrics, then one liberates one's self to use them in as wide a range of designs as possible. In my work, I want to use these fabrics in modern designs for every day work and play. I hope you like what you see.