We start our african fabric series with an interview with Tina Lobondi, an african designer based in London and working with african fabrics. Congolese born, Tina Lobondi is an award winner designer, international fashion Designer and young entrepreneur with over 7 years experience in
the fashion industry. Elegance with timeless style is the aim she wants to achieve.
Tina established her eponymous label in Notting Hill, London in 2010. Her collections are based on exceptional attention to details and finish, classic and chic designs.
The company’s Made-to order service offers you the possibility of choosing your designs and fabrics, to create individually crafted One-Off pieces all made in London.
The fabrics and materials are sourced from all around the world, Mauritania to Paris and London.
In her last collection’s luxury women’s Ready-to-wear collection, you will find a range of garments with our signature African print and a mix of bold colors as well as subtle cream and navy in silks materials.
The designer’s work has been published in various magazines and TV Channels including Marie-Claire and ELLE Magazine South-Africa, British Soap Awards, LOOK Magazine, OK Magazine, and BBC Africa.
Show-after-show Tina Lobondi continues to delight catwalk-goers with her elegant yet edgy, contemporary chic womenswear designs.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your brand ?
My name is Tina Lobondi. I am the founder of the label which was created in 2010.
We produce womenswear clothing and have a Made-to-Measure service for private clients.
When did you know that you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I have been drawing from a young age but I think I discovered a passion for fashion when I was around 13 years old.
Where did you study fashion design?
I studied at a private school in France and at London College of Fashion in London.
How is congolese culture reflected in your designs?
My designs refers to the way women in my family used to dress more that the congolese culture over all. I use african prints from different countries.
Which african fabrics do you use to make your pieces ?
We use Ankara and Wax for our African inspired designs.
Why do you use this (theses) particulars fabric(s) ?
We use these fabrics to celebrate the African culture and the beauty of its prints.
Is this type of textiles easily manipulated ?
Yes, it is made of the best cotton and is always 100% so the quality is good and easy to use.
Where do you get your fabric ? Shop? Local market ?
The Fabric are sourced from Different stores.
For a collection, how do you choose a fabric pattern ?
I usually choose the first material based on a crush I have on it and then I would build the collection around it based on a theme.
Why do you think it is important to display African fashion on an international platform?
It is important to display African Fashion internationally because all the other Fashion are on an international level.
Africa is finally being targeted as a growth sector for fashion and luxury, how do you plan to impact this burgeoning market?
We will soon find out. “smile”
Describe the ideal TINA LOBONDI woman ?
She is strong and feminine. She cares about herself, looks and health. She makes her own trends and never feels out of fashion.
Does your personal style differ much from the TINA LOBONDI woman you design for?
No, she is me or better the better version of me. She is more daring.
How do you create balance in your life?
I know when to take time for myself and enjoy my life. I love being busy with different projects.
One word that describes you ?
In one word, Honestly funny.
What advice do you have for young designers who would like to start?
I would say Be strong all the way because it is a long road.
What essentials are you packing that you couldn’t do without at African-Malaysia International fashion show or any show?
My essentials are my phones, a copy of Miror magazine as I am the fashion director now and I like to get new ideas and my collection.
Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
In 5 years, the brand will be fully established and will still be trading on an international platform.
Thank you for taking the time to answer to our question.