Sunny Rose (SR) is a fashion label that makes handmade jewelry and handbags as well as a female ready-to-wear line. The label’s accessory line makes use of materials such as leather, exotic skins and semi precious stones while the ready-to-wear line can be best described as sophisticated luxury and makes use of crystals and semi precious stones that add to the glamorous appeal of the choice of fabrics.
Designer of SR Maureen Okogwu-Ikokwu is from the Eastern part of Nigeria, she discovered her passion for accessories as a child while rummaging through her mother’s wardrobe and trinket cases. Her talent for creating imaginative drawings and love of flamboyant treasure was also evident from an early age. After studying for a Masters degree in Public Relations from the European University in Montreux in Switzerland, Ikem set her sights on creating her own range of handbags and jewelry. One evening while having dinner in Lausanne in Switzerland, Ikem was spotted by a model agent, this turned out to be the start of a career in fashion.
SR was inspired by Ikem’s travels around the globe, the label uses the first names of both her parents – Sunny and Rose. SR is available in high-end boutiques around the world and has been a favourite of the international press including vogue, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and Style.
According to Ikem her SR spring/summer 2012 collection was inspired by the birds eye, the sensual yet glacial glare of the falcon while asking the question – “what are the classic elements of a woman’s wardrobe?” Ikem tries to answer the question by working with fabrics and silhouettes – hand woven embellishments that recreate the harmonious tunes of the swish of birds wings, making the collection truly SR.
Spring/Summer 2012 moodboard and inspiration
Ikem who lives between the London and Thailand was recently in Lagos, Nigeria for the MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2011 (MTNLFDW) and had a chat with OnoBello.com about her experience and life as a fashion designer.
OB: How was the MTNLFDW 2011 experience for you?
SR: It was a great experience, showcasing my work and meeting with the insiders of the Lagos fashion industry.
OB: What's your current state of mind?
OB: How did it feel to be selected for the MTNLFDW show?
SR: I was very happy to be chosen as one of the designers to showcase my collection.
OB: What are your previous experiences of Lagos- what does the city represent in terms of fashion for you?
SR: This is actually my first experience with Lagos, and I must say I am loving it. It is Nigeria's fashion capital it is buzzing with excitement and inspiration.
OB: What's the look for your collection? What are the key themes, colours, fabrics and shapes?
SR: It is casual chic, as well as understated luxury. The key themes are casual, cocktail and evening wear, the colour palette is salmon, taupe, fern, mocha, teal, eggshell, smoke, and mustard. I used fluid easy fabric in my collection, such as linen, cotton, silk, chiffon and Ankara. The only strong elements were the leather and snakeskin cut outs. For shapes I went with hour glass shapes for cocktail and evening and floaty knee length baby doll dresses and pencil skirts and short sleeve trench coat dresses for day.
OB: Where did you go for inspiration?
SR: I was inspired by the Falcon, being a strong bird of prey dwelling on both land and in the sky, I combined the basic elements earth, and wind. The oval cut out seen through out the collection were inspired by the birds eye and also been a pun for my birds eye view on fashion.
OB: What's your design philosophy?
SR: Clean cut luxury
OB: What kind of woman do you design for?
SR: The classy working woman who wants a twist to her work wear, being able to wear my pieces to work, for a function or to a party and feel like the belle of the ball.
OB: Where do you see your label in the next five years?
SR: Stronger, more established in the Nigerian market, as well as internationally
OB: For you, how does African fashion fit into the global fashion industry?
SR: I think it fits in perfectly as African designers are becoming more and more creative and innovative with the use of our native fabrics hence making a mark on the international fashion scene
OB: What are your essentials that you cannot do without in any city?
SR: My MAC lipgloss, I-phone, and my Christian Louboutin stilettos
OB: What are you hungry for?
SR: Change, basic necessities need to be a global priority
OB: What do you do with all your money?
SR: Re-invest it into my business
OB: Craziest fashion moment?
SR: Backstage getting dressed during the Paris fashion week
OB: Most fun thing ever done?
SR: Scuba diving
OB: Your most wild fashion item you have bought?
SR: A slashed leather jacket with feathers sticking out of the holes.
OB: Most fun to go to?
OB: How do you relax?
SR: I get a massage
OB: Best place to shop and why?
SR: Bangkok you get a wide variety at exceptional prices
For more information on SR, visit: www.maureenikemsunnyrose.com