APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
RenéeQ: RenéeQ is about making a woman look and feel good. We design & make beautiful clothes and accessories whilst providing image consulting and make up services. Accentuating one’s inner beauty with an outer glow.
APiF: How does your heritage inspire/influence your designs?
RenéeQ: In the past, Ghanaian women wore the African print fabric but mainly in ‘slit & kaba’, a traditional design. I loved the colors and designs of our fabric but wanted a chic and more contemporary way of wearing it, so in 2008, I created RenéeQ bespoke, a line of tee shirts embellished with African print fabric, beads, crystal, embroidery etc. I have just introduced tee dresses as well.
APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
RenéeQ: A stylish, elegant and unique person who draws attention with every step they take.
APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
RenéeQ: I only buy what I love so almost everything in my closet is a favorite. But of my collection, my fav at the moment is definitely the BP Shawl. I love, love, love this because I created it out of a need I had.
I travel a lot and for some reason, always lose my boarding pass. Rather than keep looking in every side of my bag, travel wallet, hand luggage etc. and delaying passengers behind me, I thought to myself, why don’t I design a beautiful shawl with pockets?! This is it! Comfortable, stylish and useful. It has pockets on both sides and are deep enough to even carry your passport, ticket and mobile phone. Now I delay passengers behind me ‘cos passengers ahead want to know where it’s from!
APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to global audience?
RenéeQ: Social media is fantastic! I have a website, blog, twitter and facebook page that many people follow. A lot of the clients I have in Ghana have been through word of mouth as I didn’t advertise much in the beginning. I’ve participated in shows, been interviewed in a few magazines and blogs, like this, which always generates interest.
I’m working on an online shop at the moment and have had many offers from different companies running online shops to join them. For now, I get emails from international clients, they make payments through Paypal and I post items to them, which is working really well. I guess I have divine favor. (Smiley)
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
RenéeQ: You must have passion to join this industry because like everything else, it can get quite difficult. You can be inspired by other designers but never copy their style. Develop your own style that can easily be linked to you. Travel often to get fresh ideas but if you can’t, do a lot of research…magazines, Google, Pinterest etc. to keep abreast with current trends. Be yourself. Be YOUnique!
APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
RenéeQ: Gosh! I have so many ideas…sometimes I can’t sleep because of how excited I get planning them. Hmm, let me keep you in a bit of suspense…
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Photo credits:Besides the BP Shawl images, all photos were taken by RQV Photo Studio.
Model – Darlynn Quarcoo