APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.SheKudo: SheKudo is a fusion of our Nigerian names. ‘She’ is from the Hausa name Shetu and ‘Kudo’ is from Amy’s Igbo middle name Akudo. We create clothes for strong, eccentric women, who love to have fun with what they wear. We are fusing our African and Australian heritage with some borrowed bits from other cultures and time eras.
APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
SheKudo: Strong / Eccentric / Loud/ Playful / Quirky / Fashion hungry / Individualistic.
APiF: What is your cultural heritage and how does it inspire you?
SheKudo: Amy is Nigerian and Australian; Shetu is Nigerian and Ghanaian. When you are raised to know not only the culture that you grow up in but also the one in which your parents stem from, its inevitable that you will see traces of these cultures in your work. We are mainly inspired by the prints, boldness of color and strength/status depicted through what African men and women wear. In our recent collection “Wahala” you might notice some of these elements in our work.
APiF: Who is your favorite designer?AMY: Oumou Sy was probably the first African designer I laid eyes on. Then I fell inlove with Black Coffee, Suzaan Heyns, Maki Oh, Balenciaga (my all time fav!) Marni, and some Australian designers such as Sass & Bide, Josh Goot, Ellery and Life with Bird.
SHETU: Gloria WavaMunno, Maki Oh, William Okpo there’s so many I love. Aussie designers Romance was Born, Life with Bird, Sass and Bide, Camilla, Kobe Husk there’s too many to list. I am very widely inspired.
APiF: What is your favorite item in your closet?
SHETU: My onezie! They come in all different styles, plus they’re easy, fun and transseasonal.AMY: Its got to be my vomit green, Australian made vintage leather jacket. I think it’s meant to be for a man – but I scored it at some thrift-shop. When I throw it on in winter, I feel like I can conquer the strongest blizzard… (Most of my friends hate it).
APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
SheKudo: At the moment we have been marketing through the usual social media hot spots such as twitter, instagram, facebook and so forth. We also market through links we have in the music or fashion scene that may wear one of our pieces. Underground stylists wanting to use some of our pieces for fashion shoots is also another way. Once we expand we hope to tackle some larger methods of marketing.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?SheKudo: Definitely have a strong plan of action. We are still emerging – so we have learned a lot from this so far. Have fun with what your doing and don’t take yourself too seriously. Fashion should be fun and enjoyable, an expression of who you are. Lastly – don’t burn bridges; you never know who you may need to work with or ask a favor from in the future.