APiF: Please introduce yourself.
Mangishi Doll: My name is Kapasa Musonda, and I was born and raised in Zambia. I come from a humble home of four girls and two incredible parents who all reside in Zambia. After I completed High School, I won a Scholarship to study Fashion Design from FIDM (Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising) in Los Angeles, California. Upon graduation, I worked in the fashion industry for about two years and after six years of being in the U.S, I came back home in the Summer of 2011 to start my own clothing line!
APiF: When did you start your brand and is there a specific meaning behind the name “Mangishi Doll“?
MD: I started developing the MD brand in 2014, prior to this I had been designing individual pieces for about three years but Mangishi Doll only truly came to life in 2015. Mangishi is derived from the Nyanja word (A Zambian local language) referring to an artistic craft, a form of art with the use of a thin wire spun and twirled into an art piece. I related my brand to Mangishi because MD pieces are not specific, each collection is different and can easily morph into the unexpected just like the wire form of art. Mangishi Doll (MD) is a collection of Afro-Eclectic pieces which are inspired by bold prints and a unique style. It is a contemporary line intentionally crafted for the Doll that dares to stand out!
APiF: How does your heritage inspire what you do?
MD: I am at a point in my life where I have a better understanding of my heritage and where I come from, which I couldn’t confidently state before. Now I find myself wanting to add a touch of my heritage to all my pieces, be it through print, through naming each piece or through styling and accessories. Not only does it inspire me but it gives me great Pride.
APiF: Will you continue to focus on print mixing?
MD: I am drawn to bright colors and bold prints that are expressive. Growing up I had an immense love for abstract artwork and through Uni I always had the desire to make my own prints (still do) and I think that’s where my print mixing comes from. I love to make the most out of colors, shapes and patterns, It’s the uniqueness it gives that I absolutely can’t get enough of. In a way, It’s almost like you’re forming your own abstract print. Funny enough, the mixing is never planned. I could see two or three different prints hanging in different areas of the studio and all of a sudden it dawns on me that they would fuse great together. I live for those moments and truth be told it doesn’t always work out but I certainly don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
APiF: How and where can readers buy your designs?
MD: Readers can buy our designs from our online store www.mangishidoll.com
APiF: Any tips for up and coming designers?
MD: The industry will always accommodate a designer that is authentic. Don’t aim to be commercial, aim to be unique and true to yourself. You are your greatest critic, so use that to your ability! Design pieces that you love and want to wear. If you won’t wear it the odds are people out there will not want to wear it. It’s not about having 100 new customers it’s about having the one that will keep coming back and back, start small and let your brand grow!
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