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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Designer Spotlight: Interview with Eloli Designs

   Hello folks! 
Today I am super duper excited to feature the luxury brand-Eloli designs!
Eloli is no stranger to this blog as I had briefly featured them 2 years ago when I met 1 of the members of the team at African Fashion Week Toronto 2 years ago.
I had always known them for their luxury African-inspired leather bags and phone cases-which I might add are the business, but this time, they are impressing me with their latest clothing collection, which was highlighted in a recent showcase aptly entitled: Eloli presents African Luxury, held in Yaounde, Cameroon on August 8th.

As soon as I saw the pictures on Facebook, I knew I had to chat with the ladies behind the brand because my oh my were my eyes satisfied. 

Here's a breakdown of our chit-chat.

1) Your latest collection had my eyes almost brimming with tears-in a good way,especially with your use of what looks like a derivative of plexi glass. It's fresh, it's different, it's sophisticated. What was the inspiration behind it?
-What price range are customers looking at?

Thanks so much. We were going for sophistication and so glad that translated. The one word which kept popping into our conversations as we planned the collection was "futuristic". And for us the future is now. Our girl and guy are cosmopolitan and confident and that was the inspiration behind the collection. We brought in "futuristic" through the materials we used as well as the silhouettes which are familiar yet new. The pieces range from $30 - $600.

2) I'm sure you 3 sisters each have a role you do better than the other, so who among you is the most business savvy and who would be more of the artist?

It has been interesting figuring out what we are good at, what brings us joy individually and how that contributes to our collective vision. We all have a strong sense of style and design which comes through when we work together - Sume lives for colour, Fese loves clean lines, Dibo is all about opulence - all very complimentary points of view. In terms of business we are all involved in the business aspects of the brand with strong regional foci (Sume - Canada/US, Fese - Cameroon and other parts of Africa, Dibo - UK and the rest of Europe). 

3) Why isn't the new stuff available on the site yet? I'm sure folks would love to get their hands on some!

There has been a lot of interest in the new collection which is very exciting for us. The collection is available for purchase and will be on the website shortly. In the meantime you can preorder by email (info@shopeloli.com) or through Facebook (www.facebook.com/elolidesign) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/eloliworld). If you are lucky to live in Yaounde you can visit our boutique (in Olezoa, beside Pharmacie Xavyo).

4) How long has Eloli been around and why now for your 1st showcase in Cameron?

We are in our third year. Running a brand from 3 cities (were we live) has been an exciting experience and means navigating the realities of schedules (where would we be without technology!). We felt that it was important that we be together for our first major Cameroon event and August 2015 was it. We are very grateful for the love and support and to all who took part in the event.

5) How much work had to go into this event-which by the way looked like a very well-planned and executed evening. I wish I was in Cameroon to attend!

Believe it or not we planned the event in 1 week - the perks of being intense and having very supportive family and friends. We were able to draw on our relationships and networks and amplify them to create a magical evening. 

6)  Enlighten us as to why your prices are what they are.

When we started Eloli there were a few things we wanted to be as a brand. The first was make beautiful clothes and accessories you couldn't wait to have in your closet. The second was to do so in an ethical way. For us as independent designers that has meant using high quality materials and having ethical labour practices (e.g. paying fair wages). We are handmade and produce in small quantities which means production costs are higher than they would be a larger brand. Imagine a piece takes an entire day to make in Toronto and then think about minimum wage... All these factor into the real price of what clothes cost and are reflected in the final prices.

7) Next steps/events for Eloli
We are promoting the current collection and planning an event in Lagos in December. We will also pop-up at various places in Toronto, London, Yaounde and Douala. Our newsletter, website and social media pages (Facebook - www.facebook.com/elolidesign, Instagram (www.instagram.com/eloliworld, Twitter (www.twitter.com/eloliworld) are great places for updates on what we are up to.

So, tell me, is this collection the bomb or what?!

                                                 SKinny Bish

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