Seven questions to Eva Sonaike
In this new edition of Seven Questions, Highlights invites you to discover an inspiring interior designer using African prints and African inspired textiles to create beautiful fabrics, and individual luxurious accessories for home décor, fashion and interior design. Eva Sonaike, CEO and Founder of Eva Sonaike welcomes us into her universe and shares her inspirations and insights.
How did you come up with the brand Eva Sonaike ?
When I was on maternity leave with my first child in 2007/2008 I wanted to redecorate my house, but I couldn't find any cushions and textiles that inspired me. I was looking for an high end, colourful ‘African’ aesthetic, but couldnt find anything in shops. So I decided to make my own cushions. I really enjoyed the creative process and received so much positive feedback, that I decided to take it further and launched the brand.
Why the name Eva Sonaike and is there any meaning attached to it ?
It is my name
What are your favourite styles from your AW16 and SS16 collections ?
Our current collection Falomo, which launched at the beginning of 2016, is currently my favourite collection. But to be honest, I say that whenever I launch a new collection, as it is always exciting to bring new designs to market. I particularly like the pink Aluro design, which embodies African luxury for me.
How is Eva Sonaike contributing to a major change in the industry ?
This is a very tricky question. I can only hope that we are contributing to position the African design aesthetic in the premium and luxury spectrum of the market. I feel very strongly about quality, commercial viability, strong branding and excellent customer service, which transforms a brand from mainstream to high-end.
Which designer(s) inspires you and why?
I love Duro Olowu. His aesthetic, is so African, but he manages to be very understated about it. And I love Lisa Folawyio’s designs. Again, she translates an African narrative into a luxury, elegant story, that speak to women from different backgrounds. And she has the greatest wardrobe ever.In terms of interior design, I love Kit Kemp. I love her use of colour and texture. All her projects carry her signature, but at the same time a very different.
As an opinion leader in your sector, what objectives and values are you aiming to communicate via your creations?
I am trying to communicate a positive and luxury Africa. I know an‘Africa’ as such doesn’t exist, as there are so many diverse and different cultures on the continent. But I think there is an overall Renaissance going on the continent since a few years, which brought a commercial and confident base of brands, people and stories onto the greater picture within the continent and the Diaspora, which is amazing!
What would be your advices to young African designers trying to build their own brands?
Do your homework and research. Find out who your customers are, what they want and how to reach them. There are so many great brands on the market and the competition is fierce. But if you find your niche and target the right audience, your world is your oyster.