German/Nigerian designer Hazel Aggrey-Orleans of Eki Orleans counts actress Thandie Newton as one of her many celebrity clients and judging from what we saw on the runway at Africa Fashion Week New York (AFWNY) our fashion editor, Roshie was curious to know more about Hazel, who was born in Germany, raised in Nigeria and educated in London. So Roshie did what she does best, she corned Hazel backstage to give us a quick interview.
Roshie: Tell us about your collection.
Hazel: My collection is called Eki Orleans.
Roshie: Where did you get the inspiration for your collection?
Hazel: I get the inspiration from the African continent especially the prints. I use the prints to tell a story and interpret print onto silk and other textiles. I used butterflies on the African continent as a major source. Butterflies are very colorful and vibrant so I wanted to display an artful print on the silk fabric.
Roshie: Is this your first collection at AFWNY and if so, how has your experience been so far?
Hazel: Yes it is. It’s been a wonderful experience because this offers a platform for new African designers. Great working and meeting with other new designers.
Roshie: Did you go to Fashion School?
Hazel: No not really, I was actually in Finance and banking but Fashion has always been my passion. I have always had an eye for color so I started out with designing prints the eventually collections.
Roshie: Any styling tips you would like to share with the ladies?
Hazel: I would say be colorful. Don’t be afraid to play with color. Even in the winter, you can always see me in a bright yellow coat. It’s a great thing to embrace color.
Roshie: Where can we find Eki Orleans?
Roshie: Great. Thank you so much for chatting with me and all the best.
Hazel: Thank you for having me.