KOYAWO is the brainchild of British Fashion Designer Atandjo Francoise Omanga.
Atandjo graduated with BA (Hons) Fashion Designer and Development women’s wear at University of Arts London, London college of Fashion.
She completed internships with Jil Sanders and at Giles (the fashion brand of British Designer Giles Deacon) where she built-up her ethos, love of Couture and learned how to experiment with different materials and fabrics.
In 2013, she started “KOYAWO” a UK based womenswear brand specializing in Ready-to-wear, couture and made to order. A signature style of natural confidence and sexy feminity are apparent in all Koyawo work.
Since launching into fashion spotlight (her autobiography appeared in British Vogue- Designer Profile page, “Woman& Home” magazine) Koyawo signature style continues to develop and innovate every season. She said:” Fashion is about changing and it is important as a fashion designer that I keep moving forward, evolving, and I am always learning.”
The essence of Koyawo’s design is bold, innovative, edgy but modern and cool. The use of exquisite quality materials combined with an interpretation of the brand inspiration and classic cuts result in sophisticated and timeless garments.
WE had a chat with her to see how it is all going ….
1. How did you get into fashion?
I come from a family with a fashion background, my Grandmother, my mother, and my auntie were all seamstresses and dressmakers. So I grew-up surrounded by everything fashion: sewing machines and different type of fabrics. I made my first skirt with the help of my mother at 7 years old by hand. It was her way to stop me asking too many questions and going everywhere around her studio. And, … my dollies were always well dressed!
2. What drives you?
What I really enjoy is the creativity and the self-expression. It’s the fact that I can create something from scratch that people want, buy and enjoy.
3. How has your personal life influenced your career?
I launched my brand because I like the challenge and the opportunity to express myself through creativity and the recreation of the world. Fashion is the only thing that resonated so strongly with me that I felt compelled to pursue it. It is a pleasure for me to take it from a passion to business. As a mother of three children, I juggle many things at once and, two of my children are following me into the fashion industry.
Koyawo will grow from my business to a family business when the time will is right.
4.What was your greatest success in the past few years?
There are quite a few but, I like that Koyawo is now on the platform ” Not Just A Label”. Koyawo is also a partner of ” Faces of the World – Miss 2016″ and to see some of these beautiful ladies wearing Koyawo’s dresses during the competition brings me joy.
5. Do you have a muse you wish you could see wearing your designs?
I don’t have a muse yet! But I create and build a character around each collection. Each collection is a way of telling a story.
6. Do you have a story you are particularly fond of, from the early years of your career?
During my first fashion show at Birmingham International Fashion Show, one of the models loved the dress she worn on runway so much she called me the next day asking if she could purchase it. As a start-up I did not have the price for that dress yet, I end-up guessing how much should I charge her and more to the story, she came down from Birmingham to London to collect the dress by herself, because she had to go to her friend’s wedding at the end of the week. We are still in touch through social media and she recommended Koyawo to her friends and family.
7. What are your plans for the future?
What I am currently preparing for is my showcase at Fashions Finest SS18 during London Fashion Week this September. I am considering venturing into accessories, beauty products, and interiors, add more products to the brand Koyawo. My journey as a designer is only just beginning.