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A Coventry mum who built a clothing brand in a back room of her house saw her designs debut during London Fashion Week.
It was the first time mum-of-two Tawa Atanda had models wearing her brand on the runway of London Fashion Week last month. Mrs Atanda, 43, a former City College student, was scouted by a fashion house to debut her designs.
Describing her brand, TáWA, Mrs Atanda told CoventryLive: “The brand basically is more about my culture, my roots, and basically I have fused it with British as well, making it a fusion between African and Western kind of thing. My inspiration comes from the two cultures really.
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“It is very colourful, fun, basically a woman who wants to express themselves in their fashion.”
We last reported on Mrs Atanda in 2012, when as a final year fashion student at City College she was named Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year in the BTEC National Awards. She was approached by House of iKons, a global brand, known for launching emerging designers and creatives after they saw her Instagram page showcasing her designs.
She said: “This is my first show with them, they approached me on Instagram, asked if I was interested, they loved my collection and everything I stand for. It’s women trying to express themselves, not shying away from who they are, being brave and bold regardless and standing for what they believe in, and not letting anything hold them back.
“With the designs, I get my inspiration through my heritage, the British and African fused together.”
She said the inspiration behind the collection that went on the runway, which was called find your elegance, came from a Nigerian festival called Egungun festival. Mrs Atanda says her husband and two teenage sons have been hugely supportive of her brand, and that she plans to bring out more lines in the future.
She said: “I believe it gave a good impression, they responded well to the collection, I had a lot of people coming to meet me, chatting, asking me to tell them more about the story behind the collection.”
On what the future holds, she said she wants to bring out more clothing lines, at least two a year: “My mission for the brand is to provide women with a comfortable and appropriate environment and showcase quality, well constructed cotton designs, to offer various beautiful and high end fashion.”
You can follow Tawa on Instagram at @_t.a.w.a
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