Saturday, September 15, 2007


"...Chinedesign was founded by Chinedu Ukabam four years ago. Today,Chinedesign-apparel has expanded from just graphic T's to skirts, dresses and jackets which are widely available in Toronto, Vancouver and Nova Scotia; while a Toronto store is currently in the works..."

Born in the UK and raised in Nigeria, Chinedu has lived many parts of the world which include Dubai and Canada have played a part in inspiring how he designs.

Chinedesign is a fashion design outfit founded by multi talented Chinedu Ukabam who is also a music producer.
In a recent interview conducted by Spectrum women we asked Chinedu the following questions about his work;

Q.What inspired you to become a fashion designer?

I have always been into fashion and clothes but I did not set out to become a fashion designer. I kind of stumbled into it. Music was my first passion: I produce, write and perform. About four years ago, I designed and produced a few t-shirts to promote my upcoming album called Love.Life.Music. It was a relatively simple design based on a newspaper article about me. The response was great. I sold about 300 of those shirts within a few months then people started asking me what my next design was going to be or when my fashion show was taking place. Initially, I had no grand vision of what I was trying to do with my clothing label or what sort of impact I wanted to make in the fashion world, I just made it up as I went along. I am still learning and feeling my way around.

Q.Are your designs slightly influenced by Urban Hip Hop Culture?

Hip-hop culture definitely influences my designs, from the themes I explore in some of the graphic tees all the way to my "cut, paste and manipulate" process of designing garments which to me is a lot like sampling in hip-hop production. In addition to hip-hop, I am also inspired by Japanese culture and Nigerian Nollywood films. My upcoming Gold Standard line is influenced by Victorian fashion trends and Prep-school uniforms. I am open to anything that ignites my creativity.

Q.Do You plan to host a 2008 fashion show?

I am definitely going to be having a few shows in 2008. All my fashion shows have been in Toronto, Canada but next year the plan is to reach New York, London, Los Angeles...

Q.Do you see what your currently doing in the fashion industry inspiring other African kids in diaspora into doing their own thing?

I hope so. Inspiration is cyclical. I am inspired by African designers such as Moshood and Deola Sagoe and in turn I hope someday I will be able to inspire others.

Q.Is going into fashion accessories something you might consider in the future?

My fall collection has some amazing belts in it and this October we'll be launching a line of ties and scarves called Deez Knots which is a joint partnership with Sophia Ho. I am very excited about Deez Knots and I can't wait for you to see what we are working on. We want to revolutionize the way people perceive and wear ties.

Q.What type of fabric do you prefer to work with.

I work with anything I can. Sometimes the fabric itself inspires the garment. I love the loud Ankara textile designs from West Africa and last year, I made Kimonos out of them. This year, I took the classic hounds tooth pattern, altered it so that it fades into a solid color and silk screened it onto neon-bright t-shirts and tank tops. I like to re-imagine fabrics. Make them do something different from what they are supposed to. Right now nothing looks better than raw selvage denim. That's what I am feeling right now.

Photos are courtesy of Chinedesign