Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pretty Stuff: Nneka Gigi

 
"Be extremely comfortable with planting seeds that may not bloom right away."
- Nneka Gigi

I love meeting dope girls from all over, even its just virtually. What's also cool, is learning about these girls' creativity and talents. Nneka Gigi is one of those girls. She's a visual artist and creates the coolest stuff. One look at her site, and I was incredibly inspired. If you are a 90s kid who loves unique fashion, you too will be inspired. Her latest work includes a super cool digital magazine and a Street Couture Short Film. I'm excited to feature her here on JB and I promise you're all gonna love it. Check out our interview below along with her work and where you can find it!


View Nneka Gigi's Street Couture Short Film: "Uninvited (2017)"  below!

Zachary Bxllion - Creative Director @zacharybxllion
Ronnell Hudson - Photographer @rlh_visuals




Janée Barbre Who is Nneka Gigi? Tell us about your brand. 

Nneka Gigi I am a visual artist and doctoral student residing in Los Angeles, California. I find a lot of pride in being Nigerian and use my culture to draw inspiration from when it concerns my creations or initiatives for education.

One thing a lot of people do not know about me is that I have two names. Nneka  Uzoma Gigi is my legal name, and Ibhareta Amaka Gigi. My grandmother is from Onitsha and my grandfather is from the Ishan tribe. they gave me names that reflected their tribe, and Nneka was chosen because it means "mother is supreme."

I started working on this project three years ago. The brand is heavily influenced by the following: the color way of the 90s, the whimsical nature of Japanese street fashion, the oversized/layered look found in London streetwear, and colorway importantly from my own culture as a Nigerian woman.


JB Your pieces are so vibrant and unique. Where do you draw inspiration?

NG What a mom was wearing at Vons could serves as inspiration, the architecture in Japan, or ongoing social and political issues pertinent to my culture all served as means of inspiration. It really depended on what I was trying to say.



JB How'd you get your start?

NG I started designing in 2009 and made jewelry and accessories from recycled materials. As a curvier girl, I hated how clothes fit on me, so I decided to learn more about garment construction and design. After teaching myself how to sew over the course of a yeah, I participated in my first NYFW event. The success, connections and most importantly, the lessons learned changed my career forever, 


JB What are your ultimate goals for your future and brand?

NG Ultimately, I am focused on building relationships with brands and creatives I believe reflect my core beliefs and values when concerning adding to or creating a culture. I consider Nneka Gigi a culture and not just a brand.


JB Any advice you wanna throw at the gals out there?

NG I have two pieces of advice I wish were common knowledge when I first started my business.

1. Be extremely comfortable with planting seeds that may not bloom right away.

2. Learn how to fund your projects and career moves through outside resources and not just your own.


Thank you so much Nneka Gigi for spreading some of your light and inspiration here on my blog. Oh, and that advice is wonderful!! Be sure you guys keep up with all her greatness by following her on Instagram: @nnekagigi

View her digital magazine here!



Visit her site & shop here!

xo,
Janée







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