How is an Eki collection put together?

It’s quite a lengthy process and requires a lot of inspiration, which can be hard at times. Coming up with new prints can be a challenge, if the creative juices are just not flowing. 
I tend to spend a lot of time searching online for inspiration, although I have gotten inspiration on holidays too. 

My prints always draw inspiration from Africa, and each collection starts with the prints and then goes into the dress design. 
The entire process can take 2-3 months from prints to sampling. 

With my SS12 peacock collection, I went back to my childhood memories growing up in Nigeria, and recall visiting the beautiful turquoise waters in Abraka (Nigeria), an image that stuck in my head. I then decided to work with these fresh turquoise colours coupled with the beautiful peacock birds. 

My thinking process in terms of our peacock prints: 

Me in the Abraka lake. It doesn’t look turquoise blue but trust me there were areas which were crystal clear blue. 

Once the prints are created, we then try to continue the story of the prints in our pieces :

Our SS13 Butterfly prints were one of our favourites, as it truly represented Eki in terms of bright colours. It was on a trip to Mauritius when I came across an array of butterflies in a tropical butterfly house. I was so mesmerized by the colours that I knew my next collection would incorporate butterflies.   

We decided to dissect the butterfly and create this print:

Once the prints were created, we designed soft feminine silhouettes that draped off the body, evoking a sensuality found in every woman.

For me, the most important thing about creating a collection is that it tells a story from beginning to end. It should also be consistent with your brand and its ethos.
We design clothes for an Eki lady who quietly demands the centre of attraction by the prints she wears. We do not use more than 4 colours in a print in order not to make it too busy. We like bold prints that bring out the beauty in every woman. We hope you love it, as we design for you! 

Eki Orleans
Hazel Eki Aggrey-Orleans, the award winning designer, is the creative force behind the high-end London-based fashion-label Eki Orleans. Born in Germany, raised in Nigeria and educated in London, her design aesthetic has been strongly influenced by this diverse mix of cultures. She draws inspiration from all of her cultural experiences, most notably, however, from her West African heritage.
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