Label - Dumebi
DUMEBI is for a confident woman from any and every background
Label DUMEBI is a luxury womenswear brand specialising in unconventional detailed exotic clothing, shoes, and accessories. Founder Barbara Biosah, along with her highly skilled team, mixes inspirations from Africa with western silhouettes hand-made in her atelier in London and Paris. In an interview with Kiran Sahija, the designer reveals about her inspirations for her designs and shares some tips for basic wardrobe-essentials.
Fibre2Fashion : What drew you to the fashion industry and inspired you to launch your own brand at such a young age?
I have always had a passion for fashion but my interest in creating began at the age of 10. My mother owned a small clothing store in north London where she had tailors creating custom looks for her clients. It was there that I learnt about sewing and found an interest in creating. At 16, I remember being obsessed with Project Runway and falling in love with Parsons New School for Design in NYC where Project Runway was filmed. So, at 19, I moved to the Big Apple to study fashion design shortly after transferring to International Fashion Academy in Paris to pursue my love for haute couture and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design & Technology in 2014. After graduating, I did several internships including one with Gareth Pugh in London. He was celebrating his 10-year anniversary at 33 after starting his brand at the age of 23. At the time I was 22 and thought well if he could do it so could I. I officially launched DUMEBI at the end of 2016 / beginning of 2017.
Fibre2Fashion : Where do you get ideas for your eclectic collections?
My designs are a fusion of my Nigerian heritage (attending Nigerian parties as a child), my love for Renaissance art, and my amazing experiences studying abroad in NYC and Paris and being able to meet interesting people from all walks of life and combining all my passions and exciting textures I have discovered along my journey.
Fibre2Fashion : Who is your intended audience, and where do the majority of your customers come from (geographically)?
DUMEBI is for a confident woman from any and every background who loves fashion and is not afraid to make a statement. We have had clients from Los Angeles, London, Paris, Asia, etc. DUMEBI is created for fabulous, strong, independent, and confident boss women from various backgrounds living their best life whilst looking their best!
Fibre2Fashion : What considerations should be made while designing couture, and how long does it take and what is the process?
High-quality materials are of the utmost importance and also focusing on great attention to detail, and amazing couture techniques and finishings. This kind of work is time-consuming, but the end result is so rewarding, and the handmade pieces can last a lifetime.
Fibre2Fashion : Where do the fabric and accessories come from? Is the production outsourced to third-party vendors?
All our materials, including 100 percent silks, are sourced in the UK and we handmake each design in-house in our atelier in London. The handbag collection that we just launched was designed by me in London and handcrafted in Venice, Italy.
Fibre2Fashion : How has digitalisation influenced your label and what are the benefits and drawbacks of it?
Digitalisation has helped my brand a lot. We are able to create amazing, eye-catching content which we share on our social media platforms and website. It helps build brand awareness and visibility. We also get really good responses and requests for collaboration from influencers, stylists, photographers, etc.
Fibre2Fashion : What are the five basic wardrobe essentials that every woman should have?