Sunday, April 19, 2009


Ok, so here is my third post on this designer and I am sure by now you are starting to see my obsession.

I am very much fascinated by his edgy, flamboyant and damn right colourful designs as well as his rebellious "I don't give a damn" attitude which works hand in hand with his creativity.

I finally managed to get an interview from him despite his very busy schedule.

See and read as per below and also check out some of the pics from his spring / summer collection!

FS: Who is Emmy Collins, the person?
EC: Emmy Collins is a designer who is out on cutting a niche for himself in the fashion industry. He rebels against most norms that are strictly adhered to in the industry and does so with no apologies. He loves what he does and feels validated by the attention his work attracts. His work is his love, his baby and his passion.

FS: Is there a difference between the person and the designer? If yes, how?
EC: Basically my work exemplifies my personality (strong, confident and I like to maintain a bullshit-free zone).

FS: Fashion is.....
EC: A means of letting your personality out, hence the operative word needs to be originality.

FS: Why do you focus on the edgy side of fashion?
EC: I never woke up one morning and decided I was gonna focus on the edgy side. It just comes naturally to me, it is who I am and who I will remain irrespective of what stick I might get along the way.
FS: What is the idea or concept behind Emmy Collins Designs?
EC: There was no planned concept initially. I was just a guy trying to have fun doing what God gave me the talent to do. Having said that I must say that if you mirror into my work you will observe the fusion of funkiness, eclecticism and elegance but it has was never planned, it just occurred and I am loving it.
FS: If you were to choose an individual, be it male or female, African or Western to update their style, who would you choose and why?
EC: I will do you one better and choose a couple, Kanye West and Amber Rose. I am loving them at the moment but I might get bored and move on to someone else. It used to be Andre 3000 of Outcast but he seems to have disappeared from under our radar recently, hasn't he?
FS: How did you become a designer? Did you go to fashion school or did it start from passion?
EC: While in school my nickname was "Mr GQ" so fashion has been an immense part of my being and I have been designing my own pieces just to maintain originality. However my label came to be after a chanced meeting with PRINCE (singer, producer and songwriter) in a Bar/Lounge in manhattan, New York. He complimented my style and when I informed him that I designed the piece myself he suggested I may wanna make a career out it.
I do have a diploma in Fashion Businesses Managemnet and I was thought well by the legendary Mr David Jones who once said to me "Education you can acquire but talent you are born with". I never attended a proper fashion school and this used to bother me initially but I have actually managed to turn it into my favour in the sense that I am not structured. I don't know certian rules of the industry and never bothered to know them hence I am not under any pressure to observe them. My passion is massive and it has been propelling ever since I launched my label.
FS: What three things are needed in your opinion to become a badass fashion designer like yourself?
EC: Originality, originality and originality.
FS: If you were not into fashion, what else would you have loved to do?
EC: Become political activist. Would love to piss off the politicians, especially in my homeland Nigeria
FS: Where your parents encouraging of your career choice?
EC: Let me just say they would have been quite more encouraging if I had majored in medicine or something like that but its unimaginable for me to think myself as a doctor or some guy who does 9-5. I am just too rebellious for office politics cos I say it like it is and I kiss no backsides.
FS: What is your opinion on African fashion and the level of creativity emerging from that continent at the moment?
EC: I have witnessed a few talents emerging but not as quick as I would like.I believe I have seen quite a few labels from South Africa which I liked. I was also loving some pieces from some designer named Stoned Cherry, can't remember which country the label is based*(see below). We need to believe that we could be the best in the world and I don't think I get that impression from any industry in Africa be it music, movie or fashion. I think we need to borrow a page from Slum dog millionaire which was an India movie but went ahead to win oscars.

FS: What inspires you?
EC: People I see on the streets of London and dreams. Yeah I am a dreamer!

FS: What is the source of your motivation?
EC: I am self motivated.
FS: What are your goals?
EC: To be one of the greatest designers of our time and when I die I would love the epitaph to read "HERE LIES A MAN WHO STAYED TRUE TO HIS STYLE BELIEVES"
FS: Which other designers do you admire in the fashion world?
EC: Vivienne Westwood, Donatella Versace (She keeps it simple and unbelievably elegant), Tom Ford (I see myself in him cos we both practice what we preach by dressing good ), Stella McCartney (She got some stick initially cos she was a daughter of a Beatles but I quite like her stuff) etc

FS: When is your online store being launched?
EC: Hopefully in a forthnight from now.

FS: Would we be seeing the Emmy Collins stores on our high streets?
EC: At the moment I am talking with a potential investor to make that a reality but in the meantime we are most likely to feature in the London Fashion Week in september and hopefully acquire some new accounts.
FS: How is the flagship store in Lagos doing?
EC: Unfortunately I had to shut down the Flagship store in Nigeria as it was being quite problematic. At end of the day I am a British based designer and I need to solidify my ground over here in the UK and with regards to fashion the action is here really. I will set up an outlet over there at some point in the future but I wouldn't like to be involved in managing it. I don't possess the extra patientce it requires. I am a designer not a retailer
FS: What response have you received from that side of the world?
EC: Oh, I received so much love but of course some individuals felt threathened as would be expected. My fan base is massive over there and that means the world to me considering that I was born there.

FS: What is the best thing about being African in your opinion?
EC: the God given strength to deal with tough challenges.
*Stoned Cherrie is a South African label founded and run by Nkhensani Nkosi, a South African.
This is most definitely the best ever interview I ever conducted. I love Emmy's tone, I love his carefree, straight to the point attitude!
Hope you enjoyed reading it too ;-))
For more info, please go here:
Stay fashionABLE


Anonymous said...

nice, nice, nice! if this guy wasn't his father's son, he'd be fela's.


Dro said...

i wud love to use a number of your materials,FAH-SCHYON.give me your email,mine's

Mohsen said...

Good luck my friend...

The Bookaholic said...

Well done...keep it up oh!

Gidan Nodza said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and the compliment...of course I would be honoured to be featured on your blog... and of course you know that I love ur blog.
Take care.