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ELLE MEETS OJOMA IDEGWU

Born in Calabar, Nigeria, Ojoma Idegwu has a passion for fashion, and it shows in her fashion label, Dearcurves, catering to curvy women. Launched in 2012, and operating out of London, ELLE got the low-down on the label

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What inspired the birth of Dearcurves?

Dearcurves is inspired by Africa, our love for, and celebration of, curvy women, our ideology of what being beautiful is. The brand is my attempt at bringing a bit of Africa to the western world. It aims to celebrate the fact that being curvy is beautiful, whilst showcasing the beautiful vibrant choice of fabrics we have in Africa.

What makes it unique?

Our craftsmanship, our choice of fabrics, and the creative integrations of these fabrics, usage of technology to digitally transfer prints onto unusual fabrics and of course our target market.

How many collections do you launch per year?

We are passionate about quality as opposed to quantity and as such we aim to introduce a capsule range on a quarterly basis.

Where is your biggest clientele based?

We have clients from all over the world, but the majority of our orders are made by our U.S.-based customers.

Do you only trade online?

Aside from our fully functional website with shipping service available worldwide, we presently have four stockists and looking to get four more on board in the coming future.

Tell us about the current spring/summer 2015 collection?

Our SS15 Eyoma collection comprises silhouette shaping wax print trousers and matching kimono, alongside chiffon blouses, and culottes. Sleek, refined blazers, knee-length skirts, and dresses complete the look, doused in a palette of navy, blue, blush pink and crème. The collection is available in UK sizes 14 to 28.

Take us through the textures used, and are these sourced from Africa?

We use African wax prints as a staple in all our collections, but our signature aesthetic is the fusion of various patterns and fabrics in perfect harmony with traditional western materials, such as chiffon, French lace, and taffeta to create a clean-cut, contemporary silhouette for today's full-figure woman. Our fabrics are sourced from Africa, Europe and Asia.

Your collection is rooted in Africa, through your use of print, why did you choose to do so?

Africa was, and still is, a major source of inspiration in the creation of the brand and our products. I am inspired by our culture of curves celebration and curvy women in general, which, as a matter of fact, is in stark contrast to the culture of fat-shaming in some part of the western world. I decided from the onset that Dearcurves would incorporate aspects of the African culture, and our usage of wax prints fabric, called Ankara, as a stable in all our production is one of my ways of successfully achieving this goal.

How has it been received?

Better than we anticipated actually! The influx of the wax print fabric on various runways in the west, the fashion industry finally realising what we've always known about the beauty and durable of the wax print fabric, and Dearcurves’ consistency in setting the trend by creating contemporary plus-size fashion using prints as staples, have all contributed to the popularity and high demand for our products.

What’s been your best-selling piece in 2015?

All products have been immensely popular, but the Eyoma bodysuit, which was made by digitally transferring patterns onto the stretch fabric, and our cobalt blue circle skirt have topped so far.

For more info, or to connect with Ojoma, go to dearcurves.com; facebook.com/Dearcurves/@DearcurvesREAL and @dearcurves

PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED

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