Flavour hails the multi-tasking business woman and designer Maame Baryeh.
From your debut collection to the latest, how do you feel you have grown as a designer?
I think I quite literally have been on a journey of self discovery. I think I have grown in confidence in terms of defining my design style and also knowing that I have a unique style and the ability to really push the boundaries of my creativity and produce garments which are interesting and also timeless. I look at garments from my final collection at Uni and they still look current 5 years on which is fantastic to achieve.
How important are fashion trends to you?
I don’t take much notice of ‘fashion trends’ I think they are dictated by magazines, high street retailers and tailored towards maximising their sales. It’s interesting to know what is perceived to be on trend but when I design, it’s completely about what I’m inspired by that season and the art of designing those looks rather than conforming to the particular trend prediction.
With LFW celebrating its 25 year anniversary and a much hyped move to Somerset House, how does being a British-based designer influence you?
I’m excited to be a London based designer, I’ve lived here for most of my life and it’s very much the place I resonate with most and I think that allows and encourages me to be bold in my designs. There is so much room for individuality and creativity within the industry in the UK it great to be part of the next generation of British designers.
Describe the kind of woman that would wear your line?
She would be a bold, unique and confident individual, a leader in what they wear and not a follower.
Who would you love to see wearing your designs?
I’d love to see someone like Kelis or Pink wearing my designs they just have that eclectic and boldness of style and confidence to try new things and do it with conviction which is really important and sits well with my design ethos.
What made you decide to expand to promoting other designers as well as your own label with UNTOLD?
I suppose having been in the industry for 3 years, as it was at the time; it really hit home exactly how pretentious and selective the industry is. Talent wasn’t recognised and it was very much about the next golden child of the moment and then moving on to the next fix. For me, being a designer is an art form and a genuine skill and passion for creating that is more than just a trend it’s a way of life. Having come up against barriers I became determined to make things happen for myself and in doing so, working with fellow designers and creative’s was a natural progression from there, all facing the same challenges and needing a platform that became Untold.
How do you find balancing your roles as business woman and creative?
It’s an interesting juggling act! Time management is really important, there are a lot of long days and no nights, but it’s great to be immersed in it all and pushing my creative boundaries in other ways both as designer and company director.
From The Clothes Show, to Fashion Diversity during LFW and the recent UNTOLD pop up Boutique at The Black History Festival, UNTOLD has collaborated with different organisations creating platforms for awareness. What makes a great fashion event for you?
Yes, we have been around this year.. I think it’s just great to be able to work with other organisations and individuals, I think that’s all part of the journey, each of the events will attract a different audience which spreads the awareness.
A successful fashion event for me is one that profiles the designers and creative’s involved in the right way and leaves the audience with an energy and excitement to know more about them and the desire to own garments from them. It’s also important that it’s put together professionally with a seamless delivery.
Aside from the pop up boutiques, where can people buy from UNTOLD designers?
Some have their own e-commerce sites a few are stocked and some make to order. We are currently working on the launch of the UNTOLD e-boutique which will give people access to purchase from the designers online, we’re planning to launch in December so watch this space!
UNTOLD will be celebrated its 1st year anniversary at The Glam Show with Nicky Hambleton-Jones was this the perfect end to a busy year for you?
Yes, it was the perfect end to the year. Having a great showcase and catching up with the past team and sharing the successes of the past year with those who played a hand in making it great. Untold was founded in 2007 as an informal collective and 3 seasons later, last October, Untold became Untold Design CIC a Community Interest Company which works for the benefit of designers and creative’s within the field of fashion. So although we are 2 years on, we’re celebrating our first year as a CIC within a formal structure.
Words by Reeme Idris