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The Clothing Lounge Designer Interview with Ardelle: A Woman of Quality

Ardelle speaks to a place that is entirely comfortable and beautifully unique. Founded by Ardelle Fawehinmi, this new sustainable brand prioritises passion over popularity, while making a safe space for the individuality of every wearer. Mixing the subtleness of interior design with the beauty of African heritage, Ardelle’s creative vision shines through every aspect of her collection. Every piece feels expertly tailored while having maximum wear-ability. Ardelle has kindly taken the time to speak to The Clothing Lounge about effortless style and what it means to be an ‘Ardelle’ woman.

When and where did you first begin?

I first began my creative journey quite a number of years ago when I enrolled in fashion school on weekends. From there, I went on to study fashion at university and then completed a masters in fashion design. So although this journey has been long, there hasn’t been a definitive starting point. I officially launched and started my brand in December of 2019, but it has been a part of my life for much longer than that.

Where do you find inspiration? 

My inspiration comes from many sources. I love interior design and many of the colour palettes or silhouettes in my collection are heavily inspired by that and architecture. I also believe that true inspiration can be found at any given moment and at any time; often in unexpected places.

What motivates you?

I am heavily motivated by my 'why'. When things are difficult, or I feel unmotivated, I try to remember the reasons why I started this business and the progress I’ve made. Remembering every individual achievement and goal I have surpassed also helps to keep me grounded and focussed.

How does Ardelle represent the modern woman? 

I would love to think that the modern woman isn't too paranoid about following trends, or about looking like everyone else. Ardelle embodies the woman who has the confidence to be unique and authentic; even in a society that is not always friendly towards those who try to express individuality.

How important is freedom of expression to you?

Freedom of expression is extremely important for me and the brand. I believe that we are all extremely unique. Everyone in the world looks and thinks differently, and as a result, I believe that it's important for us to make room for everyone to be true to themselves and who they are without feeling silenced. Fashion is one of the greatest tools through which to do this; it's a form of true expression. I always like to say that sometimes what we wear can be a reflection of how we feel about ourselves, or how we see ourselves internally. 

 

How do you think the current pandemic has changed our relationship with clothes?

A great majority of our time has been spent indoors during this pandemic. Naturally, this has equated to most of us being a lot more careful with our purchases, spending and shopping. Many would rather invest in comfortable indoor clothing, as hard-working, versatile and adaptable as we are. But simultaneously, we still want to look good enough to be able to pop down to the corner shop during our lunch breaks. 

Which parts of the creative process do you enjoy the most, and the least? 

My favourite part would have to be designing the clothes. This is where I get to be as creative as possible before having to adapt designs to allow them to be more commercial. My least favourite part would have to be the production process.

What are your favourite pieces from your recent collection?

My favourite piece from my recent collection has to be the ‘Odelia’ set. I love the comfortable element of it, I also think it's quite effortless and easy to wear. It’s the ultimate feel-good staple.

 

What is the best piece of advice you have been given as a small business? 

My advice would be to have a clear vision. The journey isn't easy, so for the days when one might feel like giving up and quitting, it's important to remember why you started and who you may be serving and impacting through the service you are providing. 

What are you working on next? 

Our singular SS21 release and the new SS21 capsule collection