We have always been big fans of printed fabrics- especially when they are inspired by global cultures. We were thrilled when we came across Shade Akanbi’s Printed Pattern People collection because it’s a perfect mash- up of exotic inspiration, awesome prints and a bohemian Brooklyn vibe. Let’s hear it for prints, we are all wearing way to much black, especially in NYC! Read more about the story behind this up and coming label!
Describe your brand.
Printed Pattern People is an exploration of cultures by way of fashion. We seek out rich pieces made in rich colorful textiles, prints, patterns, textures and details from across the globe, in order to translate these traditional ethnic materials into modern reinterpretations for everyday wear. Our collections feature pieces that are created by myself, the designer and curated from local bazaars to international caravans, especially for you.
How, when, and where did you start your brand?
I always had a latent idea of expressing myself via a fashion line, but I had been taking my time figuring out the details: what niche my work would fill, how I’d maintain the integrity of the internationally-sourced textiles and how to best showcase them in my collections. My vision with this brand is to present prints and patterns in ways that encourage everyone to wear them, to take the intimidation factor away, and to inspire a love for them, in the same way that I love them.
Printed Pattern People was established in 2014, in Brooklyn, NY.
Speak about your previous work experience and how it helped you to create your own brand.
I’ve been working in the industry since 2010 as a handbag designer, which helped me hone my own voice in fashion. I use my love for surface pattern design to integrate my personal aesthetic into my professional work, around which time Printed Pattern People (PPP) was born.
What (or who?) are some of your endless inspirations?
My muses come from everywhere I go, and everywhere I’ve been. Traveling and the people I meet…the artisans and their stories are by far my best and never-ending sources of inspirations. I am inspired by the talents and beauty that can be found everywhere whether it’s in a local village in Guatemala or down the street from my apartment in Brooklyn, NY.
How does travel inspire your collection?
My travels have fortified my love for the mixing and matching of prints and allowed me to see the cross-pollination of cultures. From Nigeria to Panama, India to Thailand and Indonesia (just to name a few countries that have really enlightening my creative and design senses upon visiting) I continue to see how textiles connect points between different cultures…and my love from textiles is the basis of Printed Pattern People. Bringing them together with my brand feels more natural than anything.
As your collection continues to grow, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
Being that the brand is still so young, there is so much growth ahead of us. Besides this amazing opportunity to be showcased here on SL, our Fall ’15 collab collection with majestic disorder for Restival has proven to be a success in such a short amount of time and in the not-so-distant future, we have a few more fantastic collaborations coming this year. My goal is to continue to build PPP into a complete lifestyle brand that offers a full line of clothing, accessories, shoes and home goods.
Souk or department store?
Souk. Without question. There are so many one-of-a-kind treasures to be found if you’re willing to hunt!
DIY or concierge service?
DIY. I've always been a hands-on type of gal.
Buy everything or buy nothing?
I feel like this is a tough one, but I try to discipline myself by implementing this one method: If you walk away from a find and can’t stop thinking about it, when you go back, and it’s still there…get it. Immediately. It belongs to you. Now this is hard when you’re traveling abroad, so my ultimate shopping standard, whether I’m home or away, is to: don’t buy everything, and don’t buy nothing (because that just seems silly), but just buy what you love.
Camping or 5-star hotel?
I always enjoyed camping and being outdoors, since I was a young Wanderer, but throughout my travels I have grown to love the intimate ambiance and eccentric charm of a boutique hotel.
Drive or be driven?
Drive!... just in case I see a cool market, monument or spur-of-the-minute photo op that I need to pull over and capture.
Room service or street food?
Street Food… there’s so much authenticity that’s cooked into food from a local cart/stall/restaurant that just can’t be captured with room service.