I.Kollection was founded by Ihuaku Nweke out of a long standing passion for fashion. The foundational ethos of the brand is quality first in terms of the basic materials such as fabrics and jewellery stones, exquisite design and personal attention to individual needs. The vision of I.Kollection is that everyone has a unique style and can look individual whilst also looking fashionable.
Here she talks to House of Coco to tell us more..
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I founded the brand in 2009 starting with just jewellery in semi -precious stones and then launched the clothing line in London Fashion week September 2015.
What’s your background?
I.Kollection was founded by Mother of three Ihuaku Nweke out of a long standing passion for fashion. The foundational ethos of the brand is quality first in terms of the basic materials such as fabrics and jewellery stones, exquisite design and personal attention to individual needs. The vision of I.Kollection is that everyone has a unique style and can look individual whilst also looking fashionable.
She started making jewellery from her study in 2006 and formed I.Kollection in 2009.
She trained under established jewellery and clothes designers as well as taking a college course in silversmithing. I.Kollection designs and makes couture jewellery in precious and semi-precious she retails authentic African fabrics and launched a line of couture clothing at London Fashion week 2014. The signature style is eye popping colours, good quality tailoring with classic cuts and artistic positioning of patterns through the fabrics.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
I am the Executive Director of I.Kollection, so right now it is just myself; it is hardwork sometimes but I have a lot of support in terms of network connections I have made along the line with great industry professionals. I also take on temporary staff or outsource when I need to.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I probably would started going to fashion school when I was younger. Though I have taking some extra- curricular courses along the way.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since starting the company?
The hardest challenge I have faced is finding the time to do all the different aspects. As an executive Creative Director, you have to switch from being creative to ultra business like and you have to do everything and be in all the right events to promote the brand and that is really difficult.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I hold a Masters degree from the university of Bradford in Business information technology.
2015 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
I plan to make I.Kollection a globally recognised luxury fashion brand.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
My main highlight since launching has been being featured in the style feature in the July issue of Vogue for emerging fashion designers.
Which City do you feel most at home in? London Paris or New York?
I love the buzz of New York and the eclectic elegance of Paris but nothing beats London for the sheer concentration of sophistication, resources and good old fashion taste and quality.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Water, a smile and a great attitude.
An expression of yourself and your creativity- Arriving at a place where everything in your wardrobe is just you and you don’t have to think twice about your outfit because everything you throw together and the way you do it becomes you.
Best thing about London to you?
No matter how long you have lived here, there is always something new, some little secret to discover.
Statement shoes or statement handbag?
Statement handbag everytime!
If you had to, what piece or clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
My ultra furry and comfy sheepskin snow boots. I wear them around the house and slip them on after I change into my pyjamas after a long hard day.
Favourite Love song?
“If it Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. It was one of my wedding songs.
Best place for a coffee
Starbucks preferably in Manhattan!
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
You cannot talk yourself out of something you have behaved yourself into. I heard it said somewhere and it shows that our actions speak louder than words.
Dairy Milk chocolate on the way home from work especially on a Friday. Hmmm
If you could spend 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Venice, It seems so Romantic and it would be a good place to mediate, have a rest and gather my thoughts.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
I plan on using existing retail outlets to sell my clothes, I would need to up the production to ensure that all sizes of items are available to customers when they need it and also make sure that delivery logistics and customer services and care aspects of the business are water tight in terms of timeliness and reliability. You can have a great product but these aspects affect the reputation of the company and can make or break.