Tina Lobondi is a London-based Congolese designer who established her eponymous clothing line in 2011. Lobondi’s designs exude classic style with unique accents from her rich heritage. Cliché chatted with the budding designer about her AW14 collection, Heritage, and her upcoming appearance in Africa-Malaysia Fashion Week.
Cliché: What influenced you to become a fashion designer?
Tina Lobondi: I have always made a lot of drawings. I wanted a job that allowed me to express my creativity, so fashion designer was my first option.
How is Congolese culture reflected in your designs?
My designs are inspired by the fashions I used to see when living in Congo. The women in my family were very stylish and feminine.
Why do you think it is important to display African fashion on an international platform?
It is important to display all kinds of fashion on an international platform. Any art deserves to be seen and Africa has a lot to show the world.
What was the inspiration behind your AW14 collection?
I wanted to create a collection inspired by my mother and what I remember of her. She used to like red and wore very trendy clothes. This collection is called Heritage in reference to what she taught me.
What are you looking forward to in the Africa-Malaysia fashion show?
I look forward to the event to be grand with a lot of exposure and I hope that it will have a big impact for the designers attending. I want to know more about Malaysian culture and the fusion it can have with Africa.
Tina Lobondi Interview “Heritage Fashion” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s June/July 2014 issue.
Model: April Williamson
Photographer: Mariah Vale
Hair: Daniele Meddi
Makeup: Tamash Sharkan