Written By: Samata Angel—My name is Samata Angel and I am a womenswear designer born and raised in Cambridge, currently based in London. I set up my clothing label Samata's Muse in 2005. I took this step [of writing this piece] because I wanted to formalise my creative activities within the fashion industry.
People were constantly telling me how creative and talented I was when it came to designing clothing, and friends and family recommended that I should look into doing it for a living. After a while I began to see what they all did, and wanted to make my love of fashion official.
I started designing when I was about 17 years old but I mean designing in the loosest sense of the word. I was customising clothing; picturing an outfit and making it from something I already had. I used clothing from shops (or my sisters’ wardrobes) as a base and blank canvas to transform into what I wanted.
I moved to London to study Economics, Finance and Management at university (a degree I was hesitant to study but eventually proved extremely useful) and drifted onto the fashion scene, networked and met some really talented, creative, interesting, quirky (and downright strange) people!
I found the various fabric hotspots in London, went to fashion shows,networking events, visited boutiques and met other designers, models,photographers and fellow creatives. During the weekends I would visit department stores likes Harrods and Selfridges to look at the different brands. I checked pricing and the inside stitching to see what department store standard meant in terms of quality, fabrics and detail. All the while I was daydreaming about one day being stocked in a prestigious store.
Since setting up my clothing label I have gone on to win Best Couture Line 2006 at UK Urban Fashion Awards and have been nominated as Exceptionally Creative at the British Female Inventor and Innovator of the Year 2007 Awards and for the Aristoc Ultra Woman of 2007.
In 2007 I became the first black British female to show during the Nolcha Fashion Week in New York and the exposure I received as a result was phenomenal. I have since received letters of support from the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Terry Mansfield CBE (Chairman of Graduate Fashion Week and former CEO of Natmags), and dressed the likes of Dawn Richards (MTV’s ‘Making the Band 4’).
My clothing label has gone from strength to strength since I founded it and I can see that the best of it all is only beginning. The majority of my success to date has happened relatively quickly and not always the way I planned. Sometimes things can appear to be strategic when they have actually happened off the cuff or out of the blue. Such is the unpredictable nature of the fashion industry!
MIMI Related Links: The Hot 21: Samata Angel, From Dream To Real: I Want To Be A Fashion Designer: Clare Chona
Other Links: www.samatasmuse.com; www.fashioningyourlife.com
(Excerpt from Fashioning Your Life—A Clothing Designer's Guide Volume 1, Republished With Permission From Samata's Muse)
(Photo Credits: Alex Leonhardt)