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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Creative Inspiration: Fashioning Your Life (By Samata Angel)

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:;

(Excerpt from Fashioning Your Life—A Clothing Designer's Guide Volume 1, Republished With Permission From Samata's Muse)

(Photo Credits: Alex Leonhardt)


Siana said...

Love Samata! Thanks for this!

Deola said...

I am a huge Samata fan...she is a talented beauty! Thanks!

Disco Muthenya said...

You story in Mimi has been truly inspiring.It took me a long time to figure out that i wanted to be designer.Ive made clothes that many have refused to believe and i struggle with not having the drafting and cutting skills but still i plough on knowing that if others have broken through the surface then so can i.
Thank you, asante for living your dream.
Aspiring Kenyan Designer!

Zara said...

What a truly inspiring story to see someone follow her heart and become successful. I wish Samata continued success!

nah it's me said...

You r the best and we're sooooo proud of u.

ogelive said...

at my 9 to 5; hate it. inspired to change the direction in my life and do what i love. times are hard economically, but i can at least take a small step in that direction. samata, your an angel.

nneoma said...

thanks for this post. it is encouraging even for those who are not necessarily in the fashion industry. its an inspirational story.

tk said...

this has to be the best thing i've read today. @mimi, thanks for sharing this story.

mkuki said...

This is a great story, very inspiring. For us who are starting our in clothing design it is great to hear what others have gone through.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

Joseline said...

She is truly a shining star! Thank you so much for sharing her story - I am so so so so glad I read this this morning. It was just what I needed.

Lion-ess said...

very inspiring!
She also wrote two fashion bible books... Amazing!

Starving for Control

MW09 said...

Love Samata!!