Tuesday, 6 July 2010
An Exclusive interview with Marie-Louise Annan of Über-Shy™
GR: Hi Marie-Louise, thanks for the interview. What are you up to right now?
MLA: Hello there! It’s an absolute pleasure! At the moment I am busy working on some new projects including a show and the launch of my new brand Marrie Luí ™
GR: Can you tell us about your ethnic origin and how it’s shaped the person you are today?
MLA: I’m a British-born Ghanaian, from the Ga tribe. My parents are from Accra and my mum’s family came to Ghana from Brazil after the slave trade so I also have Brazilian heritage. I’d like to think that I am very polite and well mannered and I would say that's down to my Ghanaian upbringing. In Africa, Ghanaians are well known for their calm and humble nature.
GR: Why Fashion?
MLA: I’ve been sewing from a very young age. When I was ten years old, my friends mum gave me some old fabric and I made it into bell bottoms and wore them to school. I always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. My roots are in fine art so it was inevitable that I would pursue a career in design.
GR: We love your label Über-Shy; it’s young, fresh, eclectic and on-trend. What inspired your latest collection –and what’s the meaning behind the name Über-Shy?
MLA: Thank you! The latest collection Ligeia is inspired by a short story by Edgar Allan Poe as it’s very important to me to promote literature within fashion. The name Über-Shy has a very personal meaning which I tend not to reveal it. I find it really interesting to hear what people think it means.
GR: Can you describe the Über-Shy client/customer?
MLA: I try not to pigeonhole my customers; anyone really who likes things with a hint of nostalgia.
GR: Perfumes, trainers, handbags, accessories –so many labels are diversifying, how do you see the Über-Shy label in five years time?
MLA: You will have to wait and see!!
GR: Most creative people are very good at the creative/designing elements –and tend to be [a bit] rubbish with the business side -how do you keep the balance right and sustain your label?
MLA: I’d like to think that I have a good balance of both. Also, I’m fortunate enough to have business advisors and knowledgeable people around me.
GR: There are sooo many people who want to start their own fashion label/business –what advice do you have for them?
MLA: It’s a lot of hard work! It’s not as glamorous as people think. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and make sure you are passionate about your work.
GR: LFW, GFW [Ghana Fashion Week has been postponed this year] –any plans to show at these prestigious events?
MLA: I didn’t even know Ghana had a fashion week; I will definitely look them up next year. This year I’m hosting a performance art/fashion show during fashion week.
GR: Who would you love to see wearing your collection –and why?
MLA: In terms of celebrities, anyone who represents what the brand is about.
GR: Describe your own style?
MLA: All of my collections are a reflection of my personal style...whimsical, yet refined and reminiscent of 1950-40s vintage.
GR: Shoes or handbags?
GR: Staying in or going out?
MLA: Staying in
GR: Selfridges or Harvey Nichols?
MLA: Harvey Nichols
GR: Hoxton or Bond Street?
GR: Ghana, –does it inspire you –and do you have any plans for Ghana in the future?
MLA: Ghana has a great craft scene!! The last time I was there I spent a lot of time in the crafts market. I would love to start a project there in the future so you’ll have to wait and see!
GR: And finally, what are your hopes and dreams for Ghana?
MLA: I hope that the economy grows stronger and the country continues to prosper.
GR: Thanks for the interview, you are fabulous –God bless all your dreams…x
MLA: Thank you very much! x
GR: You're welcome...
For more information about Über-Shy™ please visit: http://www.ubershy.com/