Meet: Zelia Vanderpuije
Zelia Vanderpuije studied BA (Hons) Womenswear Technology at London College of Fashion. After graduating, she moved to Ghana where she set up her own label, Zelia Vanderpuije. Take a look at some of her beautiful designs, which she will be showcasing at the upcoming Ghana Fashion Week.
What made you want to study at the London College of Fashion?
I completed my A-Levels at Priors Field School, which is what I did just before applying for a Foundation Design course at LCF. I have known about LCF for as long as I can remember. I read about the college online and I said to myself, “I have to study there”. And so I was really grateful to be accepted on to the BA (Hons) Womenswear Technology Course.
Tell us about launching your own line…
Life after graduating was slightly daunting, because real life started. I decided to go straight into researching on self-employment and starting my own clothing line business, rather than looking for work.
I decided to set up my own label – Zelia Vanderpuije. The label focuses on ready–to-wear drapery, asymmetry and tailoring, for women of all shapes and sizes. My inspiration for my recent spring summer 2016 collection can from the movement of people and objects. I was intrigued by the captions of photographs taken in slow motion of people dancing, walking or even sitting. The excessive draping and flowing of fabrics was a symbol of movement. I also looked into cubism, and liked the abstract feel of design and technique. The colour scheme for the collection mainly came from being inspired by cubism.
I also decided to come back home to Ghana, Accra, to see what life was like here, as well as check out the fashion scene. I always thought I would come back to Africa, but I just did not know exactly when. Launching the label earlier this year in January was full of mixed emotions. There was so much involved in making sure I delivered exactly what I wanted to portray through my garments and my labels aesthetics. Organizing my own fashion show to launch my debut collection was definitely a dream come true. I was amazed by the crowd who came to support my work.
I am currently selling my clothing online at www.zeliavanderpuije.com. I am looking into providing some stock to already established boutiques here in Ghana and eventually in the UK. Once I have established myself further down the line, I will then look into opening a store of my own, possibly first here in Ghana.
Will you be involved in Accra fashion week?
I am currently in the process of creating my AW16 collection which will hopefully be shown at Accra Fashion Week this October 2016. Accra Fashion Week is launching this year, so it will be the first one ever. It is opened to designers across the world, emerging and established designers.
What are you plans for the future?
I am always thinking of the future and how I can improve as a designer as well as improving as a brand. Having my garments sold in different stores nationally and internationally, taking part in fashion weeks worldwide and having a bigger studio and showroom are just a few of my many plans. Who knows what the future holds? All I can say is, stay tuned, and keep your eyes forever peeled for Zelia Vanderpuije the label!