VAKWETU had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the lovely Sarina Leah one half of Hip-hop, Afro-soul group Native Sun and designer for her budding fashion label Wild Suga.

fashion desginer sarin a leah, vakwetu style fashion blog

How would you describe your sense of style?

My sense of style is a fusion of African patterns meets 80's, 90's oversized shirts & eclectic vintage pieces, i feel there are hints of nomad meets bohemian wanderer in there too, im really inspired by my Wildsuga research process too. I currently have a few pinterest boards to inspire my evolving interests & styles, you can Follow my new pinterest at 

fashion desginer sarin a leah, vakwetu fashion blog

How does music and fashion converge in your life?
Its a great balance Designing for Wildsuga and Singing in a Hip-hop Afro-soul group Native Sun they have a lovely harmony together, i wear what i make on stage such as wildsuga's African harem pant with Native sun's Fela Kuti T-shirt. I also collaborate on made to measure pieces for artists, singers, poets, writers, dancers, performers and so fourth i really like to see the designs in a magical space.

Many musicians also dabble in fashion. What made you start and how far do you want to take it? 
I was fortunate enough to finish school with good grades in art and design and it lead me to do art and textiles related courses in A-levels BTEC, HND and finally a BA Fashion degree in London Westminster University. Alongside fashion i just so happened to equally love singing and recording my music and so they have always been parallel together. I come from a family of tailors & dressmakers from St Lucia and so this directly influenced me to start my own label. For the future I’d like to remain true to my beliefs of sustainable, up-cycled, slow-handmade fashion and I’m developing new tran-seasonal, reversible, versatile pieces such as over-sized shirts, harem pants, wrap skirts and scarf tops. I'm also planning online customized how 2's and a creative book on styling.

What is the theme behind wildsuga? 
The theme is an ongoing combination of Womanhood, motherhood, sisterhood, home, using the things around us, minimizing, travel, self-empowerment, sustainability, preserve, re-use, individuality, community and the desire to return to indigenous ways of life.

Who is the wildsuga woman/man?
The Wildsuga woman is a free spirit, cool, alternative, a traveler & on a journey to self realization, she has an indigenous spirit & nostalgic soul and does peace work. I often see women on the street and think “ Oh My you are a wildsuga right in front on me”.

Who are your Favorite designers/label?
My mother is my first designer inspiration - she made beautiful floral dresses in the 1960's. I also really love emerging labels like: mother on Etsy and sustainable labels like Lu Flux, Goodone. I love Designer labels like Dries van Noten and Jessica Ogden too. I tend to feel inspired by things i would probably love to wear or make.
What are your thoughts on African fashion?
African fashion to me has such an incredible history and its a huge continent to address, im still a child with my reconnecting & understanding of African fashion, traditional textiles, tribal community dress and cultural design within past & modern Africa.  The art created- such as the symbols, colours, patterns, techniques, messages and meanings are very sacred and inspiring. I am aware that the fashion industry in the west is inspired by the styles coming from different parts of Africa like myself and its great wearing culture and feeling apart of the global community, its also equally important for me as a designer knowing what things mean and why, for example most of the "African" fabric I buy is imported and made in Holland but is recognized as a west African fabric, Much of the textiles industry in Africa is presently dying and this trade is not followed up by the young. My thoughts are reflective of celebration, understanding, information and re-connection, giving back to a diverse continent. 

What is your current obsession?
I love cooking right now, im online looking for recipes on Yummly all the time, and my Homegurl Michelle who is a nutritionist for has given me a health plan to follow and so on 'sarina leah' instagram – I have a whole bunch of food and health pics.

Tell us one item that you cannot live without and why?
Wow this always changes for me lol.. I would say currently my crochet pin and wool, I'm seriously into making floor rugs, cushions and hats for myself and so when im on trains or relaxing I occupy time by making stuff. I'm currently planning to make my first ever cardigan and winter quilt. When I crochet with one pin im fascinated by the craft and how it becomes something without electrical or machine assistance, its so ancient and self sufficient to me. I feel the endless possibilities, the meditation and freedom in the art form and im simply just a beginner.


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