Jasmine's Place Issue No. 9 - January/February 2014 - Page 18

2009: Won a special recognition award from BFIIN British female inventors and innovator's network. Born and raised in Nigeria, she attended the University of Maiduguri, where she graduated with a BA in History. Her parents recognised and nurtured her talents from an early age. These were mainly in the Arts from private piano lessons to theatrical performances, fine art and literature. She is well travelled and draws inspiration from her journeys. Innovation continues to be of genuine interest to Marion Ayonote. Engaging in design projects such as Knowledge Connect which was part funded by the L.D.A (London Development Agency) and the European Union regional development fund, the BDI (British Design Innovation) and also private design collaborations. She has been invited to exhibit at a number of international events i.e. Tranoi Paris, GDS, Moss Shoes, South Africa fashion week, Moda Calzaldo, and many more. She recently exhibited her Spring/Summer Collection simply titled “Sanctified” which is part of her affordable range brand at the London Fashion Week. We caught up with her recently to talk about her work and inspirations… 1.What inspired you to become a designer? My Mother was a main influence, she had an amazing wardrobe and my sisters and I would role play after school wearing her dresses, shoes, hair pieces and loved every bit of it. I studied the works of Vivier, Perugia and Blahnik and knew it had to be shoes. 2.You worked with Italian Artisans for over 10 years, how did you feel the time was right to start your own design company? I made a decision and just went for it. 3.You must have experienced a number of setbacks as you've built your brand. Please outline just one turning point that encouraged you to keep pressing forward. Yes there were a few challenges as with anything else. I had invested so much time, resources and made sacrifices… quitting was not an option. 4.Can you give us an idea of the design process - for instance, do you sketch first, paint, or go straight into working with materials when you're starting a design? Sometimes I start with a simple sketch and make a selection from the colour cards for the relevant season. I never paint as I do not find it necessary. Alternatively, I source materials and components and develop a collection from my JASMINE'S PLACE 18