Jennifer Naomi Spieker, is the designer and founder of the label, Nomi by Naomi, which is based in Amsterdam.
The collection she showed during Africa Fashion Day Berlin, A/W 13, added a splash of vibrant colour to the catwalk. Models walked down the runway in ensembles that were made predominantly from 100% African Ankara materials. In my opinion, what makes her collection wearable, for even those who are print-shy is amongst the full-blown colourful, printed pieces, there lies pieces that are more subtle in their delivery, for e.g. a denim dress with Ankara print detailing on the collar, or a cream coloured, sheer tunic. And then there are her bracelets, which I adore- geometric cut-out bracelets made out of Ankara print which the extrovert can layer up her arm, or which the introvert can use sparingly.
This combination is intentional by the designer, and she uses a mix of western materials such as denim, tweed and jersey with African textiles to create a look that is modern, ‘urban chic’. Her vision is to ‘bring colour into the European wardrobe and to generally introduce the Ankara material into the European fashion world’.
In my bid to find more about the woman behind the brand, I asked her some probing questions-
When I was a child I wanted to be… an interior designer.
If I could change one thing about myself, it would be…to be more focused.
If I am having guests over and I want to impress them I cookâ€¦Peanut soup.
The last dream I had was aboutâ€¦I don’t remember…
My favourite piece from my collection is…my hooded scarf.
My favourite piece of clothing in my wardrobe isâ€¦a vintage LBD.
The ‘Nomi by Naomi’ customer isâ€¦outspoken and dares to wear bold colour and prints.
The greatest thing about being one of the Runway designers at AFDB wasâ€¦getting out of my comfort zone.
The celebrity I’d most like to see wearing my designs isâ€¦Solange Knowles.
If my house was burning and I had to rush in to save one thing, it would beâ€¦my husband.
My biggest trend prediction for A/W 13 is….statement prints.
To me ‘urban chic’ is…comfortable, wearable but still unique.
What inspires my work/collections the most are…the people around me.
My biggest hope for my brand isâ€¦for it to be internationally known.
The last album I bought/downloaded isâ€¦Solange Knowles’s latest album, True.
The film, person or book that changed my life was…well, it was a quote in Sister Act said by Whoopi Goldberg’s character, ‘If you want to be somebody, or go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention.’
My biggest regret isâ€¦I don’t have any.
My proudest moment so far in my life is…in general, following my dreams to become a designer.
The last time I laughed so hard, I cried wasâ€¦(laughs) I do that every day!
The advice I would give to my teenage self is…everything is possible, no matter how many times people tell you otherwise.
Nomi by Naomi will be introducing Spring, vintage shorts and a selection of scarves to its online store in late February, 2013.