Magazines are an excellent source of inspiration - did you know that? Of course, you did. I am sure we all subscribe to the same bundle of magazines. They rattle through the door on a monthly rotation and provide great joy. June's House & Garden is the one I want to focus on - they gathered up several up-and-comers, naming them the 'Rising Stars'. In this group, I was introduced to the work of Amechi Mandi. Amechi grew up in Douala in Cameroon, where he dreamed of being a fashion designer. He started as a stylist going on to be a buyer, founder of a fashion start-up, and creative director at Voo Store Berlin. He realised that perhaps it was time for a change. He decided to move from Berlin to London, where he started a furniture and product design course. After finishing his course, he pursued his dream of bridging the gap between interior brands and his heritage. He has certainly done a marvellous job with that. His brand Amechi is colourful, vibrant and joyful. It has been a delight to be introduced to his work, and I loved learning about the different things inspiring him at the moment!
Paolo Piva coffee table Found a vintage one on eBay in 2009 and was lucky to win the auction. It was my first expensive piece of furniture. I gifted it to my best friend in Berlin when I moved to the UK, but I still miss it so much.
The bauernstuhl has had many beautiful interpretations recently, but I’m a sucker for the real thing. I find them so charming in their simplicity, and with luck, you can find some that are incredibly gorgeous. They can make quite a statement in space when styled well. I used to have one as a bedside table, which was so cute.
My best friend has been publishing this niche art journal annually since 2014. PRŌTOCOLLUM is an award-winning publication which presents narratives on contemporary art from non-western artists whose work has not been predominantly influenced by western culture and with the artistic content not dictated by an editorial perspective. Instead, the invited artists independently select and decide on the presentation of their works. Only the text content follows a predefined form, allowing the artistic works to speak for themselves. I have discovered a lot of artists’ works and their perspectives through this.
PRŌTOCOLLUM can be found at The serpentine Gallery shop and other major art galleries around the globe.
So proud of my girl Zohra Opoku who is now part of the permanent collection at Tate Modern.
Her journey is inspiring, especially as I know how things were before she started her artistic journey. It's been quite a journey; she is also part of my journey, spurring me on.
I have always loved going to flea markets, and I missed that so much when I moved to London as I found them rather expensive compared to what I was used to. The first time I travelled to Brussels, I accidentally fell into a flea market 5 mins from where I was staying in Ixelles. …I was in em... junk paradise. Amongst other lucky finds, I found this mask, treasure!
I love glass, colour and Ichendorf Milano do not disappoint!
They have this range of vases, candle holders, decanters and glasses I find so beautiful. I collected quite a few which came to very good use when I did the launch photoshoot for my brand.Crazy how affordable they are too! I am working on some colourful lighting designs made of glass ( just sketches at this point), Ichendorf Milano has been one of my reference points.
I love what my friend Gyarfas Olah does at Patzaikin, a leisurewear brand from Romania with a focus on using sustainable materials to create designs that last beyond seasons.
Gyarfas has gifted me a number of pieces which I adore.
I love love love brötchen! These are basically round/oblong shaped bread rolls. I specifically love the brown ones with nuts. Until I looked harder, I couldn’t find brown bread when I just moved here. I used to ask my friends to bring them when they visited from Berlin.
Fine dining based on west African influences. Before Ikoyi this was definitely missing in the landscape of African cuisine, very happy that they have elevated the standard and can’t wait to see what other possibilities are out there and what other people of African origin will do in this space.
1 St James's Market, St. James's, London SW1Y 4AH
Interiors designed by Studio Ashby
I discovered Marianna Kennedy by comparison when I worked at Pooky. Marianna does these dreamy and very romantic lamps inspired by the rococo period. As a designer I find it such a clever idea to have interpreted that period with a modern material and thereby making it more relatable.
Similar idea to what Ferrucio Laviani did with the Bourgie lamp at Kartell which has become an icon.
I have always wondered how as a designer I could come up with a good design idea for say glassware or furniture inspired by African heritage architecture. The Musgum huts in north Cameroon for example are something I have asked myself often how I could use this to create something that pays homage to this architecture, whose design is so functionally and methodically thought through. Each time I tried I failed and lazily gave up until an authority figure like David Adjaye talked about them on Instagram and I started having ideas again. Shame.