What do you get when you merge one of Nigeria's top artists with an emerging British-Ghanaian designer who works with knitwear?
When you're one of the biggest names in music, fashion isn't about looks. Your choices are about a complex arrangement of brand considerations and personal comfort.
That balancing act, struggling to make sure one is on point and on brand, can be dizzying. At the very least, it's inconvenient. Working with Tiwa Savage was our chance as crafters to bring those considerations into harmony, lowering the volume of fashion choices.
From the onset, we took on this project as an endeavor not merely to put out a finished product but to deliver something memorable. At the core of our design is a desire to meet both the functional needs of a dynamic and prolific performer as well as the queen behind the Savage.
Measurement after measurement revealed that Tiwa's figure is as unique as it is graceful. The fact that she is an artist who moves with a distinct combination of glam and glow didn't make things easier.
Tiwa has always been the governor and chief diplomat of every stage she graces, negotiating every beat drop with a powerful sway. The garments we put together are meant to hug every curve of a queen who is always addressing her kingdom.
As such, we needed her input. As one can imagine, schedules do not get more packed than that of a global icon. Yet, we could not be satisfied with our vision without Tiwa's very particular and eloquent input. Every stage of the design process centered on her individual needs, translated into our craftsmanship. After all, crafting to Tiwa's fit is how we got here in the first place.
The award-winning singer and songwriter had worn a Korlekie piece, modified slightly to fit her moves, on one of her performances. It wasn't long before she requested several more to add to her extensive wardrobe and thus began our work together.
Our challenge was to adapt a need for more color and variations with the artist's functional needs. Starting with the original piece that Tiwa fell in love with, we delivered different takes on our knit design philosophy.
Putting this collection together was not unlike working with many of our queens. Tiwa is just as bold and expressive on stage as she is off of it. Frankly, "diva" feels like a restrictive term. Often referred to as the Beyonce of Nigeria, the talented artist presented herself with purpose and flamboyance to match.
We loved every bit of it. Tiwa's high standards, her confidence in knowing what she wanted, was not entirely new to us. Though they may not be international icons, every queen that opts to work with Korlekie maintains the same approach. Our clients all come with an established sense of the quality and attention they deserve.
This is the thinking that informs our collaborative design process. We work with our clients in considerable proximity, there's just no other way to do it. Our studio becomes the court of every queen gracing us with their presence. They inform every thread, every sketch, every idea we incorporate into garments.
And that may be the word that guides our work with Tiwa as much as all of our queens: garments.
Tiwa Savage, the absolute ruler of every stage she graces, does not settle for clothes. Our queens, whatever sort of life they spend in a state of slay, do not settle for clothes. Clothes are worn, queens are anything but. In light of that, garments are what we provided to Tiwa. Garments are how we refer to everything worn by those who grant us the privilege of working with them.
After all, queens are adorned, and queens are dressed.