Hello people..It’s another edition of @FROCENTRIC which features Afrocentric designers around the world..This edition features NY based Jamaican designer Kesi Gibson of Kyu Melange
I am the founder and CEO of Kyu Melange (Q-mey-Longe) – a purpose driven fashion company that places emphasis on celebrating the invisible hand of fashion. I am of Jamaican decent and grew up in a very creative household. Art has always been a big part of my life.
How did it all start? The Kyu Melange Journey..
I grew up in a very entrepreneurial household. My mother was a artist and designer so fashion has been a big part of my self expression since I was a child. Between school and dance classes/performances, I spent a lot of time working with my mom, learning the business from soup to nuts. I invested significantly in my development as an artist over the years, whilst pursing a career in financial services. However, it was not until 2011 when I entered business school that I figured out how to actually make art the focus of my career without giving up the things I cared most about from the social impact side, or the thrill from intensity that I secretly enjoyed about my financial services career. At first it was about the discovery and conceptualizing my business model, using the access I had to production and supplier channels from my mothers network. It soon became my way of life.
What is your inspiration?
I draw inspiration from many things including the expression of culture and traditions preserved in art around the globe. At times I start with the technical design, other times my initial inspiration comes from the raw materials. At the core however my greatest inspiration and greatest support comes from my mother – her heart, her work, her life.
Describe the Kyu Melange customer in 3 words.
Expressive. Fashionable. Conscious.
Tell us about your Business model especially Global sourcing model
We source raw materials from around the globe. This is a big part of the Kyu Melange difference. The Global Fusion Collection emphasizes fuses leather and fabrics seamlessly. These fabrics are often hand-woven, hand-dyed my women in emerging countries across the globe. The fabrics are sourced from Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, Senegal, Pakistan, India, Peru, Colombia. Our leathers are sourced from Italy, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.
Why & How should anyone join the “Kyu Melange Movement” ?
We recently launched a crowd funding campaign on Plum Alley. In this campaign we are pre-selling our 2015 Spring Summer Collection as well as our 2014 Holiday Collection. Our campaign is part of a bigger movement within Kyu Melange to build the economic aspirations of artisans around the globe beyond their local street corners. I invite you all to watch the video and pledge to support the campaign. No amount is too small (or too big).
Kyu Melange PA from Infused Media Group Client Page on Vimeo.
“If it’s AMAZING it won’t be easy. If it’s EASY it won’t be amazing. If it’s worth it YOU WON’T GIVE UP. If you RISK nothing, you risk EVERYTHING. Entrepreneurship, and in particular Fashion Entrepreneurship is fraught with challenges and road blocks. There are many many rivers to cross. However – with resilience, humility, and passion, I have been finding my way every day, and every day MY CONVICTION GROWS STRONGER.”
Kyu Melange – Crowd Funding Campaign
She is sponsoring my first giveaway on IRepCamer..Yayyyy…Stay tuned for details of giveaway…And the winner gets this clutch
Please if you are in the DC area, check out her DC launch party this Saturday