EnnyEthnic LLC is a company built from creativity and passion and the main goal is to provide unique, stylish, and hard-to-forget pieces for, and inspired by, every woman. From the ethnic-centric type, to the urban-chic, modern-classic, vintage-chic, trendy or a combination, they cater to you. They strongly believe that style is universal, that all women shine and connect in fashion, and that there is a little of every style in each of us. That is why you will find a touch of every style in each of their pieces. They make a statement with all their pieces, no words necessary. Most of the pieces are collectibles produced only once. So, we had a conversation with the designers about how creativity and passion breeds style and personality through ENNYE Collection.
Describe EnnYe as a brand in five words.
EnnYe Collection: Vibrant, Trendy, Unique, Chic, Versatile.
Why did you decide to become fashion designers?
Our passion for print and how its directly connected to our roots as Africans, dictated our entry into the fashion scene, and we found that fashion is the best way to represent our culture to the world. We are based out of San Francisco, but we are Zimbabweans by origin. We would go back to Zimbabwe on vacation, have clothes made for ourselves, and when we came back to US, people would always ask where we got our clothes, the question became so common that we decided to start our own line.
How the EnnYe’s mission evolved starting with your first collection?
We have become more versatile, more global, we started our signature tunic, and then expanded our style to include more female siloquettes, as not all women have the same body type. For example, we created our signature jumpers as an appeal to the trendy clique, and by coming to Milan fashion week we wanted to expose ourselves to the global market and to every woman in the world.
In your experience, what are some of the other negative points regarding fashion design schools?
We actually did not go to fashion design schools, this brand was borne out of a passion for style and fashion, but we have tremendous respect for fashion design schools and the talent they produce.
How sustainability can change fashion industry? Do you think we can see, in the next future, a positive change regarding sustainable design?
Absolutely, the goal is to create a system which can be supported in terms of environmental sustainability, all our pieces are 100% cotton, and we use very limited prints and make limited pieces so as not to saturate the market. Sustainability is continuance borne out of a good design, which allows for reuse and recycling. There is a growing number of designers like us who carefully select fabrics that are ethically created, bought from women in local African markets paying particular attention to fair trade, and by employing these tactics, we ensure not only our growth, but the growth of everyone in the supply chain.
In your opinion, will it be the consumer who will facilitate the change in the supply chain or will it be the design and manufacturing industry?
The design and manufacturing industry carries this tremendous responsibility, because, designers not only have the responsibility to introduce and or maintain new trends to society, but also have the power to influence the direction of fashion, and quite frankly as we designers and manufacturers we control the narrative and lead the conversation in regards to fashion.
What should a customer expect when buying EnnYe?
An entire EnnYe experience: Our customers are guaranteed a statement piece, a conversation starter, our pieces are unforgettable and unique. When you get one of our pieces you are not going to see many of those pieces around, we make as few as 20 in one particular print and then retire the print and we never use it again. We have the luxury to do this because there are so many prints to choose from, that our choices are infinite. No-one wants to wear something and see a hundred other people wearing it, what we have created with our limited print and production model is an intimate relationship with our customers.
What drives your inspiration for your design?
Passion for print is our inspiration and the print inspires the design creation. As Africans we grew up surrounded by prints and wearing print, and so we have become very adept at picking the right prints for a particular design.
What was the biggest challenge for you as a designer?
Breaking cultural barriers and trying to make people understand that wearing African print is for everyone. Our designs are very simple silhouettes, because we are aware of the fact that our prints are very vibrant. We decided to have simple designs because if we make the designs complicated then the print and the design will clash, and that would narrow our customer base.
Would you like to showcase your collection in one of the most important fashion weeks around the world?
Yes , absolutely!! we loved showcasing in Milan Fashion Week and all it had to offer. We met a lot of tremendous talent and also the street fashion in Milan was unbelievably trendy, eclectic and individual, the fashion capital of the world for sure.
What we should expect next from EnnYe?
We will continue to evolve as a brand by starting our own custom prints, that way people will get the full EnnYe experience of unique, statement pieces, that cannot be replicated by everyone. We are continuing to create more styles and designs and every season we aim to introduce new, globally stylish pieces. Stay tuned in to us, we promise to always pique your interests and hold your attention. Welcome to the world of EnnYe.