STALKED: Christine Mhando, Fashion Designer of Chichia
10 June 2014
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting the very lovely Christine Mhando who is the talent behind the brand Chichia. Chichia ia a ready to wear range, which is an amalgamation of both continents and cultures from which the designer was born and raised. Her brand also has caught the attention of publications such Vogue Italia, Marie Claire, Grazia and Cosmopolitan. Even before finishing this interview I had already ordered my first dress of the summer from her!!!
What do you do and why do you love your job?
I am the designer for contemporary womenswear brand Chichia I love what I do as it gives me the freedom to explore new ideas and bring them to life. Nothing feels as amazing as seeing a satisfied client get excited about wearing one of my creations.
How would you sum up your brand identity in 3 words?
Colourful. Cool. Timeless
What's your biggest influence when it comes to designing? Is this a reflection of yourself or a link to your background?
Both. The brand is inspired by the fusion of two cultures- my Tanzanian heritage and my London upbringing. Add a splash of quirky design and you have Chichia. We use the local East African printed fabric ‘Khanga’ in most of our collections. I am also heavily influenced by colour, travel, conversation, movies, patterns, architecture.. I am constantly observing everyday nothings!
How would you describe your personal style?
Eclectic, quirky, at times ornamental, usually colourful I’m just as comfortable in a pair of jeans and trainers as I am in a ladylike dress and heels.
What's the hardest thing about being a fashion designer today?
Being based in London is challenging as you’re competing with thousands of other designers/labels so it’s about offering a fresh point of view in order to maintain a strong brand image and therefore set ourselves apart from others. The collections are also not heavily influenced by what is currently on trend. My main focus has always been on making well designed clothes that are timeless and transcend seasons.
Where do you shop and where do you love to eat in London?
I barely go out shopping anymore as I hate crowds. When I do venture out I like vintage stores for one off finds. I tend to shop online more these days and sites like Asos and net-a-porter are handy as they host many brands in one place. I also love a good sample sale as they're a great way of getting bargains from my fave brands.
Five items you can't live without?
Sephora cream lip stain in ‘Always Red’
STALK THE STALKER ON