'Queen of colour" Banke Kuku fuses African and Western culture to create beautiful and elegant fabrics. I chatted to her to find out more about what inspires her... What’s the most important thing to know about you?
I love textiles!
Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of Banke Kuku.
A great day is feeling inspired! On days like this I would normally go to galleries and explore a little, drawing and painting around London.
A bad day for me is doing paper work as this involves a lack of feeling inspired.
What inspires your ideas?
I am inspired by culture – especially the fusion between African and Western design. I’m also inspired by rich colours, current affairs and my emotions.
Describe the process you go though to turn your ideas into products.
I work mostly with digital prints. Firstly I create the designs on my computer, and then digital print them and then make up the final product.
What advice would you give to an aspiring textile designer?
Find your identity and keep developing it.
Which three designed items could you not live without?
I could not live without my suede printed 45cm x 45cm and 60cm x 60 cm Banke Kuku cushions, they make my bed so inviting. I sink into them after hectic days and sleep like a baby!
My comfy, brightly upholstered grand father chair and foot stool which is where I spend my evening after work watching the telly and having a cup of tea... pure luxury.
I love my fine hand woven silk and cashmere scarves. I wear them all year round they brighten up my winter wardrobe and a great accessory for summer outfits too.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my cushion range that’s currently selling in Selfridges!
What’s next for you?
I look forward to launching my new cushion and pouf designs at Selfridges later this year – my second collection is vibrant yet harmonious. I’m also looking forward to establishing my brand further, and hope to work on some great interior projects with hotels, restaurants and residential homes.
And, finally, what’s your favourite colour?!
Wow, that’s a hard one, I think it depends on my mood at the time. Too difficult to answer, I love all colours!