Rk x Mabel

Hey Kulture fam, as you may have noticed we have recently released the awesome Mabel line. Mabel is an awesome designer and we felt her unique and contemporary style really matched well with our brand. We know lots of you have been curious about the design process and who comes up with parts of our clothing so we did an interview with her to give you a peek behind the curtain of the collab. Enjoy!

- Opeyemi


So who are you Mabel?

My name is Mabel, and I am an multidisciplanary artist. My work mainly focuses on fashion illustrator/designer and portraiture which I create digitally.

I gained an interest in art from primary school. My first drawings were cartoons and comic characters from books and I gained an interest in fashion illustration watching runway shows.

My inspirations are mainly drawn from my culture - both modern and traditional- my immediate environment, and the works of others.

My art aims at creating a sense of appreciation for the beauty of African heritage and contributing to the wider Afro-Australian growing culture and art community.

Mabel Ibekwe

So why did you decide to work with REPKULTURE?

I believe we share the same values; celebrating heritage, diversity and aesthetics through fashion. I found REPKULTURE online about a year ago when I began following them. I tagged my designs to the brand because they were the closest to what matched my vision.

REPKULTURE has been instrumental in creating the community we desire, commemorating our uniqueness and sharing it with the world through fashion, thereby creating the table for everyone to sit, feel welcomed and at home.

The designs I made with them are vibrant and beautiful. Together we were able to create a wearable piece that was really versatile for any occasion. This has been what I wanted to do for a while and REPKULTURE has brought my vision to life.

I think that this is a great time to talk about the new line itself. Can you tell us more about it?

Sure, the line has 3 pieces in it. The Iroko Pants, the Nma Skirt and the Bella Skirt.

Put simply this line is a response to the everyday question – In what style should I dress? It is for those who take pride in expressing their identity on any occasion through style.

The line has been designed to give versatile styling choices to match the event, whether it is as informal as going to brunch with friends, or more formal like going to work. The designs are feminine, elegant, and sexy.

A great example of this versatility is the Iroko pants. The detachable sash gives you the option of deciding how dressed up you want to be. A casual brunch? Wear them as is. Yet, when you’re feeling yourself and want to bring a certain je ne sais quoi, you can add the sash and boom you have a whole new vibe.

The Mabel Collection

Where did you find your inspirations?

I am inspired by my rich cultural background and the way we love to dress in bright colourful African print fabric. Our traditional attires are gallant and flamboyant in style, customised and tailored by couturiers with a good eye for detail.

That's why I designed the line with tonnes of personality but still gave the option for the wearer to customise it to match their own style.

I also draw inspiration from observing my immediate surrounding and nature which has a perfect balance of light, colour and form.

How do you want people to feel wearing your clothes?

Elegant comfortable, confident, and feminine regardless of how conservative or gallant you choose to dress.

True! I think that is how anyone who tries this line will end up feeling. We will wrap this up with a few quick questions going back to you. Is that okay?

Yes! Absolutely

Is there something about you that people assume because of your appearance or demeanour?

People think I am always serious, but I catch myself doing random, goofy and clumsy shit all the time. I think that is a side of me people will realise the more they get to know me.

What is a story you love? Something you feel like you can fall back on.

I do not have just one story that I fall back on because I find so many stories compelling. However, I think the book Women who Run with the Wolves by author Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a great source of many inspiring stories about how glorious it is to be daring, spiritual, nurture one's instinctual self-confidence

What is something that you love to do?

Sleep, I love to sleep

Name 3 interesting things you see in the world right now?

  • I see people beginning to embrace and own their identity.

  • I see people having a greater sense of appreciation of those in their lives, especially in 2020 with everything that happened.

  • Millennials are becoming more involved and aware of politics. They are starting to see that it really does affect them and there are changes to be made.

What would you say is your greatest achievement as an artist?

Knowing what I want to do and having the drive and passion for going after it - this collaboration with REPKULTURE is definitely one of my greatest achievements.

Where should people go if they want to learn more about you?

My Instagram is probably the best place to check me out: @mabel_ibekwe

Watch this space I am extremely excited to be on this journey. I plan to use every opportunity that comes my way, talking all chances to improve my skills. I’m looking forward to taking more risks with my designs and pushing boundaries.

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