Floral wins in Fashion
We spoke to Desree Akorahson; this year's winner of the ASOS Fashion Discovery Award – as voted by the public. Discover what inspired the winning collection and the power of self belief.
Love your collection, what was your main inspiration?
Thank you! The inspiration behind my collection was nature. I basically lived in Kew Gardens and found their records of extinct flowers and plants and the idea grew from there. I wanted to celebrate all the plants and flowers that are either already extinct or are on the verge of extinction.
What made you choose extinct botanicals?
I actually didn’t have a huge interest in botanicals but I went to Kew Gardens to get inspiration. Whilst there the idea came to me. I was really inspired by journals of botanists describing how they keep seeds for the future because some florals were so rare. After visiting numerous times I finally got some primary drawings done, and ended up finding a huge passion for botanicals.
What comes to you first the print pattern or the garment itself?
The print comes first, but as I’m drawing, ideas start flowing about the design of the garment – so I guess it’s both in a way.
Do you imagine a particular person wearing your garments and if so does that influence your design choices?
Not a specific person. But I had a type of person in mind. I designed the collection for people who are the complete opposite to me! Someone who is bold and loves to express themselves. I love fashion but I’m shy and don’t like the attention at all, so I guess I was designing for person I wish I was.
That's interesting you may grow in confidence over time, you're doing super well!
I hope so, thank you.
Where would you like to see your brand (apart from ASOS) and who would you like to see wearing it?
I would love to see my brand sold in Selfridges or have my own shop in Dover Street Market and have my collection showcased at London Fashion Week, hopefully one day it will happen. I’m happy for anyone to wear my clothing but I would love if Lupita Nyong'o wore my stuff, she looks beautiful in colourful clothing.
You never know what you put out into the universe – it might just happen!
If you could go back in time to 3 years ago, what one piece of advice would you give yourself?
I have never been confident in myself and if someone had told me I would be the people’s choice winner of an ASOS competition I would have laughed in their face, so I would say believe in yourself, you’ve got this – because once you start thinking positively nothing can bring down.
Also I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted! Without them I wouldn’t have this opportunity!!