Shop Solomon Appollo:
How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?
I would describe myself as a modern and eclectic handbag designer who uses traditional leather craft techniques to create luxury accessories. I love mixing leathers with suede or leathers with print. I have coined a phrase to sum up my design aesthetic which is 'Afropean'; in which beautiful fabrics from my heritage meet innovative design and a European take on luxury and quality.
What sort of comments do you get about your designs?
Unique, beautifully designed and great quality are the most common comments made.
What is your background?
I graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2007. I wished I could have spent a few seasons taking unpaid internships at some of London's luxury brands, but as a mother with dependent children I worked in Retail Management which enabled me to build capital and study the 'luxury consumer'. During this period I also travelled around Europe and started building relationships with suppliers and manufactures.
Which designers do you rate highly and why?
I love British brands such as Mulberry and Sophie Hulme for their classic simplicity. They both have an instantly recognisable brand and a strong core design aesthetic. I'm also a bit obsessed with the new Fendi Roma collection of bags and Anya Hindmarch has a great design team, they always offer something fresh, exciting and stylish even though that produce 4 collections per year! My ambition is to be to Nigeria and Britain what Stella Jean is to
Haiti and Italy. The way in which Stella mixes print with unique tailoring is a signature I have been using in my accessories for many years.
Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves…
My training at the prestigious Cordwainer’s College and undergraduate course at London College of Fashion gave me the skills and confidence to execute the design process and plan my supply chain with relative ease. In this stage of my business I am designer, pattern cutter, sample maker and bespoke manufacture!! I outsource small run manufacturing as and when needed but most of my products can be customised and made to order.
How do you think your brand has developed?
I believe the Solomon Appollo Brand can be described as a two sided coin; one side is what I refer to as our Premium Line featuring our classic quintessential British silhouettes in luxurious leathers. The other side being our African Inspired products that incorporate Ankara fabrics and ethnic prints. Over the past year our design development has shifted to focus more on the Premium Line whilst our bespoke service customers love choosing prints from our African Inspired products for customisation.
What do you hate most about your job?
I have many titles including designer, creative director, CEO, Founder and what I dislike most is sometimes I wish I had someone to blame when things go wrong, but it's my company so (more...)