Designer Interview

By: Fashwire
Jun 21, 2022 02:02 PM

How did you decide to name your brand? Do you feel that there is an obligation to work harder with the brand named after you?

I simply name my brand with my own name, most specifically, the woman I became when I move here in United States. I became the woman I always wanted to be; creative, strong, empowered.

I don’t think it’s harder if you know who you are. Actually, it’s easier than taking a word or a phrase that in my opinion keeps you in a box. My brand name is me, the woman I am (we are) today and the woman I will (we will) be tomorrow. It’s a continual evolution and discovery of ourselves; always in the change.


How would you describe the customer you design for?

My customers are self-confident and are powerful in their own career or life. They travel the world to discover new cultures. They are intellectually curious and philanthropists. They are carrying a certain style that clearly defines who they are. Those customers are primarily women but can be any gender that feel connected to my message of be empowered and empowering.


"Women and cultural diversity inspire me."


You have a background and several awards in Evening Wear! Is that something you still pursue or will continue to design for, or have you taken a different path for the future?

For me fashion is not a place you need to be defined to. You can explore different horizons in the fashion field: modeling, styling, editing, photography. In general, I love creating. Designing clothing is still something that I will pursue, but as we say we cannot do everything at the same time. The bags took over my attention in term of full expression of my creativity. It helps me to express my message more clearly. I have been awarded for my handbags as well which means that is a direction that I should explore and I am happy it came naturally to me.

I will definitely come back to the clothing designs that will complement my bags. The same style of design will remain.


What inspired you to become a designer? Why did you choose to design handbags?

Women and cultural diversity inspire me. I wanted to share my vision of women around the world to the world; defining the strength and beauty of each of them from my designs.

Designing handbags came with my own need of finding a bag that represents me. I looked everywhere and I couldn’t find a bag that really represents who I am. So, I designed one for myself. When I was carrying it, many women asked me where I found this bag. I realized at that moment that I can design bags based on women’s personalities. Each bag will be a representation, my interpretation of the women I meet and those who have caught my attention.


Do you have any passions other than fashion and design?

Yes, I love fitness. I am a certified boxing and kickboxing coach, as well as a yoga instructor. Those two worlds are absolutely connected to my branding: empowering others. The fitness world gives me the opportunity to bring confidence and strength to the people; and from this strength they can find their true self, their true identity that is sometimes hidden. I love helping people feel healthy and strong. I love giving this power that sleeping inside of all of us. I empowered myself to empower them in return. The virtue of giving back what you receive and what makes you, YOU to others, is the most rewarding gift.


"My customers need to feel unique, different, badass!"


What is your favorite fashion trend? Least favorite?

Funny as it can be, I am not a trend setter, I follow what my eyes are attracted to when I am shopping. However, to mention one, I love the jumpsuit. It came from my childhood; I was wearing jumpsuits that I adore. I lost them and since then, I was always thinking of making one. And I did it!

The least one, it’s everything that is mini. For me it’s so uncomfortable. I want to feel free to move without being worried of anything.


What advice would you give someone who wanted to create their own brand?

Take your time, stick to your branding and find a mentor who will guide you. Having people who can direct you where you should go or what you shouldn’t do will help you to avoid so many mistakes. I made mistakes and still feel happy that I did them, so I learnt from them. However, if you can avoid them, it will save you time and money so you can reach your goals properly.


How do you want your customers to feel when accessorizing their outfits with your handbag designs?

I want my customers to feel confident in their own skin, so they should carry my bag with the style that defines them: feeling strong or how they will style themselves to get that strength. My customers need to feel unique, different, badass!


"I want my brand to be carried by international customers that understand my brand and feel connected to it."


What was your biggest challenge creating your brand and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was the production piece and finding the customers. Production can ruin your business very quickly. You have to find a good factory, suppliers that believe in you and trust you. Otherwise, you will lose so much money, which will make it difficult to keep going. I learned that simplicity at the beginning is the key to making it. I learned to simplify my designs without compromising my signature. By doing this, it removes so much stress that you would have if you were going with complicated designs with very expensive materials. Simplicity.

Regarding the customers, you need to build your network: go to events, participate in as many events as you can and carry your designs as much as you can. Love your designs by wearing them or carrying them.


What do you see for the future of your brand? Will you expand into other categories? What will we see next?

I want my brand to be carried by international customers that understand my brand and feel connected to it. I will continue to design bags and go back to my clothing designs that will create the full look of Kate S Mensah customers type style.

I will always connect my passion for fashion with fitness. I am building up since last year a styling services for clients. The continuing of my next chapter, my next goal: connecting more with my customers.