In 2011, Vogue Magazine interviewed Ghanaian British stylist and Creative Consultant, Marian Kihogo. Here is an excerpt of the interview to inspire you. Marian of one of the Afro-Europeans making it in Europe. Here at AfroCosmopolitan, it is our duty to highlight her achievements and that of people like her. Enjoy!!!
An emotive experience, a reflection of a current headspace.
Things to know
“29 years old with wanderlust. I am originally from Ghana, West Africa.” (She is therefore a Ghanaian British as well as an Afro-European).
“I started styling at 14years old and I have not looked backed since. In that span of time, I have worked in the digital side of editorial high fashion, consulted to brands and personal styled clients for the red carpet.”
At the moment
“Stylist, creative consultant and online contributing editor for PUSH IT magazine. I also publish the blog.”
“Listed third in Glam Media’s top 20 fashion blogs. Cosmo Blog Award 2010 finalist in the fashion category.”
“Working with some new brands in the New Year on increasing their visibility online. Researching into varying avenues I would like to take my blog. A great blog is one that starts conversation in a unique voice, one that gives a reader an optional perspective. If my blog can get a non fashion person, based in the middle of nowhere with no access to high fashion to engage in conversation about or relate to a trend/concept then I think it is has done its job.
“I am dreaming of taking some time off to volunteer my efforts towards philanthropic caused in Ghana. The ones that work with children are closest to my heart.”
“My vintage clothes! They get an inappropriate amount of love.”
“I have been married for 6years. I knew it had to him when he did not laugh at the fact that I name my shoes.”
Never leaves home without
“My wrist-wear! It is my armour from the world. It is a mix of bangles, cuffs and bracelets picked up along the journey that is life. They represent where I have been. It is like wearing my memories on a wrist. Blackberry. I call my blackberry ‘Old Faithfull’ because she faithfully manages my diary and all its many appointments. Unlike a human assistant, she is guaranteed to never take a sick day off. Camera. Inspiration is everywhere, in the least unexpected places and ways. Having my camera at all times to capture those moments is a must. Notepad. A lot of my blog posts start as an idea or thought jotted down in a notepad. I am essentially writing things down all the time. I like to note things down as they come to me. That way, they are devoid of as much afterthought as possible.”
“Layered texture, print, colour, structure as influenced by my love of the luxury glamour of the 70’s, sharp tailored menswear and punk rock & roll. This is then completely directed my by current moods.”
“I wish I could stay it was comfortable tracksuits but it usually just as emotively led as my public style. Some derive joy from collecting garments and possibly wearing them when a just occasion arrives. I think every moment is a just reason to where something that brings you joy. A beautiful piece is wasted just languishing in a closet waiting for the right moment to be worn. Thus it is not uncommon to have me wafting about the house in some trailing floor length gown. It has gotten to a point where the husband no longer bats an eye.”
Shoes and Bags
“With heels the higher the better! I like structural heels. It is like walking on a pair of art pieces. Balenciaga make the most incredible pieces of footwear. I also like moccasins and brogues. I like my day bags to be vintage with clean modern lines. Their inspiration is usually present day Chloé and Prada bags. They have that non fussy aesthetic down to a science. I collect vintage clutches, like a magpie I am drawn to the beautifully embellished ones.”
“Layered, emotive and bold. I like to mix fine jewels with costume and vintage as discovered on my travels. Interestingly I am more upset when I lose a vintage piece than a modern day counterpart. I adore the aesthetic of Maria Francesca Pepe’s work. There is a wonderfully brooding element to her pieces that draws me to it. My closet will not be complete till I have all of her spring summer 2011 collection. Think beautiful jewelled body brace like pieces that were inspired by the exo-skeleton as it were of a garment. When it comes to fine jewellery I adore the work of bespoke fine diamond jeweller, Jessica McCormack. Wearing a piece by her is such joy; it is like being bedecked in a bespoke miniature sculpture or your own one-off mini galaxy. I am haunted in my dreams of her “Jewels Of The Urban Night” collection. Mini like diamond jewel structures as inspired by iconic buildings from around the world. My favourite piece from that collection is her “New York Night diamond ring” which was inspired by the Manhattan night skyline. I think a beautiful piece is made even more precious when it is a one-off as is the case with Jessica’s work…”
“When I was a child my hair was long, it reached my mid back. Now my hair is natural and cropped low. Long hair and I have never gotten along. Buzzed low works better for me. I think this length works as a flexible canvass for my ever emotive driven style.”
“Trends are fickle but innate style should be lauded, celebrated and put on a pedestal. Life is too short to worry about ‘dos and don’ts’ of fashion. My constant only ‘do’ is ‘Wear what you feel!”
“Grace Jones and anyone who is fearless in their pursuit of embracing their personal style.”
“A floaty, Talitha Getty sort of blush toned vintage maxi gown. It looks handmade, but is very vintage Halston in mood. It seems to embody a million different facets. Each time I wear it, it is like the very first time. I always notice something new about it. It has a way of making everything seem all the more brighter and starrier.
Balenciaga – No one does innovative fashion that is still relevant in the present quite like Balenciaga. I have adored the Fashion House since I was 9. Cristobal Balenciaga was genius and so is current creative, Nicolas Ghesquière. Ana Šekularac keeps me enthralled with her ability to fuse the elegantly timeless with the structural. She is currently doing interesting things with detailed weaving, corsetry and pleating that is a must see. She is a very special talent and her spring summer 2011 collection is absolutely breathtaking. Everything that comes out of Prada is a collectable. I think Miuccia Prada can do no wrong. I have been a fan of the brand since I first saw her nylon backpacks. She has innate way of taking the overlooked and turning it into cult must have designs. Roy Frowick Halston was in a league of his own. No one fused minimalism with glamour quite like him. No one still does. He was far ahead of his time. Pieces made my him from the Studio 54 era as worn by the likes of Pat Cleveland and co still look relevant today. He was the Calvin Klein of his time. Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto for their incredibly thought provoking avant-garde and deconstruction. Kenzo for mixing prints and textures with the mood of far flung destinations. Vintage Kenzo ads are so inspiring. The styling was beyond. Lanvin for embodying a spirit of exuberant sophistication. Chloé, Céline and Stella McCartney. All three conjure up the most feminine clothes that still manage to remain unfussy, streamlined, modern and sexy. Alexander McQueen. Everything he made was genius and far ahead of his time. Incredible pattern cutting and tailoring. Dries Van Noten. Nobody comes close to this man when it comes to colour palettes. He puts together the most unexpected hues and they always work. I think he could easily be a painter. His colour palettes would be breathtaking on canvass.
“Jazz by Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Hugh Maskela, John Coltrane etc.Music inspired by different cultures by the likes of Cesaria Evora, Youssou N’Dour, Ismael Lo, Salif Keita. Jimi Hendrix, Nas, Joni Mitchell, Sadie, Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Prince, Tracy Chapman, Marianne Faithful, Blondie, Lucy Pearl, Jay Z, Aerosmith, No Doubt, B.B King, Tupac Shakur, U2, Annie Lennox, Marvin Gaye, The 3 Tenors, Notorious BIG, The Carpenters, Tribe Called Quest.”
Food from The Gambia and Senegal.
Sorrel Juice and mocktails (gorgeous fruit cocktails minus the alcohol).
“The Color Purple by Steven Speilberg Love, tragedy and joy all rolled into one. I adore Their Eyes Were Watching God, The African Queen starring Katherine Hepburn, Sometimes in April, Beloved I am transfixed by Audrey Hepburn movies like Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
“Once there is life, there is hope.”
“Live to the full.”
Old school manners.
“Workaholic and worrying.”
People, art, nail lacquer, books, conversation, seeing new destinations, writing, poetry, red velvet cake, car-boot sales, foreign films with subtitles, colourful exotic flowers, memorable quotes, vintage magazines, Senegambian cuisine, sunrises, people watching, charity and thrift shops, jelly belly beans, candles and perfumes, wearing high heels, macaroons.
She is obsessed with
Personal and spiritual development.
First thing I do when I wake up
Last thing I do before I go to sleep
twitter.com/marian_kihogo and Mariankihogo.com.
Momo’s on Heddon Street for Moroccan food, Franco Manca on Market Row for Italian food, Fish Club in SW11 for a mean fish and chips, Busaba Eathai on Bird Street off Oxford Street for Thai food and Hakkasan for Chinese cuisine.
“I don’t drink coffee but I have a weakness for a great cup of hot chocolate. Patisserie Valerie for hot chocolates and gateaux. Ladurée in Harrods for pistachio macaroons and the Chocolat Viennois which is the Ladurée hot chocolate.”
Bungalow 8 in New York.
The Sanderson in London, Claridges, St Martin’s Lane Hotel.
Dover Street Market, Selfridges London, Harrods, Beyond Retro, Liberty’s London, Fortnum & Mason, Saks Fifth Avenue New York, Browns and Matches.
“Currently my husband’s professional hair shaving kit!”
Como Shambhala in the Metropolitan Hotel, London.
V&A London, Tate Modern, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. MoMu Fashion Museum in Antwerp.
The British Library on Euston Road, Foyles in Charing Cross, Hatchards, Bookmarks on Bloomsbury Street and John Sandoe Books in Chelsea.
Baraza in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Aria, The Conran Shop and Twentytwentyone on Upper Street
Other personal addresses
Unpackaged on Amwell Street in EC1 for ethical groceries, Charity shops in little towns, L Cornelissen & Son on Great Russell Street for wonderful array of art materials. Summer car-boot sales, Makola market in Accra, Ghana.