Theresa Ebagua takes travel seriously. “When I get on a plane, it’s a creative space for me. There’s so much peace and quiet, I treat it like my design studio,” the Nigeria-born, U.K.-raised designer told FN during a brief pause between the FFANY show in New York and Paris Fashion Week.
Often, it’s while she’s in the air that Ebagua mulls the bold African prints, exotic skins and Art Deco flourishes that have defined the aesthetic of her Chelsea Paris brand (named after Ebagua’s two daughters).
But fans of the London-based brand may be in for a surprise for fall ’15. “It is a little bit of a departure from our [typical] inspiration,” she said. “For this collection, I wanted to pay homage to the London boroughs.”
Street-style influences come through in geometric shapes, dark colors and elements of punk and 1990s grunge. It’s an edgier look that seems to have global appeal. “At FFANY, the Lane Crawford team fell in love with the collection,” Ebagua said. “They confirmed an order — that was really big for us.”
Here, the globe-trotting designer dishes on a few of her creative touchstones.
My tech addiction: “My MacBook Air comes with me everywhere, 24/7. I’m constantly on it.”
Dream day off: “A whole day of shopping the vintage stores on London’s Brick Lane and having lunch in the open market.”
Mother-daughter downtime: “Chelsea and I love to watch TV shows on Netflix — we just finished ‘Gossip Girl.’ Dancing is something that Paris and I do together.”
Next stop on my itinerary: “An inspiration trip to Senegal for the beautiful African prints and great tailoring.”
What gives me confidence: “An hour of yoga before an important meeting gets me feeling centered and calm.”
Designer I love: “Lela Rose is on my radar. I really like her style and what she does with prints. I have my fingers crossed for a collaboration.”