Back in April I posted an article about a Teyana Taylor original custom made set that we thought she looked absolutely fab in. We loved the look so much we just had to find the designer! Meet Chinyere Ibekwe. She’s a young 23 year old native of Los Angeles, California.
She took some time out to speak with the Cotten Kandi blog revealing a bit more about who she is, her future as a designer, working with Teyana and what else she may have in store. Here’s what she had to say.
Who Are You? Give Some Background About Yourself
My name is Chinyere Princess Christy Ibekwe. People either call me Rey or chichi. Chinyere means “Gods Gift” but I like to be call “Chi” [for short].
I was born and raised in LA but my parents are originally from Nigeria. They came here [The United States] when they were teenagers to live a better life. They both graduated from college, my father, Austin Ibekwe , from the University of Southern California and my mother, Agatha Ibekwe, from California State University (LA). My mother now owns her own home health agency while my father is an accountant for the county.
I’m the third of 4 children. An interesting fact about me and all my siblings is that we’re all over 6 feet tall. It allowed us to be athletic and play basketball. We all received full scholarships to play basketball in college.
How did you become a designer and what inspired you?
My mother, Agatha Diche Ibekwe, is very fashionable. I get that from her. I always had an eye for fashion at a very young age.
Honestly, I’ve always been a different type of girl. I never liked wearing things that were sold in the store. I’m also a Nigerian bombshell standing at 6 feet tall so clothes never fit the way I wanted them to. The sleeves would be too short or my waist was too small or even the pants weren’t long enough. So I just started designing my own clothing. My mother’s eye for fashion and my inability to find anything that fit the way I wanted them to I’d say were my inspirations.
How did you start designing for your celebrity friends?
I am a very down to earth person! Since I live in LA and went to UCLA I know a lot of people. I guess it was just having good relationships with people and designing outfits that I thought looked good on them.
How do you know Teyana Taylor and what was the outfit you designed for her, if it has a name.
Me & Teyana are friends. We are in the same circle of friends. The piece Teyana wore was the ‘Black & Wild’ piece.
Here’s the original design as seen on singer Teyana Taylor.
Will you continue to design for and style Teyana?
Yes, I’ve already made other pieces for her. And yes, I’ll continue to design and style her. She appreciates my vision and we both understand the definition of “dope”. I’ve designed and styled her for two magazine covers that she’ll be on this summer! Ssssh… I can’t tell you all the details about that but look out for it!
Where do you see your career as a designer in the next 5 years?
I see myself owning my company and building my brand. I also hope to accomplish my dreams of being a fitness model and sports broadcaster. I want to design for more celebs and just keep excelling and growing [as a designer].
Anything else you’d like to share about who you are and where my readers can find more designs you created?
Yes. I think fashion is based on a mood. It’s an expression of how you’re feeling. My clothing line is named YERE. The last four letters of my first name, which means gift. I feel like all my talents are a gifts.
I’ve also always been in love with the 80’s era. Since I was born in the 80’s and from LA, some of my friends also call me the fresh princess of LA. My line is 80’s inspired meet late 1920’s. As my line expands you’ll begin to clearly see my vision.
As for where your readers can find my designs, my official website is coming soon. I’d like to say thanks to everyone that is being patient. Until then here’s a list of where and how they can contact me.
And thank you Chinyere for taking the time to speak with us.