This week we decided to share with you some fun pictures and an open and honest interview to our designer and her tall problems. Let’s start!
First of all, what’s your name?
My name is Ekene Pruce.
How tall are you?
I am 6ft 2.5, but I sort of have this feeling that I might still be growing!
When did you grow this tall?
I hit 6ft at the age of 15, but never really embraced it…
Was it difficult when you where in school?
Yes it certainly was!! I was tall and skinny, but since I enjoyed sports, I had really muscular legs. I was teased a lot for not only being tall, but for having muscular legs. I was always made to stand at the back of the line during school assembly or made to sit at the back of the class! Some people called me “tallest” as a nick name and some teased me for being too tall for a girl. It was really terrible growing up.
What would you say to tall teenagers now?
I will say: Stand tall and stand strong! You are very unique!
Where you always into fashion?
Yes, I have always being into fashion, I have a huge passion for fashion! I am very particular about the sort of clothes I wear especially the fabrics. My mother was a fashion designer and she designed and made her own clothes! I was always surrounded by fashionable clothing. At the age of 16, I wanted a perfect pair of shorts and of course couldn’t get one. My mother showed me how to make the patterns and make the perfect pair of shorts that I ever owned! I wore those shorts to death!
What is your style during the day?
During the day, I always dress smart-casual, denim and shirt or a lovely dress depending on the season. But I do get very adventurous!
Your favourite piece from the wardrobe?
My favourite piece would be the Belle Grande white shirt and 3/4 length trousers from my first collection and the Eva Knitted coat and Catherine Jacket from this collection. I have had rave reviews and the first collection was a sell out!
Let’s talk about your brand philosophy and your team now, why is Italy so important to you? Is manufacturers in England not good enough for you?
My father used to wear a lot of safari suits and he had them made in Italy. And surely when I did visit Italy, I saw their style and fell in love with it. It’s the styling, the choice of fabrics, the fitting, the class, the finesse, the quality, the attention to detail! I can go on and on!
What are your plans for the future?
I want Belle Grande to become a well known brand and I want the ladies that wear the Belle Grande clothes to feel really confident and fashionable.
What about your team? How do you choose them and who are they?
I work with highly skilled Italian stylists, pattern cutters and manufacturers. These are people that come from families that have practiced the fashion craft for decades and decades. In Italy, fashion is a craft that is passed down from one generation to another. It’s more like a tradition. The craftsmanship is second to none.
I work closely with my Project Manager, Claudia, to carefully choose photographers, videomakers and models and I look for talent more than anything else. It takes time to put together a great team, but I think we achieved a great harmony with our last collection!
Final advice for your tall customers: why would they have to try your clothing collections?
I want my customers to know that my clothing is all about quality and it will stand the test of time. And it is high quality without the big price tag.