Coventry mum’s clothing line parades at London Fashion Week

A Coventry mum who set up a clothing label in a back room of her home saw her designs debut during London Fashion Week.

It was the first time mum-of-two Tawa Atanda had models wearing her brand on the London Fashion Week catwalk last month. Ms Atanda, 43, a former City College student, was scouted by a fashion house to launch her designs.

Describing her brand, TáWA, Ms Atanda told CoventryLive: “The brand is basically about my culture, my roots, and I’ve fused it with the Brits as well, making it a fusion between the African and western genre. My inspiration really comes from both cultures.

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“It’s very colorful, fun, basically a woman who wants to express herself in her own way.”

We last reported on Ms Atanda in 2012 when, as a final year fashion student at City College, she was named Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year at the BTEC National Awards. She was approached by House of iKons, a global brand, known for pitching up-and-coming designers and creatives after seeing her Instagram page showcasing her designs.

She said: “It’s my first show with them, they approached me on Instagram, asked if I was interested, they loved my collection and everything I stand for. They are women who try to speak out, who don’t hide, being brave and bold in spite of everything and standing up for what they believe in, and letting nothing hold them back.

“With the designs, I draw inspiration from my heritage, the British and African fused together.”

Coventry mum-of-two Tawa Atanda had models wearing her brand, TáWA, on the London Fashion Week catwalk in February

She said the inspiration behind the runway collection, which was called Find Your Elegance, came from a Nigerian festival called the Egungun Festival. Ms Atanda says her husband and two teenage sons have been hugely supportive of her brand and she plans to release more lines in the future.

She said: “I think it made a good impression, they reacted well to the collection, I had a lot of people coming up to me, talking, asking me to tell them more about the story behind the collection.”

On what the future holds for her, she said she wants to release more clothing lines, at least two a year: “My mission for the brand is to provide women with a comfortable and appropriate environment and to highlight quality cotton and well-constructed designs, to offer various beautiful and high-end fashion.”

You can follow Tawa on Instagram at @_t.awa

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