Totally Ethnik drop their sixth collection BIRDS OF PARADISE, THE REMAKE this spring. We talk to Marie Kipre, the CEO and creative director.
Born and raised in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Marie moved to Chicago, USA, after graduating from high school to study for a bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in finance.
She then moved back to Cote d’Ivoire where her love for fashion led her to open two fashion stores in Abidjan in 2008. In 2011, she moved to Accra, Ghana where she opened a shop in Accra, selling everything from fashion to interior decoration with an ethnic touch.
After having to leave a course at the Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design in Accra, Ghana in 2012 (due to circumstances beyond her control) she decided to later start her own fashion label.
When did you start Totally Ethnik?
Totally Ethnik was established later in 2012 when my two other sisters jumped in on the idea to start a fashion label to produce and sell ethnic, authentic yet classy clothing that would match global brands.
Our first collection called BIRDS OF PARADISE came out in fall 2013. This collection was rich, colourful and unique. We have been developing our design and use of materials in the collections which followed.
BIRDS OF PARADISE, THE REMAKE is our sixth collection. This collection is a more daring collection that expresses astounding beauty, romance and sensuality. This is the collection you can see in the images.
We have participated in Glitz Africa Fashion Week, Black Fashion Week in Paris, Ethnodence Fashion Week in Belgium, Ghana Fashion and Design Week amongst others.
How has it been growing the business?
It’s been exciting with a few challenging times. Exciting when I see people from other tribes and countries appreciate and love what we are able to put through with every collection.
My team and I are working tirelessly to grow the Totally Ethnik fashion brand in several other countries. We strive to be able to produce quality clothing and in large quantities. We are looking forward to securing chain stores and stockists all over that will stock our clothing.
What are your design influences?
My designs are influenced by the rich cultural and ethnic heritage of the African continent fused with a touch of elegance and luxury.
If you had to wear one outfit every day for the rest of your life what would it be?
A pair of jeans because it’s comfortable and can be worn any day.
What was the last thing (item of clothing) you bought?
Red jumpsuit, bought it from my own closet.
Where would you like to see yourself professionally in 10 years’ time?
As the creative director and CEO for Totally Ethnik, I see myself building a global fashion brand that is recognisable in every country. Producing and selling in large quantities across the globe.
Check out Totally Ethnik at totally-ethnik.com