Back to the Beginning
As the title of this story suggests, reflecting on my history is important to create a meaningful brand.
This is my story.
My mother was born to an Indian mother and an English father. She was adopted due to interracial relationships not being accepted at the time. Ironic as the 1960’s is heralded as the start of female emancipation - only for some I guess?
Her adoption, by a German mother and English father, who had also adopted a boy from Singapore and another girl of African or Caribbean mixed heritage, were very progressive for their time. The United Colours of Benneton a friend of mine coined some time ago.
However sadly due to the time there was no celebration of cultural diversity. You were made to fit in the white mould and suffer racial discrimination as and when it came. It came.
We have spoken about tracing her background but it is fraught with many bureaucratic hurdles that I do not want to enforce as it is her journey, her emotions.
The brand is mine.
Exploring identity, embracing identity and seeking role models who I can align my self with. Feeling empowered.
Thinking about my childhood made me delve into the archives and find images that made me reminisce and smile for one reason or another.
I love this photo as I remember the experience of wearing Indian clothing and celebrating Divali by dancing in front of the school. It really was such an exciting experience and one that was given to me by my teacher. I thank her for that as I was able to celebrate Indian culture that was part of my heritage but not within my home growing up due to my mums adoption. It was a celebration of the festival but internally it was my own celebration.
I recall loving the colour of the clothes and the embellishment, sequins galore, it looked and felt so luxurious. And practising the dance routine was so much fun. I remember we had batons to use and make them click, the sound was electric.
This photo makes me laugh. I wanted to wear trousers so badly. I was quite tom boyish when I was younger and liked the freedom they brought and was very much insistent on wearing them. I was aware of what I wanted from a young age I think that is why my teacher put me in certain roles, to channel my energy and determination.
This emotive energy is what I want to remember and channel in to this work, this business, the brand and ethos.
There are many stories about there. So much variation, diversity, that needs to be recognised and given a space in which to be celebrated.
I hope to contribute to this narrative.