House 38 is a collaboration between two sisters fondly known as D & S that focuses on fashion as both a creative and utilitarian outlet. Aesthetically, they favor creating clothes that stand the test of time through the use of classic cuts and fits that celebrate the feminine form. Hopefully our questions can stand the test of time too…
HFA: Guess we can call you D & S too! Any of you have a background in fashion?
D & S: Haha! Yes, you can call us D & S. We have both always had an interest in fashion. We have both taken courses in fashion; D in fashion merchandising and S in international fashion retailing.
HFA: How was House 38 birthed?
D & S: Our decision to start House 38 was a result of our desire for certain pieces in our closets. We started creating for ourselves and our friends first.
How do your creative skills and ideas differ and how have you been able to merge it into one cohesive fashion label?
D & S: In terms of differences, S is more on the utilitarian side of fashion while D is more experimental and likely to indulge in trends. We have combined both together to create a range of clothes that are both functional, and fashionable.
HFA: Is fashion your day job too or you’ve got 9 – 5 jobs to juggle too?
D & S: Fashion is it for us. The process of producing clothes and attending to our clients is so consuming that we have to be dedicated to give them our best. Also, there is nothing as good as being able to focus on your passion full-time like we do.
HFA: Any catfights and hair pulling between you two or you’re just two perfect peas in a pod?
D & S: Overwhelmingly, our relationship as sisters takes priority over every other partnership. This awareness dictates the respect and admiration we have for each other.
HFA: Which designers, both local and international, do you admire and would you love to work with?
D & S: There’s an endless list! Deola Sagoe, Jewel by Lisa, Victoria Beckham, Grey, Banana Republic, L’Wren Scott, and Stella McCartney.
HFA: Where do you draw inspiration for the label from?
D & S: As a label, our focus is on the everyday woman. As such, our primary inspiration comes from the women around us who are multi-tasking and striving. We aim to create clothes that allow them to transition within their various roles in their lives without feeling out of place. Our mom, who has always insisted on having a stylish existence, also inspires us.
HFA: What do you think of fashion in Africa and how it has grown to accommodate young designers like yourselves?
D & S: We find it impressive how much fashion has grown in Africa. There is such diversity of taste in the market now that every designer can have a piece of the pie. We also find it heartening that designers no longer feel constrained by the western/local dichotomy. Designers can experiment and normalize new ideas. For young designers like us, that means that we are not afraid to create because we know there are no alienated ideas within the industry.
HFA: As fashion designers, what do you aim to achieve?
D & S: Our hope is to be a brand that is not constrained to local boundaries. We want to be able to compete on an international level, both on price and quality. Also important to both of us, is the development and empowerment of our local community. We hope to continue to increase our employee base, thereby giving endless opportunities to talented individuals.
HFA: Now that we know a thing or two about you, time to shed some light on the label. What’s in the name House 38?
During the naming process, we wanted something that could stand on its own while also being significant to both of us. House 38 is a tribute to our childhood home.
HFA: What’s the aesthetic of the brand?
D & S: Aesthetically, we are a very clean brand. We focus on flattering the female form.
HFA: Love the description of the label on the twitter page: “Fashion destination for the modishly inclined & ultimate revival for the somewhat lost sheep”. There are definitely a few lost sheep out there that need your guidance so who would you say House 38 caters to?
D & S: House 38 caters to women who love simplicity and style. We are very interested in women that are busy and need pieces that help build a cohesive and stylish wardrobe.
HFA: You currently produce 3 lines under the House 38 lable: Prim, House 38 by House 38, and Heritage. Tell us a little more about each of these labels, if you may?
D & S: We have scaled back on the lines and now produce only two lines; PRIM and Luxe (House 38 by House 38). Heritage has been merged into both lines. PRIM is our younger and more affordable line. With Luxe, we try to push the boundaries in creating pieces that are creative, but also functional.
HFA: When will we be graced with a new collection from House 38 and what should we expect?
D & S: The collections form both House 38 lines are out soon. We are currently pushing out our PRIM Summer ’12 collection, and the Luxe Summer ’12 collection is right around the corner. Expect a lot of color and shimmer!
HFA: Where do you see the House 38 label in five years time?
D & S: In 5 years, we want to expand our presence beyond Lagos and establish ourselves as a global presence. We also want to be pushing the boundaries in creating affordable and really stylish clothing for women.
HFA: Where and how can our fabulous readers get their hands on your delectable pieces?
D & S: If you’re in Lagos, visit us at 289B Akin Olugbade (Off Adeola Odeku), Victoria Island.
If you’re in England, visit www.Malakhandsco.com
If you’re anywhere else, we’re constantly taking orders, just e-mail sales@House38.com. Our website: House38.com is going live in a few weeks, and we’ll be shipping to many different parts of the world.
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