a talk with krystle lana amoo from plan.c
recently, we reached out to ghanaian designer, krystle lana amoo, to learn more about plan.c’s latest project - a series of brass earrings, handmade in nepal. the beautifully crafted pieces caught our attention and we got curious about this london based label.
starting her own brand has always been part of krystle’s goals : “being a child of a seamstress meant it felt like a natural progression to embark on a career within fashion.” at age 6, her parents decided to migrate back home to ghana (west africa) for a change of scenery and her mother opened up a small production house, creating one-of-a-kind garments. “the room was filled with love and laughter so i guess this is where my love affair with fashion began.”
she returned to london a few years later and went on to study fashion design (specializing in knitwear) at london college of fashion. "although a great experience i decided to go down the supplier route career wise. i think being around all those super talented people at university knocked my confidence in designing.” however supplying the uk high street - topshop, asos and urban outfitters to name a few - got monotonous. "during my breaks from account managing i would dabble in more creative projects, the biggest being owning a kids store in south west london selling independent brands”
it is only a few years later that she gained the courage to branch out into the very competitive world of womenswear: "i love everything about plan.c and the direction it's going in, i guess i am finally doing what I love."
firstly, how has your day been?
pretty good thanks, saturday is normally a good day for me!
do you have a morning ritual – what do you do when you wake up?
reading! there is something very therapeutic about reading, its a great escape for me and creates a calming start to my day. this ritual however does warrant me get up at 5.45am, while my family is still asleep otherwise its near impossible to do!
we’re also curious to know where does the name come from?
i guess the name is a homage to my defiant outlook on success. i think we as people see success as the ultimate level of achievement, but for me the triumph is in being content and happy. i don't see my unsuccessful projects as failures, i like to think of them as moments in time that have all contributed to my growth. i have explored plan.a & b so this current project is my plan.c
you aim to create garments with a minimal environmental impact. why is it important for you to be a sustainable brand?
being 100% sustainable would be everything to me, i think spending so many years in the supplying has taken its toll on me. being apart of an industry that is contributing to the detriment to our planet means us as brands and consumers need to do more and make better choices. this notion of fast fashion at super cheap prices is not sustainable for our environment. it's important for me to be apart of the new wave of sustainable designers, being environmentally friendly doesn't mean we have to compromise on aesthetic - brands such as baserange manage to do both... and so well!
can you tell us more about your new earrings, handmade in nepal?
following on from my answer above, in my mission to be a brand with a purpose i love working with responsible factories and suppliers. i am always on the lookout for artisans or empowerment programs that are used to nurture a less fortunate community through their resources. that being said i came across a lovely lady who introduced me to an artisan in nepal who handcrafts jewellery from brass. it felt very organic to build a working relationship with them. as introductory pieces i designed two gold plated statement earrings inspired by my trip to africa in march. i wanted to give them names that reflected my inspiration; "jua" meaning sun / sunshine in swahili is to symbolize the rising and setting of the sun and "kikapu" translates to basket (also in swahili) takes its shape from the abundant weaved baskets i came across on my travels.
you craft products for both “wear” and “space” categories. do you feel like these two are intertwined when it comes to one’s sense of aesthetics?
yes the are definitely intertwined, i think my style and space / home are an extension of my inner self. both are very intimate displays of our thoughts and personalities - i would like to create more homeware to sit alongside the garments and accessories however its something i will explore when the right suppliers come along.
do you have a profile in mind when thinking about your customers?
i don't really have a profile in mind but i would hope the plan.c girl is a conscious shopper with a love for everyday modern basics. her wardrobe consists of timeless 'forever garments' with clean silhouettes that embody modern day femininity. in terms of her personality, she is comfortable in her own skin and embraces her flaws with confidence.
what keeps you focused while you’re working – what’s your mood music?
i definitely need music in to be more productive at work, it's like my fuel and without it i would probably begin to procrastinate. currently playing on heavy rotation:
when you’re not working, what do you like to do?
i am a mum, so most of my free time is spent doing that. i will be the first to admit having your own business requires a lot of sacrifices and unfortunately finding a happy balance between work and family is near enough impossible! so I make sure my weekends are spent solely loving on them! aside from being a mum... i love to cook! i have been a vegan for just over a year now and I found my love for cooking has grown drastically, i am constantly trying out new recipes and looking for new places to dine out!
any favourite spots in london we should check out?
i am probably not the best person to ask this question but here are a few of my favourite spots in london:
cookdaily - the best spot for vegan food
morito - amazing mezze bar in hackney east london
dishoom - their okra fries are a must!
columbia road flower market - a street market in east london for all you botanical needs
barbican conservatory - a little tropical oasis in london, a great place to exhale and restart!
institute of contemporary arts - from independent film viewings to inspirational exhibitions and events
whitechapel gallery - great exhibitions and a book shop that I can spend hours in
dover street market - a visual concept store filled with renown brands