The name and eponymous brand, “Tina Lobondi” is fast becoming known in fashion circles. This brand is known for great design, as seen through delicate combination of French couture and African trends, as well as exclusivity, as they produce only 5 pieces per design!
The spirited designer who is passionate about fashion and her Congolese heritage, started her brand in 2011 and is now helping to organize fashion week in Congo. This includes the most recent Congo fashion week (13th – 15th October 2016) which was intended to promote fashion business in Congo and push for a stronger industry.
Tina Lobondi’s designs are elegant with attention to detail. Some of this attention to detail is demonstrated in their A/W 15 collection which featured delicate white feathers and structured ruffles. This is by far my favorite of their collections, though it is a year old.
Since the inception of her brand, Tina Lobondi has had the opportunity to partner with amazing people including Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjo, Chloe-Jasmine Whichello and now actress, Thandie Newton. Newton is a brand ambassador for Tina’s T-Shirt line, Esimbi. Esimbi means “it works” in Lingala, the mother tongue spoken in Congo RDC, and is a social enterprise aiming to promote learning in the trades, the arts and education, in order to promote a sustainable way of life for underprivileged children in Congo.
Materials for the Tina Lobondi brand are sourced globally and produced in Paris and London (talk about being a global brand!). The clothing is also available in various stores in different countries, their online store and their VIP club. Here is a list of their stockists globally:
- OWL PARIS, France
- WOLF & BADGER, United Kingdom
- CARNET DE MODE, France
- PAGNE AT HOME, France
- NUBIAN HUEMAN, USA
- KISUA, South Africa
Here are four of my favorite looks from the most recent collection, aptly named “Utopia”.
One of the things I love about this brand is their committment to being relatable to women of all countries and all races and this is evident in all they do; From the selection of fabrics, to the selection of models. This, I believe, is a step in the right direction for brands that seek to have a global appeal. However, in my opinion, a brand that wants to grow globally will have to make a bit of sacrifice on the exclusivity front. Producing only 5 pieces per design could lead to disappointed customers and eventually stifle the brand. What are your thoughts? Do you think Tina Lobondi’s current strategy of producing only 5 pieces could work?