I’m delighted to introduce blogger, writer and friend of Cardifffashion Bettie Heatley who wrote a guest post below on talented accessories designer Luna Amani.
Luna Amani Profile
As I walk into the Cardiff studio of Luna Amani, I am struck by the splashes of colour all around, including the beautiful, bold jewellery Luna herself is wearing. Luna’s mother is Persian and when Luna was just one year old, they went to live in Iran. The culture she experienced there, especially from the Persian women, sparked an interest that would shape her career.
“The key factor that has influenced my designer life was that of my Persian aunties. Three of them are tailors, and as a child I always had clothes made for me by them.“
Back in Britain, Luna studied fashion in Carmarthen and at Cordwainers College, now part of London College of Fashion. She’s worked for brands such as Peacocks, New Look and Claire’s Accessories.
Currently, in addition to working on her own Luna Amani brand of bags, she designs for high street brands including JD Williams, Simply B and Primark.
The amazing culture of Persia still informs and influence Luna’s work and she is planning an inspiration trip soon.
Luna is fascinated by Persian women, she’s also interested in the issues surrounding them and is working on bringing these into her designs, in a playful but respectful way.
Luna begins with mood boards. She fills them with images, photos and patterns that catch her eye. Women in headscarves, striking architecture, geometric patterns (an obsession of hers) and symbols taken from Persian carpets. Her influences are ancient, but she uses them to create beautiful, modern pieces.
Luna edits the boards down to a few shapes, prints and colours. She uses her best selling designs from the previous season, along with her knowledge of catwalk and street trends to start sketching shapes for her bags. Bright prints become colour-pop linings and geometric patterns become intricate stitching details. She makes cardboard models to get the shape and structure right. Eventually, all Luna’s designs are made in real leather or fabric.
Luna is exploring ways to reduce the impact of her business on the environment. She’s exploring alternatives such as vegetable tanning of leather, and even a leather substitute made from pineapple leaves.
In the past she’s had her bags made in China, but she’s hoping to have her next collection made closer to home.
“I would like to have my products made in the UK to reduce my carbon footprint and also to have better communication with my suppliers“
Next season’s Luna Amani bags will be available through independent boutiques. For more information on the development of the new collection and Luna’s inspiration go to her Facebook page or visit the website
Photography by Holly Patterson