The only thing better than discovering new brands, is discovering new brands that you immediately adore. YEVU is one such brand. After living in Ghana, Africa, for a year, founder Anna Robertson decided to bring her penchant for print back to Australia’s sandy shores. Sydney is the lucky new recipient of a YEVU pop-up store, finding a temporary home on Cleveland St, Surry Hills. Being great lovers of print also, this brand shows a particular aesthetic not often seen in Australia. With other great labels like Italy’s Stella Jean bringing African traditional prints, hopefully we will see a lot more of it on the streets in the very near future.
How did the idea for YEVU come about?
I realised I had to develop YEVU so I could keep feeding my addiction to print, so in a way it was more of a coping mechanism. From the moment I landed in Ghana, it was print on print – in the streets and in every facet of Ghanaian life, so there was inspiration all around me. I started making more unconventional pieces for myself – duffle coats and bombers (as opposed to the typical African print wrap around skirt) and YEVU grew really organically from there.
What is the brand philosophy?
Connecting the buyer in Sydney to the grassroot production of West African textiles and clothing, and bringing some colour into peoples lives in the process.
How do you go about sourcing fabrics?
Hours upon hours at the markets, sorting through literally mountains of wax print, buying from wholesalers. The markets I sourced from were mostly in Accra, but also in Togo and regional parts of Cote D’Ivoire. After a few months of doing this in the hours that I wasn’t working full time, I became pretty savvy with the right prints, from the right people.
Tell us a little about the production/design process.
I don’t come from a design background, so it was an enlightening experience for me! The process was very much collaborative – I was working with two amazing seamstresses in Accra, and they were able to understand my terrible drawings and references that I was using. After perfecting a design with the seamstresses, I’d load them up with prints and they could wreak havoc, bringing life to my vision. 300 hundred pieces later, and a whole lot of shipping from Ghana, and here I am.
What do you hope to achieve through your pop-up store?
I hope to recreate a little bit of Ghana right here in Sydney. I want to tell people about how the clothes they will (hopefully) buy were produced, and share a little of its magic with people.
How did your time in Ghana inspire you creatively?
The way people dress in Ghana inspired me. Head to toe matching print (the Ghanaian ‘up and down’) and the confidence with which it’s worn was inspiring. People aren’t afraid to be bold, and it brings a little bit of happiness to the day. Also the stories behind the prints enriches the clothing.
Hopefully YEVU will be online in early 2014 after my next trip to Ghana. Until then keep up to date on firstname.lastname@example.org and on instagram @yevuclothing.
302 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, Sydney 2010
Shop Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 – 7pm. Until October 24 or stock sells out. Cash Only.