Nearly 10 years ago, after taking a break from a career in magazines to have a baby, Eva Sonaike was looking for a new challenge. For Sonaike, who is London-based and grew up in Germany with Nigerian parents, a layered, multi-cultural style comes naturally: "my parents always incorporated African art and fabric with midcentury furniture," the designer tells Natipernavigare. "It was a melange of the African in a high-end context."
But, Sonaike says, she found that such a use of African style was missing from the design world in Europe. "It was either a niche brand or super safari," she says. "I couldn’t find the high end, chic, colorful interiors that I thought should be there."
So, she decided to create them. She initially began importing wax fabrics from Nigeria but soon pivoted to designing her own textiles."My main mission is to bring that colorful, African, high-end way of life to the interiors industry," she say. After all, the designer finds, "it combines so well with different styles. I have clients with super Scandi homes who have one or two pieces by me, and then clients who have a really glamorous, modern home and have more product. But the aesthetic always has an African element in it."
Sonaike soon developed a healthy following, and her textile designs are now offered in several shops in London as well as at ALT for Living in New York and Los Angeles and The Grand Tour in Palm Beach.
Last year, she made a move to bring her fabrics beyond the home, offering all of her patterns in outdoor. "I was working on a big hospitality project in the Maldives a few years ago and was getting so concerned about the fabrics, what if they get wet, how do we wash them," she recalls. "At the same time, I was working with a photographer at a house in Greece. The background was so beautiful and I thought, my fabric would look so beautiful used outside here." Plus, she found the market was lacking in bold prints, like the ones she created. Now, fans can swathe their patio furniture in options that appropriately evoke the joy of summers spent al fresco.
As Sonaike says, "if you have a beautiful pool area, why not put something really colorful out there?" We couldn't agree more.
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