Today, we interview the founder of KnowTORIous Bespoke designs (K.B.D).
knowTORIous Bespoke designs - KBD - specialises in custom designs - from trainers and clothing to walls and accessories of any kind and one off art pieces - as long as we can get our hands on it - we are good to go. A company very dedicated to our crafts.
Write spoken word, also choreographs Dance and dabble in Photography and Graphics. Designing/custom work is our main craft and we are designers in every sense of the word.
Hello, how are you doing?
I’m doing great. The sun is shining outside and its actually hot!
Can you give us brief background information about yourself, what’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
My name is Victoria Taiwo, akaTori. Im 23 this year & I’m from the same place as everyone else, my mum's stomach.(Laughter) , I’m playing I live in Catford.
When was KBD born? I can say KBD Right?
Yh KBD is fine, knowTORIous bespoke designs is a mouth full. I’ve been designing garments and accessories since 2004 when I started college and I used to call it “notorious designs” but I recently changed the name to “KBD”. So technically KBD was born as on Jan 09.
What is KBD about?
It’s a design company specialised in making your clothes, shoes and accessories as individual as the people wearing or using them. We are all different in so many ways and even the things that we all feel we have in common still have subtle differences. Like we all have hands & fingers yet all our fingerprints are completely unique to us. We should celebrate individuality and our clothes should reflect that too.
The name KnowTORIous Bespoke designs (K.B.D), why is it spelt that way and why that name?
Bespoke (customising) and one off’s is what we do and very well I might add. And it started as a passion of mine and I’m known as Tori and was well known in college for my funky and unique little designs so notorious fit so well but I wanted something that appealed to people that didn’t know me so “Know”TORIous was perfect.Put it all together and you get KBD
What makes your designs unique?
Each piece is custom made to specification. We make it a point to come up with the best method and design with the client according to their desire and needs.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It comes from life and up bringing. For example one of my inspirations are African clothes. My parents are Nigerian, so as a child I ALWAYS had to wear clothes made from African cloth and I hated it but I grew to love the concept of it, the bright, colourful and busy yet organised patterns and designs on African cloth is what I try to bring and incorporate in my designs.
When did you decide to go into the Design business, now started your own Design Company?
I decided a long time ago maybe when I was about 17/18 when I used to see designers clothes in shops and at fashion shows and think “I can do that” or “I can do better then that” then in December 2008 I went on holiday which was not so great, but all I could think about was designing so when I got back, I decided to take the necessary steps to do develop into a company or business.
What makes your Design Company relevant to today’s society?
Well because it's mainly custom it will always move with the times, but today’s society is so multicultural and forever moving and that’s KBD all over!
Would you like to have done differently if you could go back in time?
Everything… (Laughter). No, if I really could go back in time, I wouldn’t change anything you know! I believe that everything happens for a reason. So although I would love to be in a better position, in so many ways. (I mean who wouldn’t?). This Is exactly where I’m meant to be in my life.
How did you raise money for your business?
Well, i'm gonna be real. Money is, was, and still, is big issue, but my designs fuel my design company, selling my designs and customising for people. As well as using my other skills like doing semi-professional photo shoots or teaching dance.
Who are your competitors? (Customer profile)
I think everyone in the same industry as KBD is a competitor. Because we appeal to so many market
Who are your target markets?
My target market is young people 13years+ because like I said it hard to express yourself and its even harder to be young and express yourself, especially with peer pressure. But because “KBD” is first and foremost a customising company,"so its for everyone"
What are your advertising strategies? (Do you use any social networking sites to promote your brand).
A lot of my advertising as been word of mouth and great referrals from clients, but mostly, I advertise on line. Facebook/myspace/emails etc.
Describe your collection in ten words?
Wow that’s hard… ermmmm….
TORIgianl, YOUnique, Adaptable, Personal, Bright, Bespoke, avantgarde, fun, slick, notorious.
Do you make your collection to season?
What was the most important lesson you have learnt so far?
There have been sooo many but I would say “You are your own competition, try and be better then yourself”&“failure is not final.”
Who is your role model/influence?
I’m very easily influenced so I don’t have a “design role” model but I’m inspired but A LOT of up and coming designers. But my role models are my aunty Rita, my little sister Catherine and my partner Glenn. They are all always pushing to be the best they can be and they never give up, they always find a way!
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
I have two. My 1st is positively inspiring young people not to be afraid of being themselves and 2nd is actually taking the step from hobby/passion to business/success. Which I think is one of, if not the hardest step to take because, there is always a big chance for failure but, what I learned is that failure is not final. Dust yourself off and try again.
What are your advices for Aspiring young entrepreneurs looking to break in the Design industry or other industries?
My advice is to first scoop out your competition and find your USP (unique selling point) what do you have or could you bring that -no one else can bring, there is ALWAYS something because of our individualities, that we can bring.
What are you guys doing now, I know you got some fantastic stuff coming up in a couple of months?So what’s next for KnowTORIous Bespoke Designs?
Yeah we do and im very very excited. We have our first official fashion show June 27th in Dalston. we have our summer range of “posi- T-shirt”s coming out in July. We have just started customising ladies shoes and boots, so look out for them and our “urban Africality” range to be launched at the end of this year. Check out FACEBOOK group “KBD”for all updates.
So finally, before I leave you both, I need to ask for your secret, come on, why have you been so successful, what’s your secret weapon?
(Laughing). We don’t have a secret. It just down to self-belief. You can do anything and I mean ANYTHING, if you put your all(mind body and soul) into it.
I wish you the best in the future.
Thank you and till next time.
Thank you very much!