What’s the story behind T E N S Studios?
After graduating from Art College I started working in a secondary school, fast forward 10 years of working in education and I craved a creative outlet. I began designing and making two-piece outfits for myself to wear at Carnival, my birthdays and other special occasions.
In terms of making it a proffession, I decided to start by making shirts, however, I soon found out that they are one of the hardest garments to make. Having said that, I drafted the shirt pattern, graded it and made three samples for the launch of our shop, which was set to take place in Peckham three months later.
All of this was self-taught and although I have suffered many mistakes so far, I realised that progressing and learning is done by trial and error.
What inspired the ’95 collection?
I worked on this collection with Charlotte Kouadio, a design student I met at a festival in Peckham last summer. ‘95 was created from our love of the 90s’ Black-British culture.
The vibrant and energetic prints are made up from cultural signifiers from this time and place, such as Victorian spike earrings, gold teeth, and, of course, Air Max 95 footprints. These prints have been hand made into two-piece click suits and Buju Banton inspired Silk shirts.
What makes T E N S unique?
I started the brand out of frustration of not being able to find clothes that I liked. I love shopping in charity shops and buying vintage because I like rare finds. I wanted to create a brand that made stand out clothes in limited runs so people can maintain their originality.
The idea of T E N S was to have our signature silhouettes with the prints constantly changing, producing each handmade collection in limited runs based on customer demand.
We wanted to celebrate Black-British culture through a glimpse of adornment and celebrate the rich, resourcefulness and originality of Black-style.