Wonder in the concrete

The first step is always is the hardest, awkward one or scariest. It also is the bravest step you ever can make. In the spring of 2015 the urban and creative studio KESHA FELIPA was founded by Kesha Felipa. Alongside freelancing as visual storyteller (apparel graphic design etc.), I wanted to create a small label, featuring postcards and small accessories.

This label have to be a laboratory. I want a fresh approach to making a (fashion and/or print) collection. Fashion got in overdrive. It is all about more and more, faster and fastest. My philosophy for my small label is one theme for an entire year. This gives me the opportunity to completely dive into an atmosphere and have more attention to the creation of the prints and products itself. Throughout the year I will add new images (matching to the colour palette and mood) to my mood board and create new prints/products.

Pondering about the new and unfamiliar step I took suddenly a poem popped into my mind. ‘Rose That Grew from the Concrete’, was written by rapper and actor Tupac Shakur. His poem tells the story about a rose that breaks all the laws of nature: grows, blooms and thrives from the concrete. Given Shakur’s background the poem – I think – is about survival and breaking free of your background or neighborhood and go for your dreams. And after having taken the step to start a business in these economic hard times I thought that it was an appropriate inspiration for the collection name: Wonder in the concrete.

The next step I have taken is an evolution of my design style. I wanted to show a calm & more minimalist style, because I’m known as a designer with a bold street style. The well-known aspects of my work stayed: playful and urban. But I have soften my use of colour, have more a modern approach and more roughness.

Inspired by the poem, my new business and new style I looked at the opposite of elements. Marble and manmade concrete. Mathematical grids and strokes of a brush. The beauty of the clash, but somehow working perfectly together. Like the rose from the poem. Its blooming wouldn’t never be as mesmerizing, if the rose was in a grass field instead of in the cold and meager surroundings. I mixed marble, grids, concrete and ink splattering to create playful graphics and all-over prints. The colour palette features tones of grey, soft pastels such as mint, peach and lavender, black and white. For this first collection I created multipurpose pouches (in two sizes), postcards and A5 cards. The fashion illustrations for this collection are minimal, modern and clean.

Wonder in the concrete collection is available on www.etsy.com/nl/shop/keshafelipa