Celebrating the African Woman: Meet Cynthia Abila Reema February 18, 2020 MESSFashion Cynthia Abila is an Abuja-based Nigerian designer who made her first runway debut at the 2018 Lagos Fashion Week. Her designs seek to portray her local roots while exploring the idea of the traveling woman. With every piece, Abilia strives to celebrate womanhood, culture, and sustainable craft- and we absolutely adore it. Made for women with all shapes and sizes, Abilia hopes to empower the modern-day boss lady through colorfully driven aesthetics. We sat down with the expressive designer and learned how this unique brand got its start: @cynthia_abila What motivated you to create this brand?Ultimately, my passion for culture and storytelling motivated me to create this brand. I love well-crafted narratives that I express through my pieces to capture people’s attention and evoke positive emotions. What is your number one driving force?My driving force is my ambition and sheer refusal to quit. I never shy away from a challenge. It drives me to move forward. How important do you think traveling is for the soul?Travelling revives your passion and fuels your inspirations. Travelling is healthy for your soul to be creative and constructive because you see new places, experience new cultures and meet new people. Generally, it resets your body and frees your soul from stress and depression and revitalizes your overall mental health and strength. How do you nurture your soul? • I take time to meditate in serene environments. • I exercise regularly • I laugh a lot. • I love without conditions • I spend time in my creative space. How do you portray style and culture in your pieces? Every Cynthia Abila piece is infused with our history and heritage and full of cultural expressions with modern aesthetics. The pieces are mostly made from locally hand-woven cotton which is a traditional fabric of bold colorful patterns of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. Style and culture are portrayed by sometimes adorning fashionable pieces with elaborate coral beadwork, which indicates identity and status within the community. Cultural illustrations like silhouettes and seasonal attributes are also depicted in our collections. What is your favorite piece? My favorite piece is the ‘Naza’ skirt What do you want people to take away from Cynthia Abila? I want Cynthia Abila to be viewed as a fashion-forward ethical brand that focus on user needs and defines individualism. What are the three things that the brand stands for and how do you portray them? • We focus on user needs. We make eco-friendly and lasting products so our customers could live in a more environmentally friendly way. • Individualism: 0ur pieces emphasize on individual style desires of every customer. • We are a sustainable brand.