Award winning textiles designer Banke Kuku fuses traditional west-African and Western-eclectic inspiration to create intricate, unique and luxurious fabrics for interiors, soft furnishings and fashion. Her design aesthetic comes together in a striking kaleidoscope of colour and vibrancy.
Born in Lagos, Banke moved to the United Kingdom at the age of eight. This cultural fusion heavily influences her bold patterns, resulting in statement prints with captivating impact. Nicknamed the ‘Queen of Colour’, Banke’s prints have been described as ‘exquisite pieces of art’ by one of the world’s most influential trend forecasters, Lidewij Edelkoort.
Banke has extensive experience in the textiles industry. She graduated from Central St Martins College and then Chelsea College of Art and Design, having studies textiles, subsequently authoring a book on the Nigerian textiles industry. After interning at a number of international fashion houses, she subsequently launched her brand.
In 2014, she was selected from thousands of applicants to win Triumph’s ‘Women in Making’ competition for female creatives. She was selected by a judging panel which included such fashion stalwarts as Roksanda Ilincic and Sophia Webster.
To date, her key inspiration has been the explosion of life and colour in her native west-African tropical rainforest (the Niger Delta), and she has weaved these designs into luxury fabrics and textures to create a unique, striking aesthetic. Her pieces are intense, quirky and elegant. The resultant intrepid designs, through collaborations with fashion houses including Duro Olowu, Jewel by Lisa, Virgos Lounge and Lot78, have been worn by the likes of Michelle Obama, singer Kelis and Catt Sadler.