A few years ago, I co-hosted an event for Della and absolutely fell in love with this line! The fabrics they use are beautiful, and their story is even more lovely! I recently interviewed Tina Tangalakis, the founder and designer of Della, and here’s what she had to say!!
TW: What inspired you to start a fashion line that produces its products in Ghana?
I used to be a wardrobe stylist in Los Angeles and started to feel a little un-inspired. I loved fashion, but I wanted to contribute more. I decided to take some time off & decided to volunteer for a month in Ghana. While there I fell in love with the textiles & the friendly people I met. I worked closely with a seamstress to design a bag (that I wanted to bring back as a souvenir). Well, as soon as I saw the finished product, the idea hit me: why not produce clothing in Ghana? The textiles are beautiful and seamstresses in the community need jobs. It was the perfect fit.
TW: How has the work you provide for the women in West Africa changed their lives?
A majority of the women working for us have been a part of the Della team for over two years. For me, this shows that we are doing something right. This month we interviewed all of our team members and found out that 90% of them are supporting children (although only half of them have children). Community support is big in Ghana and it means a lot that the jobs we are providing not only support our team, but extend to children & families as well.
TW: How did the collaboration with Urban Outfitters come about?
I describe every collaboration like a courtship – it takes a lot of “woo-ing,” meetings & discussions until all parties are on the same page and want to move forward. Fortunately I believe that the Urban Outfitters customer is in line with our style and with our story, is the perfect fit for the young, hip Urban buyer. The process took over 7 months until we finally partnered together and I’m happy to report that it’s going great!
TW:What’s next for Della?
Thanks to our Urban Outfitters collaboration we are more focused on clothing this year. We are going to release a Winter collection with Urban and are working to expand with more stores. We also have a very special, top-secret shoe collaboration coming out in 2014. We’re excited!
TW: And now the fun one! Do you have a favorite Della piece?
Yes! I use my macbook case everyday. I love it’s unique design & its super easy/functional. I think this is a great piece because everyone needs to protect their laptop, plus it’s cute! (Oh, and I use our travel bag all the time when I travel. It’s perfect for makeup & jewelry).
Make sure to check out the Della site and all the fun items that are available at Urban Outfitters NOW!!! Can’t wait to see what amazing things the future holds for Tina and Della! I know I’m super excited to see the Winter collection with UO, what about you?