We’re hosting a different artist in our Oxford Circus store each week in February to customise your denim. This week we’re so excited to be hosting Kay Davis, the South London artist and textiles designer who explores and celebrates African and Caribbean culture in her colourful pieces. We caught up with her to talk about empowerment, inspiration and her denim style icons…
How did you get started?
I’ve studied art and textiles my whole life, but I feel like 2010 really woke me up. I was working in a bespoke boutique that encouraged me to create and style clothing. I had these skills but never truly understood its potential until I ended up studying BA Textiles Design.
How would you describe your artistic style?
My work is very eclectic. It varies from illustrations, print designs, accessories, knitwear, canvas paintings and products. My style is colourful, youthful and nostalgic, paying homage to African and Caribbean culture, expressing what it’s like to be black and British. Although I explore different mediums, it’s the narrative that ties everything together.
What’s your creative process?
Trial and error! It’s like a knock-on effect where I’m always learning from mistakes. I tend to work backwards and just go for whatever is on my mind. I then go back and improve it.
Who/ what/ where inspires you?
I’m inspired by so much! Childhood memories, toys, children’s books, all things playful. But one of my biggest inspirations is being able to serve a purpose much greater than myself. A lot of the time I think about representation and the opportunity for young black girls to see themselves in the things I create.
What is your aim when designing?
I love the idea of adornment and making things your own through customisation and accessories. The aim is to create things that empower those who I cross paths with.
What’s your career highlight to date?
Man, I have so many! I literally wake up every day grateful. If the 18-year-old me had any idea she’d even be in Topshop customising clothes she would scream!
Who would you love to see in one of your designs?
Those who stand in their truth really inspire me. Anyone who genuinely enjoys my designs and rock them with confidence is the kind of person I want to collaborate with. Once something is made and it’s in their hands it becomes personal. The story is no longer mine to tell, it’s theirs. It’s their story that I’m interested in.
Who are your denim style icons?
Tia and Tamera from Sister Sister. 90’s sitcoms are life!