Meet Florentyna Agu the Creative Mind behind the Eco-friendly brand ‘Hertunba’
By Yemisi Suleiman
Nigerian fashion brand ‘Hertunba’ is everything an ethical brand should aspire to be. Owned by former runway model Florentyna Agu, the brand is famous for its use of vegan leather and an incredible line of eco-friendly clothes for today’s woman.
For the designer, the goal of the ‘Hertunba’ brand is working towards a better future with every single outfit created.
Florentyna shares her inspiration behind the brand, her foray into fashion industry and more.
The Hertunba brand is focused on protecting the earth by producing environmentally friendly designs. How do you go about this?
We do our best to only use vintage fabric or already existing fabric and avoid over production. Also, we do our best to upcycle all our waste by turning 90% of our excess fabric into clothing (like our coat of many colours) or furniture.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I dream of most of my designs and try to put them down immediately I wake up, that’s it.
You designed a jazzy suit made with vegan leather. What is the difference between vegan leather and normal leather? And what inspired it?
We at Hertunba believe no animal have to die for vegan leather to be created. And that for us is a great inspiration for most of our collection.
What triggered your passion for fashion designing?
The first thing that drew me to fashion was the need to help my mind and memory function correctly. Growing up I had a hard time learning or remembering things, until I started teaching myself to learn using colours and fashion.
Secondly, I felt a need to express myself as an individual and the best way I could do that was through my personal style presentations and the pieces I create. That was how it all started.
What would you say was the biggest rookie mistake you made while starting out the Hertunba brand?
That would be, me not putting enough body types into consideration while designing.
Do you feel your brand is affordable for the average woman?Yes, regardless of the increase in cost of production we do our best to remain affordable and every collection has an entry level piece the average woman can afford.
What is your favourite part about being a designer?
Making women feel beautiful.
Before becoming a designer, what brands did you model for?
Mia Atafo, Yutee rone, ituen basi e.t.c
How do you feel your experience as a model helped in shaping your career as a designer?
It helped me experience fashion from a very different angle. It also inspired me to want to create, so that my voice could be heard as it carries a message.
You are also country manager for Nuciano bags, what exactly do you do?
I basically manage all of the brand’s affairs in Nigeria, I lead the team here in Nigeria and in Ghana to ensure that the brand remains visible and viable.
How would you describe your life as a fashion designer?
It’s amazing I would say, because
life before this was honestly a bit depressing because I felt trapped. I didn’t have a channel for my creative expression and it was pretty frustrating, I knew there was a bigger purpose for me, but I wasn’t sure what it was until I started designing clothes.