Lucie Loves… Meet fashion designer Nzinga Russell // Behind-the-scenes at the Dawson D Rose studio in Notting Hill | part one


I recently met Nzinga Russell, the incredible lady behind the exquisitely tailored label, Dawson D Rose, at her studio in Notting Hill.

From the start I knew that this meeting could just have easily not taken place. Had Nzinga not had had the balls to send a second email, I would have missed out on this very special encounter on her West London rooftop. And also the chance to add Nzinga to my growing roster of young British designers who I class as ‘ones-to-watch’.

Everyday I receive emails from brands, designers, pr & marketing agencies and web developers all vying for my attention with their (sometimes not so snappy subject lines). As most bloggers, who work their blogs around full-time jobs, will know - time is precious. 

To me, if an email strikes a chord on a personal level, I am already halfway there to pressing the reply button and getting involved. There has got to me something in it for me and I don’t mean on a materialistic level. With Nzinga, it was a chance to meet and help support a new young British designer whose work I felt was worth shouting about a little louder. It was a chance to photograph her in her studio space - something that most certainly appeals to the curious-natured documentary photographer in me. And, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Having taken a look at the Dawson D Rose website, and hearing Nzinga tell me a little about her love of Portobello Rd (which was how she had come across me as a fashion & lifestyle blogger, after spotting a post that I had written about a visit to the Portobello area.

So, after setting up a meeting, I was keen to find out more about her work. We sat down and had tea and a good old natter, whilst JMG set up the cameras and got to work filming the interview.

I wanted to find out why she does what she does, hear about her current collections and her hopes for the future of Dawson D Rose.

“At the heart of everything that any creative person does is inspiration.” said Nzinga.

Nzinga, wearing The Colville round neck shirt with bow collar from her own collection, describes her younger self as full of energy, chatty and rather girly with a huge love of clothes. It’s no cliché.

From an early age she had a love of vintage stuff. It all started as soon as she was old enough to go out shopping with her friends in Camden – which is really good for vintage. 

“I’ve always loved finding odd little things and mixing it with something like Topshop or Miss Selfridge.”

Find out more about Nzinga’s story wait for part 2 of this blog post. I also get to try on a few of my favourite pieces from the Dawson D Rose collection and gather a few top tips for setting up your own vintage stall.

Photography © Lucie Kerley