Penelope Adibe: Clothing Designer

Nneka by PennyBackstage by Tuffgyal808

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Penelope: I have been in the Bay Area on and off now for 20 yrs. Originally from London: my mum German and dad Nigerian. I originally came over here for school and ended up staying. Lived also in NY and LA but kept coming back to the Bay Area. Oakland feels like home, its always such a relief to come back to Oakland from traveling or even coming back from SF to have people smile and say hello to you……I heart u Oakland

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Penelope: It started when I was in a dance troupe when I was young.. my mum put me in a dance school at 4 and we would have to do these shows. The teacher would give the mums sketches of the costumes she wanted and my mum would have to make the costumes so I would sit around and watch her put them together. Then in high school I started making my own clothes and people would ask me to make stuff for them.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Penelope: I find inspiration all around me, whether it be people watching in Oakland (the kids coming out of the Art school in Downtown are always fashionistas), the web, watching what my favorite designers are doing or shopping vintage stores and watching movies.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Penelope: First piece of vinyl was probably something cheesy like the The Muppet Show Volume 1: one of the tracks I remember was “Half way down the Stairs” By Kermit the Frog (lol!) I can even remember the words.

I would nick (steal)my brother’s vinyl, who is 9 yrs older than me, and I can still hear him complaining to my mum “Pennys nicked my bla bla album”. I can remember playing the Sylvesters “You make me feel” and Chaka Khan and Rufus’s Pink album cover (can’t remember the name) and that hair, I always wanted her hair.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Penelope: hmmmm joke or quote? I’m not good at remembering either but this is what comes to mind…
Keep growing, learning and giving and don’t forget to smile 🙂


3 thoughts on “Penelope Adibe: Clothing Designer

  1. What a darling interview with Penny, Malia! I really enjoy reading your interviews of Oakland locals. Que chido! (How cool!)
    Penny’s so novel and down to earth. It’s so wonderful to hear her through this interview. I could see her nonchalantly “nicking” her brother’s possessions and not missing a beat when he fussed with her. Naturally, hers & Rachel’s store, Oakollectiv is one of my very favorite stores. It adds such a gleam to downtown Oakland with all its fabulous designer clothes and innovative community activities.

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