Laurence Kanza is the founder of La Petite Congolaise, where she offers a contemporary twist on accents of colour for the home, working from London. Laurence is inspired by the characteristics of Congolese design, creating ranges utilising unique aesthetics, sensuous earth tones and bold colours. Growing up she was surrounded by Congolese decor and artefacts, which ultimately shaped her approach to design. Then in adulthood her years of international travel further enhanced her style. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Laurence Kanza.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
La Petite Congolaise style is about layering and personalising with colour and texture. Adding accents, touches and elements that reflect ones taste, personal style and personality.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
My creative process depends on the project. Whether I’m styling a shoot, creating a new collection, writing treatments, etc. It varies from project to project.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
I have been fortunate to work with incredibly talented people and I have learned so much from each of them, that I am unable to single out one person. The qualities that I respect and admire in each of them are their love, passion and commitment to their respective crafts.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
I get inspiration from everywhere: travel, books, fabrics, magazines, paint swatches, nature, art exhibitions, people watching. I always have a notebook with me to jot down ideas.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
Passion, patience, perseverance, prayer, hard work and a sense of humour. My advice: Surround yourself with positive people; Don’t be afraid to fail; You will make mistakes, learn from them, dust yourself off and keep moving forward; Be open to the process – you never know what is around the corner.