Hello, my name is Fania, I am 25 y.o. and I am African-Japanese from Birmingham. My dad is from the Republic of Togo in Africa, my mum is half Togolese and half Japanese , I was born in Sweden, I lived in Japan between the age of 2 and 5, and then moved to France where I spent my childhood until the age of 10 when my family moved to the UK. French is my first language but I also speak English and Japanese. I moved to the Hive in May this year when I started to work as a trainee business manager for Boots No.7 while growing my own clothing label Svciety. Fashion is literally my passion and I live and breathe it. I also love anything related to beauty and art. If you see me sketching with pen and paper you know I am in my zone.
How would you describe coliving as opposed to other types of accommodation you previously experienced?
Every day I work long hours between my trainee job and building my fashion brand and it’s really hard to find time to go out and meet new people. I find coliving and B-Hive Living specifically a great solution for people moving to a new area given the ability to meet many new people straight away and they become friends and your family away from home. The community at B-Hive is really well curated and people are able to connect very easily. I do not think you can experience the same level of social connection in other types of accommodation. Beyond the people who live in my Hive, I also have the opportunity to connect with the broader Hive Community thanks to our monthly calendar of events. This makes it easy to feel a sense of belonging and connection despite being in a completely new place.
What is your favourite part of your Hive home and why?
As soon as I walked in the Hive I fell in love with the space. Creativity is a big part of my life and I could immediately breath it when I walked in. Everything excites me in the space and you can tell from the colour schemes used to the use of natural materials, plants and lighting that the space was designed with the intention of enhancing people’s wellbeing.
Talking about your passion for fashion, when did you start? What excites you most in fashion?
My mum worked as a tailor and as a little girl I grew up learning this beautiful craft from her. I recall always trying to get hold of leftover pieces of fabric to design clothes for my dolls. From there came my desire to launch a label as I wanted to wear my own stuff. When I was 13, I started to play online games that helped design products and style different online characters. That’s how I practised and developed my skills. My parents didn’t allow me to study fashion, so I studied business instead and launched @Svciety in 2016 in partnership with my brother Fareed Toure. @Svciety is a a streetwear label developing clothes for everyone, unisex, no age, no gender, for all members of society. I am the lead designer and often travelled to New York fashion week, as well as London and Paris to get inspiration and often found myself thinking: ”One day soon we will be here”. We have had great success with Svciety pop up stores in Birmingham and London and people loved the brand. 2020 was supposed to be a big year for us with plans for game-changing shows in Berlin, Milan and Paris and upcoming collaborations with artists such as PsychoYP and Pa Salieu. Unfortunately, some of our plans have had to be put on hold by this pandemic, but at the same time we invested a lot of energy in stepping up our online retail and we’re excited about our future prospects.
What’s the most unexpected thing you discovered about yourself or coliving being in the Hive?
I have always been a quiet and reserved person, sometimes lacking a bit of confidence to socialise and normally arriving at home and preferring the comfort of my own room. But since living at the Hive I’ve noticed a big change in my personality. I realise that I’ve become more eager to socialise with other residents for hours, sitting in the garden, enjoying a meal or doing activities with them. Thanks to this experience I’m glad that I feel much more opened and willing to connect with others. And that’s a great feeling for me!
Would you recommend B-Hive Living to a friend? Why?
Absolutely! I am pretty sure that if any of my creative friends would walk through the door, they would immediately love the cool vibe and energy of this space.