In the latest edition of our newly launched People of Labrum series we spoke with great friend, model, activist and mother, Portia Prince.
This series takes us outside of the London fashion scene and focuses on our incredible network from all over the globe who all bring something unique and wonderful to the world of Labrum. Many of the people interviewed for this series are excelling in their chosen fields and making waves of change and empowerment. We are very thankful to have them alongside us on this journey.
Portia recently stepped out of London fashion and now lives in New Zealand with her partner and gorgeous daughter. In the modelling world, she is recognised for her campaigns with Marks&Spencer and Clarks. But foremost, she is a great mother to her daughter, Ngaire Ngawaiata Marama Prince-Hartnett, dedicating her days to creating the best possible experience for Ngaire in this world. She is loud about body positivity and empowering women. Portia has been a close friend of Foday’s for years and we are proud to be able to have her here with us for this special instalment of People of Labrum.
Now, over to Portia...
Foday Dumbuya: Could you explain for the readers how we met?
PP: I met Foday a few years ago, through mutual friends in London. I knew from the moment we met that we’d build a solid friendship, we have flourished together and he has continued to support me through my motherhood journey and career.
FD: What is it about Labrum that makes it stand out from other brands?
PP: Every part of Labrum is met with a story, I love the storytelling behind the brand. He pulls a lot of inspiration through heritage and his childhood. We all feel included and part of the process of every collection.
FD: If you work to live, what do you live for?
PP: I live to create a space that feels a strong sense of community too, Foday and I have a lot of the same values. I use my platform to give others a voice by speaking about political movements and ways we can create a better future for our children. I believe educating people to buy better and supporting smaller is key to this process.
FD: How does your typical day look? Is there such a thing?
PP: A typical day for me is waking up and getting out for exercise with my toddler. I content create for a lot of global brands, so I find getting out of the house and exploring to be the best way to create exciting and innovative content. I’m usually planning trips for us as a family too.
FD: What does community mean to you?
PP: Community for me can be family but that can include those with a lot of shared similar values. Its about propelling your community to more exciting spaces and cheering every victory.
FD: What inspires you outside of London fashion?
PP: I’m inspired by the next generation and I’m excited for the space we’re creating for them to be themselves unapologetically.
FD: What are your wardrobe staples? What couldn’t you live without?
PP: I live for comfort, practicality and functionality. I love bold prints with earthy and warm tones.
FD: What would you say was your career highlight?
PP: Travelling as much as I have with work for sure, I’ve been fortunate to be internationally represented as a model so I’ve been to places I never imagined as a small town girl.
FD: What are you most proud of?
PP: My darling daughter, she inspires me everyday to be someone she’s proud of.
FD: Is there anything that you would like to ask us?
PP: What’s next for you in terms of international movements? Do you plan to keep your focus in the UK and Sierra Leone?
FD: Thank you, Portia, for this question. We want to keep growing and to reach more people outside of London fashion with the stories that we are telling. I want to leave a legacy for people in West Africa where in 50 years or so they will look at Labrum as a reference point.
I want to take the next 3-4 years to bridge the culture gap by working with young creatives to open up the conversation and merging those borders by using the Labrum lens to shine a light on new stories. Nurturing talent is really important to me. This is something that we have connected with Converse to help with, their All Star internship programme is a great platform to support emerging talent in London fashion and our Studio Manager is with us via this scheme.
Labrum will continue to create and support communities linking back to Sierra Leone and London, as this is more important than simply designing clothes. Labrum's about more than that. If we've all learnt anything from the pandemic, it's that we all need to think about each other more.
Our profound gratitude goes to Portia for taking the time to chat with Foday for this instalment of People of Labrum, answering all of our questions with such authenticity.
Please follow Portia on Instagram: @portiaprince and join her with us on her beautiful journey.