Designer Extraordinaire Nneka Saran


Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Nneka Saran Mosley has always had a love and passion for making things. At the age of nine, she was introduced to a needle and thread. From pillows to doll clothes, she was always creating something with the help of her mother, a school teacher. While attending Hampton University, Nneka created a hand-stitched clothing line, but it wasn’t until a few years later after receiving a sewing machine for Christmas, that her first handbag was fashioned.

After completing her undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, she packed her bags and moved to Philadelphia, Pa. In 2005, while out fabric shopping, Nneka was inspired by a funky print and decided to make a small bag out of it. After receiving several compliments, she made ten more bags and ended up selling them all in one weekend. It was then she had her “Ah hah” moment. She stepped out on faith and her handbag line was born.

Fast forward, one score and a handbag launch later, Nneka’s creations can be spotted on the arms of celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Eve, Keyshia Cole, June Ambrose, and Vivica Fox to name a few. Nneka describes her collections as funky arm candy for the fashionista at heart. She designs her handbags for women who appreciate being unique, fashionable, and a bit edgy yet value pieces that can be worn for years to come. Her true joy comes from the excitement, pride, and satisfaction expressed from the women who carry her bags.

In 2010, she stepped out on faith and left corporate America to pursue her passion full time. With a growing customer base, she is excited about what the future holds and looks forward to extending her line to travel luggage and home décor.

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What led to the launch of your business? Did you see a need/gap in the industry that you wanted to fill?

“I actually started my business on a whim. I’ve always been into making things and sewing but never used a sewing machine until my parents bought me one for Christmas in 2004. After making a few bags and selling them all in one weekend, I had my ‘ah hah moment’ and my handbag business was then officially born. I felt there weren’t a large number of handbags out that were funky and stood out from the others so I definitely wanted to fill that gap with my handbags. “

Are there any influences that seem to be a common thread throughout your work?

“I am heavily inspired by fabric. I love seeing different prints and textures and love mixing them together. I would say the common threads throughout my work are the vibrant colors and prints I tend to use. My bags are really funky and truly speak to the woman who loves to stand out and make a statement!”

What role can fashion play in inspiring people?

“Fashion can absolutely inspire people. It can inspire creativity for sure as well as open people up to thinking outside the box in all aspects of life.”

What legacy do you want to leave behind via your creations?

“I want to leave behind a legacy that inspires others to trust God, live by faith and operate in their gifts and passions! This is how I live my life and what keeps me going. It fuels my very being and the things I create. So I pray that every creation I make reflects that. “ is a cutting-edge online magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change and global awareness. The site offers a platform for young adult perspectives, profiles inspirational visionaries and artists, and serves as an online community for change agents who are like-minded. Founded in 2011 by Rahiel Tesfamariam, Urban Cusp highlights voices, ideas and images not commonly found within mainstream media.

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