The annual Ghana Fashion & Design Week® held on the 5th – 7th October 2012 at the Moevenpick Ambassador Hotel, Independent Avenue, Accra, Ghana. Aimed at celebrating and growing the industry, it featured Ghanaian and international designers. Culled from www.ghanafashiondesignweek.com below is the roll call of selected designers that showcased on the GFDW catwalk.
The Coccolily brand is directed to the woman who seeks quality and luxury in clothing. The brand focuses in using original haute-couture fabrics from mainly Italian mills. The Canadian brand by Naana Tennachie Yankey, is the most sought after designer clothes with diverse group of clientele including celebrities.
Coccolily is a daring yet playful line of clothing, handbags and cosmetics. The label brings out the edge and personality in every woman and has made many appearances in top fashion magazines and TV such as Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan Magazine UK, Company Magazine UK, Elle Canada, Flare and Fashion Magazines, ET Canada, eTalk, among others.
Naana the brain behind the brand studied Fashion Design at the Academy of Arts and Design in Montreal, Canada, worked under Canadaian designer Eve Gravel, before starting to sow the seeds of her own line. – Coccolily.
The prestigious brand 1981 is the brainchild of Italian creative director/designer Nana Kweku Brenu, based in Milan. The Master of Arts fashion graduate of one of the world’s most renowned fashion design school – Istituto Marangoni in Milano – Italy, started his fashion design journey at the Parsons School of Design in New York, another one of the most prestigious design schools in the world. To furnish his creative urge Nana interned for brands such as prestigious Giorgio Armani’s – Armani Exchange, and John Varvatos where he was exposed to different fashion markets and different design philosophies. Nana had the opportunity to develop projects for Italian brands such as Valentino Red, Gas Jeans and Frankie Morello, just to name a few. Nana also worked with Gian Cesare Conca Studio where he had the opportunity to design for brands such as Mila Schon and Ports 1961. Overseeing the developing of accessories for the brands and researching for the upcoming collections. Nana developed and honed a strong design language. After three years at Conca studio, Nana launched his own label -1981.
MORTS & MORE Britain:
Creative menswear designer duo Joshua Umoren and Sena Mortoo, have over the years cultivated their design skills to innovatively meet the needs of clients who desire to wear contemporary tailoring. The sophisticated rising label launched in 2011 has been known to please clients with their classic tailoring and smart wear designs, specialising in bespoke suits, shirts and accessories for the modern gentleman. The brand believes that their collection is more than clothing; it’s a Lifestyle. The brand focuses on designs that are made to fit an individual shape perfectly and offers an opportunity for a bespoke suit that meets their client’s budget and personal fashion requirements. Their aim is to offer a range of services that meet the needs of a wide variety of people giving an opportunity to look and feel like award-winning stars.
SARAH DUAH Germany:
Innovative fashion describes emerging interesting German designer Sarah Duah’s avant-garde collection; the recent graduate with a fashion degree, entire collections are skilfully created using artificial hair, turning them into wearable garments. As an artist Sarah is strongly inspired by her surroundings, including elements such as hair, which is evident within her collections. Sarah’s creative ideas push the art of using hair beyond familiar boundaries into the realms of intricate patterns and authentic pieces beyond one imagination. Every piece of her anticipated collection to showcase at Ghana Fashion & Design Week will be handmade, carefully selected cuts and shapes, bringing her imaginations to life as wearable garments.
CHRISTIE BROWN Ghana:
Launched in 2008, Christie Brown is a Ghana based womenswear fashion label that aims to satisfy the stylish urge of “that modern woman who seeks a true taste of Africa” Creative Director Aisha Obuobi began her love affair with fashion at an early age. Inspired by her grandmother Christie Brown, a seamstress. Today, Christie Brown stands uniquely as women’s apparel and accessories label, with pieces ranging from beautiful bespoke gowns, practical yet statement pieces to innovative accessories all inspired by the African culture and art. Her clothes and accessories have made a bold statement, painting the runways with a fusion of colour and culture, fit for the contemporary African woman. To date, the label has demonstrated international success, with features in magazines such as Grazia UK, Vibe Magazine, FairLady Magazine, Afroelle Magazine, Arise Magazine, Jet Magazine, and several online media features.
MARIA MIA Spain:
Spanish designer Maria Gonzalez Ramos, from the Canary Island has over 25 years experience in the world of Fashion, with extensive knowledge in innovative dress-making techniques, but above all, with the intuition and creativity necessary to create collections, customized garments, exclusive bridal gowns, scenic costumes, corporate uniforms, etc. Convinced that elegance and style depend on the garment and how whoever is wearing it identifies with it, rather than on the place or the occasion. Maria see her work is a delicate personal job, based on a study of people, their needs, and their surroundings, on the unique matching that arises from conversation, from an exchange of ideas, from know-how…and from experience. These elements are a true definition of Maria’s brand Maria Mia.
Creative Director Adoley Addo the brain behind JIL has no formal education in design. After a law degree at the university of Ghana her passion for fashion kept escalating, which led to the opening of her first multi branded boutique and the birth of her own label JIL. JIL focuses on giving exposure to what we have in Africa to the international world. Using African prints enhanced with embellishments and other fabrics like silks. Recently JIL main focus has been on the Ghanaian Kente cloth, reworking the traditional Kente cloth extensively with beads uniquely for her collection. The vibrant colours of the Kente cloth combined with beads and rhinestones give an extraordinary jewel-like appeal to the traditional fabric known globally as a symbol for Ghana. This idea is carried through JIL’s recent collection titled “Heritage”.
ORANGE CULTURE Nigeria:
Orange Culture is more than a line; it’s a movement. A movement for men and women, who do not allow clothes to determine who they are, but make an individual stand out from a crowd. It’s a line for people who enjoy beautiful colours, textures and movement. The designer, Adebayo Oke-Lawal has consistently been involved in a broad spectrum in fashion since he began designing at age 10. His work ranges from styling and designing to journalism and writing. Adebayo has worked with renowned fashion & Lifestyle magazines and which today has greatly influenced his creative work.
MIMI LEE LONDON Britain:
The Mimi Lee London label is driven by the ethos of a London ‘it’ girl who loves to play and experiment with her looks. She is always on the hunt for that uber exclusive garment that ensures she stays way ahead of the pack! The Mimi-Lee London girl lives a jet setting lifestyle, today she sailing at an exclusive strip in St. Tropez . Tomorrow she is at the front row of Japan fashion week eyeing up the hottest fashion trends. With sales territories in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the Mimi Lee London label is rapidly gaining recognition as a ‘Hot’ new and exclusive brand to look out for! Mimi Lee London is an element of surprise, delicate silk fabrics, and Japanese hand painting techniques adorn some of the garments. All garments come in dress boxes with crepe paper for that ultimate luxurious buying experience.
BRIGITTE MERKI Ghana:
Brigitte Merki-Ibrahim founded her eponymous fashion label in 2010 to design clothes that speaks to all women who want to look glamorous, elegant, stunning and beautiful. Brigitte Merki is inspired by vintage Hollywood style – timeless. The emerging designer brand will launch their collection during Ghana Fashion & Design Week 2012. Brigitte Merki-Ibrahim designs are always classy, timeless, wearable, tailored for the occasion and elegant. She celebrates feminine style without making it seem vulnerable; she is truly a woman’s designer due to her empowering designs. Taking a connectional approach to fashion, she experiments with natural fibres like cane, seagrass, leaves, feathers etc. to create eclectic and spectacular designs, intricate hand sewn beading which enhances her fresh approach to her use of rich colourful European and African fabrics.
DUABA SERWA Ghana:
Nelly Hagan Aboagye winner of the British Council Designer of the year 2011 label – Duaba Serwa is a mixture of innovative intricate detailed designs, textures, structure and new types of volumes, Duaba Serwa’s story is about bold effortless beauty and the brand prides itself in the construction of elegant tailored style lines that cater to the woman who prefers understatements elegance to flamboyant extravagance. The designer garments are made for comfort and simplicity, with harmonious lines reinforced by a bold palette of colours and fine materials such as glass beads that are woven intricately in different patterns and sizes. The brand has gained international interest at a short space of time as her work uniquely differs from other brands and innovatively in-tuned with the use of modern fabrics to achieve contemporary designs for the modern woman.
ALALI BOUTIQUE Nigeria:
Alali Boutique Inspired by the subconscious thoughts of Creative Director, Oroma Cookey-Gam, her designs fuses together surface water sports’ wear with the glamour of the 1950s to create effortlessly stylish pieces. Alali boutique brings a fresh refined looks and a contemporary attitude, the brand is an emerging retail fashion brand in Nigeria that specializes in eclectic pieces for the daring individual. At the heart of the ALALI Boutique philosophy lies individuality, expressed in both its basics and elaborate pieces, which are all, tailored to exude an effortless chic lifestyle. ALALI Boutique’s signature style manipulates silhouettes, prints and colours, with an emphasis on casual elegance.
Trendy and Sophistication defines the KONFIDENCE Label for the woman of confidence and free spirit. Delicately symbolized by the golden butterfly logo. The label launched in 2012, envisioned by Ghanaian socialite, and renowned entrepreneur Confidence Haugen, is designed to add colour, class and sparkle to every woman’s wardrobe. Like the butterfly, colouful and free spirited, the Label is inspired by the vibrant Ghanaian culture and colourful surroundings, a cocktail of contemporary designs infused with traditional fabrics. This approach is elegantly defined in the Konfidence label through the use of Ghanaian authentic Kente fabric, and traditional African print fabrics from Ghana, carefully mixed with satin, innovative materials, and crystals, which gives the pieces a true sophisticated edge. Each piece tells its own story, identified by their unique names taken from Ghana. The variety of styles and colour ensembles makes the label unique as a Ghanaian brand that caters for the corporate woman, the sophisticated woman, and the young fashion savvy. The label focuses on key accessories in both casual and occasional ranges for women, including shoes, handbags and purses. The label is made with pleasure to ignite the feeling of confidence into a state of being. – Especially for the KONFIDENCE customer.
KACHI United States [Ethical Fashion]:
Showcasing under GFDW® ETHIKHA™ – Established in 2010, Kachi Designs is the brainchild of upcoming self-taught designer Chigozie “Chi Chi” Anaele. A true visionary, artist, and entrepreneur-Chi Chi, produced her very first ensemble using her own bedding. Fall of 2010, Chigozie branched out into creating her own ready to wear clothing; full of innovation and style, the demand for her designs soared. Kachi Designs is an inclusive band of West African influence that endeavours to help women see their own dynamic beauty through brilliant diverse patterns and styles. Kachi Designs has participated in numerous international fashion week events, designing contemporary and eclectic accessories inspired by the African culture. Kachi pieces bring life and sophistication to any wardrobe. Today, the brand includes women & men’s ready-to-wear, women’s Ankara styles clutch purses & bags to help accessorize, as well as custom-made ensembles by the choice of the client.
MINI EVANS Ghana:
Mina Evans label unveils Mina’s love of fusing luxurious fabrics with Ankara and intricate handpicked embellishments to produce feminine, classic but elegant pieces. Her emerging label is built on imagination and excellence, focused on development and social awareness. Mina Evans aims to add value to her client’s lifestyle by creating simple but elegant pieces that incorporate a mixture of quality fabrics and embellishments for the Mina Evans client.
TRADE NOT AID by AFRICA FASHION GUIDE Britain [Ethical Fashion]:
An inspired campaign collection by Africa Fashion Guide as part of the new campaign for 2012 themed; ‘Love From Africa’, this collection of T-Shirts made from organic African cotton, made in Africa, have been designed to promote an awareness of the trade. Slogans include – ’African Grown and Sewn’, ‘Trade not Aid’, ‘Love from Africa’ ‘100% Made in Africa’. “Africa Fashion Guide is a social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa’s fashion and textile industry.” Strongly focused on Ethical fashion and sustainability practices, the ability to raising social standards, through ethically made products, spanning from clothing to accessories and beyond, resourcing, manufacturing and trading ethically in Africa, and the values these practices holds in making an effective change to social lives in different parts of Africa.
REBEKAH OPUNI Britain:
Rebekah Opuni is a freelancer bespoke designer, with an occasion wear speciality. A fashion design graduate, and an alumna of University of Hertfordshire, Rebekah’s goal is to design garments with and edge and character. As a bespoke occasion wear designer, Rebekah focuses on turning expensive looking sketches and images into glamorous affordable reality. With a wealth of experience under her sleeve, having previously worked for well-known fashion companies in the UK , such as Mulberry, Top Shop, and Next, assisting them in various aspects of clothing technology and design concept. Rebekah has gathered the skills tailored to catering to her clients specific needs.
LOVE APRIL Ghana:
An upcoming designer with the modern woman in mind, Nina, the emerging designer focuses on creating a collection that speaks of comfort and freedom of expression through clothing. The Love April design ethos is about fusing of African prints, with a fresh and youthfulness in mind. The collection carries simple lines that are complimented with a mixture of colourful print fabrics. The overall look is fresh and youthful.
Culled from www.ghanafashiondesignweek.com