Inspiration moves the world and there was an abundance of that and hope at this year’s Glitz Africa Fashion week.
The world, having been caged by COVID-19, almost lost all hope which also immensely affected inspiration and creativity. But that’s the thing about inspiration; it can never be subdued and it can grow out of even the most despondent situations.
Local Ghanaian designers who like other creatives around the world have been tested by the global pandemic, racial strife and economic injustice but were up once again on the runway celebrating what makes them unique.
As the Glitz Fashion Week hosted over 30 Ghanaian designers in various locations blending both virtual and well regulated in-person shows in the capital city of Accra, the scene could be described as mesmeric.
From relatively new movements like streetwear to alluring womenswear and ostentatious mensfashion, there was enough inspiration to last a lifetime.
Meet the 7 inspiring designers who had creativity, life and culture at the core of their latest offerings during the FashIon Week
Emerging streetwear brand, Subway Studio’s first taste of the blinding lights, analytical eyes and raving applauds happened this year at the Glitz Fashion week.
Subwaes Studio was chosen by a renowned panel consisting of African Fashion foundation convener, Roberta Annan and Glitz C.E.O, Claudi Lumor as part of its Talent scout project.
The brand led by Christopher Akpo says it “combines influences from landscape, architecture, art, minimalism, diversity and sustainable fabrication to tell meaningful narratives through garment construction.”
In Akpo’s own words, “the inspiring journey has just recently begun”.
Aisha Ayensu and best friend, Vanessa Bannerman’s partnership at Christie Brown is a match made in heaven and gives us so much hope for our world.
Christie Brown was on brand once again with their A/W 20 collection with elaborate pieces and its Neo-African storytelling that focuses on the woman’s femininity and strength.
If we’ve learnt something about 2020 is that Black women save the world and this collection captures it richly.
Stencil corsets made with African prints, maxi dresses, chiffon blouses, exciting sleeves and pencil skirts ruled the Glitz runway and it is exactly what our wardrobe needs.
Ophelia Crossland X Velma’s Accessories
Ghanaian siblings, Ophelia Crossland and Velma Owusu-Bempah have an affinity for creating intricate and eccentric looks but what moves them most is their love for giving back to the society.
Their KAYAYEI COLLECTION is a sentimental collaboration between the sisters, the Lotte Accra, African Fashion Foundation and a former Ghanaian head porter Gifty Alazoe (a young mother of 1).
The famous designers trained her in beading and basic sewing and millinery; skills which came in handy during the creation of the limited collection.
“The genesis of this incredible journey began during this pandemic. There’s no doubt that COVID-19 hit us all so hard and interrupted so many aspects of our lives, but it’s important to always find a positive outcome for a negative situation and The Kayayei Collaboration Collection was that opportunity,” says the foundation.
Larry Jay makes clothes for unique men and women who also love to be individualistic.
For Glitz Fashion week, the ethically sourced Ghanaian brand showcased their Spring/Summer 21 collection titled NOMAD.
The indigo dyed looks consisting of tunics,feminine silhouettes, traditional patterns and assortment of trendy side bags was inspired by several African cultures.
Through the collection, brand director, Larry Mohammed, affirms the brand’s activism ideals by standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ+ persons, and the frontline workers as we battle COVID-19.
“In coming up with the concept for this show, we decided to have models of different races, religions and cultural backgrounds to remind us that we are all one people – cut from the same fabric of love,” he explains
Established in 2014, Ghanaian contemporary menswear brand, Atto Tetteh is a burst of creative energy and eclectic ideas.
George Attoh Tetteh quit a fledgling career in banking and finance to pursue what he calls a “burning passion”.
The brand’s SS20/21 pushes the boundaries of traditional textiles production by playing with geometric patterns, fugu and kente designs.
Local Artisans are fully engaged in the collection which incorporates modern design with an African aesthetic for men’s streetwear.
“Everyone is Special and Unique and with a good and encouraging social environment they will thrive and make a positive impact in the world,” he says about the S Theorem Collection.
‘NKABOM’ is an Akan phrase that when translated into English means: Unity is Jermaine Bleu’s clarion call to settle our differences and come together to build an equitable world.
The young Ghanaian designer believes that “In a time where the world seems to be against us...we must come together and create a safe space for our people, for our children, our future and our survival.”
NKABOM is androgynous in nature and allows the wearers the freedom to explore their own ideas of style by being nonconformist.
NKABOM’s motif is an Adinkra symbol, "Funtunfunefu", the Siamese crocodiles which symbolizes democracy and unity.
The world has literally been indoors all year round due to COVID-19 and a big ban on social interactions but didn’t stop Nyonuvi’s creative brain, Princess Bertha Logan from getting inspired by picnics and travel.
The new collection seeks to preserve the optimism that has gradually been stolen by the global pandemic. From swimwear, to loungewear and resort inspired designs, Nyonuvi put back the L in Luxury with a big bang.
This article was written by Yaw Tollo