Over the last decade, there has been increasing attention on the African Fashion Industry – from the emergence of our indigenous fashion weeks to the global spotlight on Africa as a possible frontier for sourcing and manufacturing and to African designers gaining international relevance by showcasing in London, New York, Milan and Paris topped with countless global features. There has been a shift from being at the peripheries of global fashion conversations, to taking center stage.
So just how important is Fashion Week to the business of Fashion? Well, according to the numbers that the NYC Tourism Bureau released – very important. New York Fashion Week contributes more revenue to the city than any other annual event in the New York Metro area. More than the U.S. Open tennis tournament, football games, and concerts. Restaurants, taxi cabs, hotels and even street vendors experience a major lift in their businesses when Fashion Week is in full swing. The short-term objective for Fashion Week – to drive sales for the local businesses – is always a success.
For Africa, the fashion conversation is in two tiers, one – how do we define for ourselves the African fashion narrative but most importantly, how do we utilize fashion as a tool to grow our economies, to create wealth, and not just at the tip of fashion’s value chain but right down to the very bottom. Fashion should be a transformative socioeconomic agent for the continent with the aim to support local producers of cultural goods and services and the potential to build high-value, profitable businesses that can grow the economy at large and that can be the works of a fashion week.
According to the McKinsey Global Fashion Index, the global fashion industry is worth an estimated $2.4 trillion. In the report, the industry is described as one that “touches everyone” and would be the world’s seventh-largest economy if ranked alongside individual countries’ GDP. The term “touches everyone” is used to emphasize the value chain, how fashion as an industry provides financial value to the individual actors involved in the process of getting a finished garment, or setting up a production for fashion shows.
Designers showcase their work, the audience and the media (photographers, videographers, social media bloggers) spread the word, models get the spotlight, and buyers make deals. Other designers are inspired, networking happens, styles and emerging designers are born. But one question that is on our minds is the fact that, how many Fashion Weeks(show) do we have in Ghana and are they promoting/ helping the Ghanaian fashion business.
This is the question we need to answer as an industry, where designers will rather showcase the new designs on social media than to showcase at a fashion show, then you know there is a problem. From audience not buying outfits off the runway, to poor productions and to the cost involve just to showcase. In addition seeking technological solutions in areas such as sustainability, manufacturing, sourcing and distribution to allow the industry to actualize its potential is area up for discussion. The industry as a whole needs to addresses how to sustain and grow the creativity that exists and technology is key to kick-starting the Ghanaian and Africa as a whole fashion revolution and fashion weeks can provide answers.
At AuntieOboshie, we are fortunate enough to meet a bevy of incredible, talented, influential and interesting people on daily basis basis. Today, on "STYLE CHAT" we are speaking to one of Ghana's youngest tailor, stylist and artiste Edem Afful. He is a graduate from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), with his unique style and passion for men's fashion makes him someone to watch. His love for details and everything sartorial is very inspiring. We had a chat with Edem on our couch to talk about his style. So sit down, relax and enjoy. Haha
EA: I am identified as Edem Afful. A proud Ghanaian who is an artist as well. My fancy for art is so deep that I think without it, we probably would be living in a world of transparency. It has ever been my dream to take a deep dive into fashion so presently, I am acquiring the craft of good tailoring so that in some year to come, I would be worth appreciating in the fashion industry.
2. AO: How did fashion start for you?
EA: Fashion started for me just when I was now old enough to buy my own clothes. You know in a typical African home, the child really has no say in what he preferred to wear. Mummy also goes shopping for over-sized items that would take some time to outgrow them so immediately I was at will to buy my own clothes, I was now careful on what to pick and what not to. My father also played a significant role in my love for fashion. His appearances were deliberate and even up till now, I still look up to him.
3. AO: Who are your favorite menswear designer both local and international ?
EA: With my favorite menswear designers, I would go for the Nigerian bespoke fashion designer Mai Atafo. His silhouettes are simple but captivating.
4. AO: How will you describe your sense of style?
EA: Well, what informs my style are dated fashion trends that go far back in the days of old, where the rich were found in well-tailored suits, waist coats and pants. Another inspiration that also informs my style is the ignorance of “Nerds” or “Geeks” that they know nothing about fashion. What I do is pick out pieces of their “ignorant style” and add unto it. So judging from my sources of inspirations I would say my style is more of a “geek vintage” sort of thing.
5. AO : What goes your styling process?
EA: I source for inspirations from men style bloggers and with my artistic perspective, I own that style. Additionally, one thing every stylish man should have from my perspective is what I call “an element of interest” in his outfit. It is basically that “thing” your observer pauses on seeing and tries understanding why it was placed there even before the person continues to appreciate your whole outfit. It should be basic so it does look like you are trying too hard to get noticed. It could be a safety pin hooked unto your belt carriers or a brooch pinned to the collar of your dress shirt
6. AO: Sometimes, men's style gets boring, you have to be creative to be able to pull of some stylish looks. What do you like about menswear?.
EA: What I love about men’s style is the fact that, you don’t need to put too much on to express what you feel within you.
7: AO: What's a typical day look for you ?
EA: A typically day look for me may be a tucked-in shirt (dress shirt, polo shirt or a tee-shirt) with high-raise pleat pants, sneakers and obviously my hat, glasses, bracelet and a wrist watch.
8. AO: Ghanaian Fashion, what do you think about it; Are we making progress?
EA: Ghanaian now have gotten a better insight to what fashion really is about and that is the reason for the numerous fashion events we are experiencing now.
9. AO: Who inspires your style?
EA: The key icons I draw inspirations from is the Nigerian blogger, Steven Onoja who is now know world wide for how good he assembles his style and also the menswear blogger, Denny Balmaceda who all stylish men look up to on social media.
10. AO: Suits or Jeans trousers and t-shirt, which would you go for?
EA: Would definitely go for a suit but one that would better express exactly who I am.
11. AO: What are the plans? Do you plan on starting a styling company?
EA: I plan on opening a tailoring shop specifically just for tailored menswear silhouettes
12. AO: In your opinion, what's one problem you think the Ghanaian fashion industry is facing and how do you suggest we solve it?
EA: The Ghanaian fashion industries in my view are failing to elevate fashion trends that are indigenous to Ghana. For example, the smock or fugu has been in existence for a long while but how many of our Ghanaian designers’ source inspirations from these long existing fashion trends? It is about time Ghana fashion designers dive deep into our history and give life to our own fashion trends that in some years ago were held in high esteem.
AO: Thank you Edem for passing through, we had an amazing chat with you. We are looking forward to see your Studio for tailored menswear silhouettes. Is going to be a work of art.
EA: Thank you very much for having me. I had an amazing time.
Here are some pictures of Edem's art work
Follow Edem Afful @edemafful
The Fashion business is huge- and growing. Globally, the textile and garment industry is worth over three billion (yes, billion) dollars, and experiences annual growth of around four percent. Clearly, there is money in this industry.
Dress by Pistisgh
No industry is easy to break into, but that is especially true about fashion. While other industries enjoy a 50 percent or higher business success rate after four years, retail and clothing do not.
One reason for the higher rate of business failure is competition. New designs are abundant, and today’s in-demand style will be tomorrow’s forgotten look. Competition alone isn’t the reason many lines fail, however. Another significant reason clothing businesses have lowered success rates is the business end itself.
Many individuals who launch clothing lines do so because they are artistic, yet these individuals generally are not entrepreneurs who understand how businesses operate.
The potential business owner must understand the time and money commitment necessary to make the clothing line succeed. Individuals running a clothing line or a fashion business would be wise to double their estimates about the time and capital required to handle the business. “There is no way one can escape the hard work - there will be touch of luck, but being creative, hardworking and thinking out of the box is what that sets the trajectory of your business.”
2. PLAN THE BUSINESS
Any experienced entrepreneur knows a company without a business plan is like a fish without water. The plan does not need to be lengthy at first. Rather, it should be one or two pages, identifying the key elements of the fashion business strategy. This initial rough draft should include the:
Clothing line entrepreneurs should work toward a complete business plan as the business further develops. Individuals can seek out business plan templates online that include significantly more detail.
Knowing where to produce the clothing line is an extremely important decision. A small business may choose to manufacture its products, but outsorcing should also be considered. The clothing line’s initial quality will be what the business’ reputation is based on, for better or for worse.
Although minor expenses are incurred in organizing the business, manufacturing is the stage where expenses really mount. Entrepreneurs will begin to use the start-up money necessary to launch their business. This initial investment will range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands, depending upon inventory and quality.
Capital can be secured through investments from others -- typically loans -- or provided by the entrepreneur’s personal money. Beyond inventory, all advertising or promotional activities should be included in determining how much capital is needed.
4. PRICING MODEL
Making a profit off the clothing line is necessary to the business’s success. Profit comes from making more revenue than the fixed and variable costs combined. Fixed costs are expenses that have already been invested and cannot change. These include equipment purchases or buying a facility for the business. In contrast, variable costs are expenses that can vary from one period to another. Examples include the price difference between manufacturers or the cost to produce different apparel items.
To ensure profit, the entrepreneur must establish wholesale and retail rates higher than the expenses. A target for these rates would be to earn a profit margin 30-50% higher than associated expenses.
5. ANALYZE AND ADJUST
“It’s really about the loopholes that you leave open in your marketing strategy, figure out where you are bleeding money, identify the bottle neck in your sales funnel and eventually you’ll have a fine-tuned machine,"
Efficiency is essential to the business’ survival. After launch, entrepreneurs should re-examine their business model to ensure the company is meeting projected profit estimates if not, efficiency or stream-lining the process comes are necessary next steps.
Ben Bond,I'm sure the name rings a bell, full name Ben Bond Obiri Asamaoh, a Ghanaian photographer and a visual communicator that uses light and arts to express his thought on content he creates. A graduate from the National Film And Television Institute (NAFTI), with 9 years of experience in photography, Ben specializes in Fashion photography, Commercial photography and Portrait photography.
He is the Founder and CEO of OAB photography, his high sense of art makes him see photography as a painting which he uses his camera and lights to paint photos. He is one of Ghana's finest photographer's, he is highly creative and pays attention to details, light and composition in photography. He uses simple technique to execute complex ideas which makes him one of the finest Ghana has ever seen.
Being a fashion and portrait photographer who lives and works in Accra, my perception of "the beautiful" has been mediated by impressive architecture, high rise building, attractive surroundings, urban music and clothes, cosmetic environments and a whole lot of plastic aesthetic that can be associated with the city. " he said.
His spontaneous style of his images has caught the eyes of several people in the industry. He is done work for Woodin, Glitz Africa, Ghana's Most Beautiful, Singer/ Designer Deborah Vanessa, Celebrity Stylist Afua Rida, Actress Zynnell Zuh ,Actress Lydia Forson, Actress Bibi Bright and much more.
Ben Bond, loves art. "If it's artistic, my camera will not leave it alone" his quote.This has translated in his projects like Portraits of the North, Colors of Africa, For Colored Girls and many others. He believe that, it is about what you want to shoot but what is better to be shot. He is always telling a story through every single shot he takes, whether fashion, commercial or portrait, every picture is unique and amazingly beautiful, his passion, hard work and his attention to details are a few things we admire about Ben Bond Obiri Asamoah. Today, we say congratulations on all his success, and we say more grease to elbows.
Follow his instagram page @oabphotography / @benbond_photographer
Here are some of his photos we love.
Welcome to another exciting edition of "Style Chat", In life, some people are lucky enough to find their calling at a young age and today we have an amazing guest on our couch,he is one of Ghana's new creative, he is the creative director and CEO of the LAKOPUÉ, he is a marketer and a fashion enthusiast. Selorm Lakopué is one of Ghana's youngest creative. He is a contemporary designer with contemporary inspirations.
Welcome to "Style Chat" Lakopué, what up?, how have you been?
Yeah Cool oo, Nothing much just work, work.
AO: So, how did Fashion designing start for you?
SL: I will say fashion really started for me as a child, when I literally would hand stitch gowns for my little cousin’s doll after watching Miss World and other pageants on TV. It was just so exciting interpreting and reliving these complicated gowns in my own understanding. I have always loved the arts and so Sketching and sewing had always come easy for me as a child; sketching my sister’s birthday clothes and some ridiculous but daring works in between. Growing up, I knew I was artistic and It reflected and outlined everything I basically did. Hence it was no difficult decision to take up a career in fashion when a designer friend Raymond Brown in the States advised it.
AO: Tell us a little about the Brand LAKOPUÉ?
SL: Lakopué is an emerging Ghanaian fashion brand which was birth in 2013. Lakopué is a Ga-Adangbe word which means ‘A Light Has Appeared‛. Our theme is ‘Feel the Luxury’; we are poised with a vision of building one of the biggest fashion brands in Africa with different themes, combination of ideas and cultures that put Ghana in the lime light. We are privileged to have worked with brands such as Woodin, Vlisco, GTP, TV3, Quantum Terminals and other great individuals who have helped pushed the brand.
AO: From Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, to showcasing at Badu Lounge, to a presentation at Glitz Africa Fashion Week, to Women's Fair by Charter House, how has the experience been for you?
SL: : Oh Lord…. It’s been such an overwhelming learning experience…. After a show you think you’ve seen enough, then another show exposes a whole new experience, but generally all these shows have played an awesome role in pushing the Lakopué brand. I will say all these begun when we started planning our first collection this year “Atelier by Lakopué”. We had a plan which was to position the collection and the brand in a manner that will make it easy for some big fashion players such as MBAF, Glitz Africa, Bella Naija, etc to want to associate with us and hell did that plan work.
AO: When we Mention LAKOPUÉ what do you want to come into people's mind?
Lakopué is a luxury fashion brand and I want these four things to resonate with people when they hear or see us: “quality”, “exclusivity”, “Pride of ownership” and “truly African”. I’m building an aspirational brand.
AO: What going into your designing process?
SL: I dream every piece, reflect on my concepts, tease my ideas around creative people, illustrate (my own way lol), then I begin my constructions. One thing I love about myself as an artist is my spontaneity, I usually will tear up my full concept plan in favor of spontaneity. I call it “My Gift of the Holy Spirit”. Hahahahahaha
AO: Poison Ivy, tell us about it?
SL: : Poison Ivy mmmh….trust me it’s not my love for everything Beyonce speaking through my collection lol. It’s a story of the power in the things we find toxic and reject or find not useful. Poison Ivy is from the comic book Batman and her character is what inspired my pieces. Beauty, Power, sophistication and Extinction. I made my pieces out of abandoned mats and curtains. These things are deemed toxic yet are appreciated and loved after it’s been treated and reproduced into sophisticated garments. Poison Ivy is the Fall/Winter version of my first collection, a sequel or extension of Atelier by Lakopué
AO: A little birdie told me, that you're a marketer?
SL: hahaha, yes you have done your research, lol. yeah I'm crazy about my marketing background. I have been involved in Marketing for the past eight years. I’ve tasted literally every element of marketing, from sales, to branding, to business development, research and general marketing strategy development and implementation. I’ve worked with some huge brands in and out of Ghana. I’ve been blessed to have been mentored by some of the biggest marketing talents in Ghana. I feel my background in marketing runs through my fashion concept and the positioning of my brand.
AO: Who inspires you and your brand both in Ghana and Abroad?
SL: The Holy Spirit is my biggest Inspiration and I pay attention to every Ghanaian designer and I love the fact that every designer is building individual identities. Growing up I loved Karl Lagerfeld and what he has done with brands like Chanel, Fendi, H&M, Macy, etc. He’s everything fashion to me. Now my love for Fausto Puglisi has surged just for his creative boldness and energetic style. When you see his works you see Italy. I went crazy when he connected with me recently.
AO: What do you like about Ghanaian fashion?
SL: It’s evolving beautifully and steadily. You wake up to new events, programs, activities on a daily basis all in an effort to grow the industry. We beginning to mirror our roots and we are getting lots of attention outside the country and it’s exciting.
AO: What has been your worst fashion experience?
SL: I’m yet to experience the worst lol…. And I’m embracing myself very well for it. I just hate doing fashion show finales. I always feel it’s not my place to be on the runway and something evil may happen to me. Such a phobia
AO: What goes into your personal style?
SL: : I always say this everywhere “I don’t have a personal style or perhaps I don’t know what it’s called”. I just love my denim pants with a T-shirt preferably all black. I wish I could wear that everywhere.
AO: What's the plan for LAKOPUÉ in 3 years?
SL: The goal is to be a holistic luxury fashion house with presence across Africa and major cities around the world, where you’ll find your Lakopué clothes, shoes and accessories. We want to take over the world and we haven’t stopped dreaming the impossible but most importantly we haven’t stopped working harder.
AO: In your opinion what's one problem facing the Ghanaian fashion Industry and how do we solve it.?
SL: : Simply, Skilled human resource. Build specific specialized institutions that will resources the ever growing industry.
AO: Selorm, thank you for sitting down with me today on "Style Chat" it was fun chatting with and getting to you more.
SL: Thank you too for having me, it was my pleasure. it was an honor chatting with you and i must say, I love AuntieOboshie. Continue putting the spotlight on Ghanaian designers and the fashion industry at large.
AO: So viewers, thank you for taking the time listen to us, we appreciate it . Watch out for another super exciting edition of "STYLE CHAT "
PHOTOS FROM POISON IVY
Some of the Looks from Atelier by Lakopué collection
Illustration by Kwaku Kyere @metakay
Fashion illustration is the blueprint to a clothing design and the first face of fashion. It played an important role in our history and culture, and has served as an efficient means in fashion design and communication. Fashion Illustrators are artistic individuals who have talents with both traditional media, like pencil sketching, and graphic design. In general, fashion illustrator professionals work very closely with fashion designers and art directors to produce artistic, unique and creative visual images with the aid of traditional and digital media. A while back, fashion illustration was not talking seriously, it only acted like a photograph echoing the fashion of the era and showcasing social life. But thanks to the internet, now there is growing interest in fashion illustrations. Social network sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter etc. have been sprinkled with fashion illustrations and are looked up by people every day. Many websites today are full of fashion illustrations that people can browse through and use. The rise of fashion illustrators in Ghana has been tremendous, where these illustrators get the opportunity to work with top designers. Continue Reading
ATTO TETTEH, one of Ghana's Finest and fastest growing menswear brand, esteemed for creating Timeless,Original, and Quality designs. His recent collection "THE SON OF GOLD COAST" was a true display of Ghanaian modern fashion and creativity. We catch up with the man of the moment, the creative director GEORGE TETTEH popularly Known as Atto.
After the excitement and magic of deciding to get married dies down a little, there’s important logistical stuff to address about the relationship. Some of this stuff is not as much fun to talk about as romance and wedding planning. It can be boring, unpleasant, overwhelming, or scary, and it brings up differences and conflict. You might be wondering, how does one even begin to think about these questions?. The experiences you share in your relationship will serve as the foundation for your marriage, and they can keep you connected and strong in the spaces where life throws curve balls.
WHAT TO TALK ABOUT
Finances are an incredibly important topic. They influence marriage on a daily basis, as well as in more long-term ways. For many couples, marriage can be a financial benefit and an exciting opportunity. But money is also hard to talk about. Many people grow up in families in which money is not openly discussed. Partners can also come from different socio -economic backgrounds, or have different values about how money should be saved, spent, or shared. Partners usually make different amounts of money. For some couples, the difference is larger than for others. Partners also have different amounts of assets and debt. For all of these reasons, money can be a complicated topic. But it can also be an exciting topic, and one that helps propel future planning. And consider these questions:
Each other’s career goals. What do you each want to accomplish in life — and how will it affect your relationship with each other? Knowing what you each want to achieve and supporting those dreams is a critical foundation for any couple.
Whether you want children: It is important to be on the same page regarding your general timeline for starting a family, if you want to start a family at all. But you don’t need to agree on how many kids just yet. “Once a couple has their first kid, they will have a better idea of how many children they really want,” Jaclyn Bronstein,
The past. Like it or not, it helped shape who you both are at this very moment. You don’t need to provide every exhaustive detail, but you should have a general roadmap for how you each got to the present.
Value partnership. If this isn't a high value for both of you, you're in trouble. If you have lots of "deal breakers" or if, whenever there's a problem, you think, "Should I stay or should I go?" that's a red flag. Your marriage will have a better chance of success if you're both committed to fixing problems and if you both think of all problems as shared problems.
Communicate consistently and communicate about everything. If you have a big secret in your life that you're not comfortable sharing with your partner (a fetish, a crime you committed, a friend you betrayed), this will likely cause problems down the road. Get it out into the open, now, and lay down a foundation of honesty.
Sometimes people say, "I woke up one day and my husband was a stranger." But he didn't become one overnight, even if it seems that way. People change gradually. It only feels like they change quite suddenly when they don't continually talk. If your wife is slowly becoming depressed or dissatisfied, it shouldn't take you by surprise. You should know about all the stages, through constant talk. There should be many, many opportunities for intervention.
Fashion consumers used to learn about fashion exclusively from high-profile magazines — unless, of course, they were lucky enough to attend Fashion Weeks, and more often than not, they trust third party recommendations rather than a brand itself.
Today, however, influencers can help put fashion brands on the map. You don't need a cover photo on Elle magazine or a similar publication to get your clothing noticed. Fashion influencers typically use social media to amplify fashion brands across multiple channels. If you haven’t tried influencer marketing yet, here’s an in-depth guide to get you started.
INFLUENCERS MAKE FASHION RELATABLE
Runways and fashion magazines might inspire consumers, but they don’t always connect on an emotional level. Influencer marketing changes the fashion landscape. Consumers see regular people just like them in an outfit, and suddenly they realize that they can look just as fantastic. Fashion brands, regardless of price points, can make their lines more accessible to average consumers by encouraging influencers to wear their designs. Data from influencer platform, MuseFind, shows that 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement. It has become a significant trend in the marketing world, and if it’s done right, it can be a great opportunity to increase brand engagement and drive sales.
CHOOSE AN INFLUENCER THAT ALIGNS WITH YOUR BRAND
Choosing the right influencer for your brand is something that is easy to overlook. It can be tempting to choose an influencer with the highest amount of followers, but they should be someone who is relevant to your brand. It is more beneficial to determine which influencer has the right personality and audience that will complement your brand, rather than choosing someone with the most followers.Think about how your brand image pairs with their social media personality.
PRIORITIZE ENGAGEMENT OVER REACH
Aside from choosing the right influencer that matches your brand’s personality, the amount of engagement their content receives is something to consider. Your goal should be to find an influencer that is as productive for your brand as possible. The number of followers an influencer has is not as important as the amount of engagement they receive on posts. Audiences that act on an influencer’s content (likes, comments, shares).
BUILD A CAMPAIGN
You can give your digital influencer free reign, but that’s inadvisable. Instead, work together to create a rock-solid marketing plan that’s responsive to the goals you created above.
Influencers can create many different types of content:
You’ll probably want to approve the content before it goes live, so set strict guidelines about your marketing campaign and how the influencer should communicate with your brand.
AGREE ON COMPENSATION
Influencers don’t promote fashion brands out of the goodness of their hearts. They expect to receive compensation for their hard work, especially when they’re creating user-generated content. Compensation structures vary depending on the brand’s financial resources, the influencer’s social reach, and other factors.
You might agree to a cash payment for each piece of content, for instance. Alternatively, for a brief product review, you might simply offer a product sample in exchange. Commission agreements can also work well because they keep both parties accountable; the influencer gets paid based on engagements, sales, or other metrics.
Fashion Forum Ghana’s Last Fashion Talk this year happens on Thursday 14th December 2017 at the British Council in Accra. A good number of industry experts will discuss issues such as the Importance of Cloth, Clothing and Textiles to revolutionize our garment and textiles industry towards industrialization.
It has been almost a week since our representative at the Miss Universe 2017 competition, Ruth Quashie arrived in Las Vegas, ahead of the crowning on November 26th. Ruth Quashie has settled in and as expected, has been sharing photos of her daily activities on Instagram, and we must say she is killing it especially in […]
Lipstick is our “go-to” makeup item when we want to quickly pull our look together, and it’s also an important part of a more detailed makeup regimen. However we choose to use it, lipstick has been the most popular form of makeup for decades and there is no indication that this will change any […]