Show Report: Ghana Fashion & Design Week, Day 2- 1981, AFG, Alali Boutique, Brigette Merki, Christie Brown, Coccolily, Mimi Lee, Mina Evans & Morts & More

Ghana Fashion & Design Week (GFDW) recently took place on the 5th -7th of October 2012.


The event kicked off with a line up of interesting contemporary fresh talents with loads of innovative ideas.


The three days event took place at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, with the capital city Accra seeing a line up of fashion shows, seminars and exhibitions plus an invite only VIP party on the third day exclusively.

Here’s bringing a report of the shows from day two.



1981 (Italy)

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. A contemporary modern womenswear brand specially crafted and tailored to meet the discerning tastes of today’s modern woman. 1981?s design philosophy is a reflection of one’s personality thus every piece created is aimed to enhance the customer’s personality. Fundamental to the design principles of 1981 are exploring the core construction techniques used by the great couturiers and infusing it with elements derived from the world of modern art, design and architecture and a rich cultural history of the world around us.


Key to 1981 is exploring the dialogue between contrasting ideas and reaching equilibrium where these ideas can exist harmoniously as reflected in the collection. With great emphasis being placed on the quality of the high-end fabrics used, the craftsmanship of the work and the innovative cutting techniques employed, 1981 exudes an effortless, chic and practical appeal, despite its modern look and feel. 



AFG-Trade Not Aid (UK)

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. 



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. 




Brigette 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.




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. 



Coccolily (Canada)

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.




Mimi Lee (UK/Nigeria)

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. 



Mina 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.



Morts & More (UK)

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.



Photo Credits

Kola Oshalusi for Insigna


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