Room To Move

BLKonBLK - - Room To Move -

Ghana was also well rep­re­sented at the third even­tas­so­ci­at­ed­with­theitceth­i­cal­fash­ion Ini­tia­tive, Room­ser­vice. Christie Brown, MO SAÏQUE and Anita quansah London, are all of Gha­nian de­scent, although London is now a base for two of them. The event was held on the Sun­day night we ar­rived in Roma and as we had been trav­el­ling for 35 hours or so our visit was shor­tish but the qual­ity of de­sign, fash­ion, footwear and ac­ces­sories on show set the tone for the rest of the week. Christie Brown is based in Ghana but aims to sat­isfy the urge of mod­ern women any­where who “seeks a true taste of Africa.” Founded in 2008 in Ac­cra by cre­ative di­rec­tor Aisha Obuobi she named the la­bel after her grand­mother Christie Brown, a seam­stress that cre­ated “rich and vi­brant gar­ments.” Like all of the de­sign­ers we saw in Roma, Aisha in­fuses large amounts of her own cul­ture into her col­lec­tions and of­fers a broad range from a full be­spoke gown to state­ment pieces and in­no­va­tive ac­ces­sories. In 2009 she won the Emerg­ing De­signer of the Year award at the in­au­gu­ral Arise Africa Fash­ion Week in Jo­han­nes­burg, has shown at Paris Fash­ion Week and has been a pan­elist at the Africa Eco­nomic Fo­rum to dis­cuss “African Fash­ion Go­ing Global.” A banker with a love of footwear, MOSAÏQUE’S Afua Da­banka left the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try to study at the London Col­lege of Fash­ion and go on to launch this footwear brand in 2011. Known to friends as ‘Mo’ Afua is of Ghana­ian and Ger­man her­itage, the for­mer be­ing present in the rich, bold se­lec­tion of colours and the lat­ter in the clean Ger­manic sil­hou­ettes in her de­signs. At London Fash­ion Week in Fe­bru­ary this year, for­mer head de­signer at Michiko Koshino, Jasper Garvida paired Afua’s heels with his AW 14 show and MO SAÏQUE has be­come popular with celebs and mu­sos, from the Noisettes’ Shin­gai Shoniwa to An­gela Sim­mons. Uk-based jew­ellery and ac­ces­sories brand Anita quansah London grewupin­nige­ri­awhere­herart-lov­ing­fam­ily were quick to en­cour­age her to make her own cre­ations and ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent tech­niques. The re­sult is a la­bel rich with fab­u­lous, ex­pres­sive, one-of-a-kind hand­made pieces. Of all the de­sign­ers we saw Anita’s de­sign per­haps felt the most African due to the hand­i­craft, in­tri­cate bead­ing, mix of ma­te­ri­als and tra­di­tional, almost aris­to­cratic way in which her pieces should be worn. Sev­eral of the pieces we were shown were in fact in­spired by her grand­fa­ther, a chief. Room Ser­vice of­fered a glimpse into the vast po­ten­tial African de­sign­ers can tap into quite read­ily - their own cul­ture - much of which is con­tem­po­ra­ne­ously ex­ist­ing and very much alive. Top left: Christie Brown at Room Ser­vice Bot­tom left: MO SAÏQUE de­signer Afua Da­banka at Room Ser­vice Both images: Gianni Catani, Ariel Gabriel La Rosa, Luca Sor­rentino Above: Anita Quansah London Photo: Asiko Fine Art Pho­tog­ra­phy

Christie Brown web­site MOSAÏQUE web­site Anita Quansah London web­site

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