Accra Fashion Week hosts west African designers

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A model poses for a photo during the Accra Fashion Week at Memory Lane Art Park in Accra on December 11, 2021.   -  

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Ghana

The fifth edition of Accra Fashion Week brought gathered West African designers for a weekend of runway shows after last year's break from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the runways get busy, the newest local and West African trends are being shown, and with the huge platform of the internet, most of these designers know their designs may be shown anywhere in the world.

"We are Africans, so Ghanian fashion is basically African but what I do is I mix European with African so you can wear it anywhere, anytime and you can fit it into any occasion and any society" said Yvonne Tawiah, creator of Yvonne Ex fashion brand.

Some of these designers have also started operations outside the borders of Ghana and some others have also started exporting abroad to appeal bigger audiences.

Abimbola Bashiru from Ewaroyal Style said "I even have some of my clients in the US. Some of them have the African stores, which I provide like what I'm wearing now, and some already made, we call it auto-gele - they are already made. So I sell to them in bulk, so you can see, so it's not only in Ghana that they are embracing aso oke. Outside too, like in the US, they are embracing it."

Virgil Abloh, a prominent U.S. fashion designer of Ghanian origin who was artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, died late November, and some see him as the role model to follow in the fashion industry.

"His role at Lous Vuitton was a job. His role with Off-White was entrepreneurship. And it shows you that, you know, a lot of people here are stuck with, 'Oh I'm African. They will not embrace me out there. Oh I'm black, they are racists.' He is showing you that it's not like that. Everyone has their culture, everyone has their lifestyle and if you understand marketing and you work that way, you can do it" , according Nana A. Tamakloe managing director of the Accra Fashion Week.

Accra Fashion Week is a four-day event in which key players of the industry in West Africa gather together to discuss the business of fashion and to showcase their designs.

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