With the success of Black Panther at the box office, the ascension of Virgil Abloh as creative director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear, and the appointment of Edward Enninful as the editor of UK Vogue, African influences are really shaping fashion. Let’s take a look at how Ghana is impacting the fashion world.
The late Kofi Ansah passed away in 2014, but his influence as a Ghanaian fashion pioneer lives on. Ansah made his first big splash while still a fashion student, when he designed a beaded top for Princess Anne. In 1992, Ansah returned to Ghana, where he made a global impact with his innovative designs. Ansah believed his clothing should tell a story.
Virgil Abloh was born in Chicago to Ghanan parents. He collected degrees from University of Wisconsin and the Illinois Institute of Technology, with degrees in engineering and architecture. This artistic and technical background has served him well. Abloh collaborates with Kanye West (directing the West/Jay Z album Watch the Throne) and founded the label Off-White. He is also embarking on a new capsule collection with Ikea.
Edward Enninful was born in Ghana and emigrated to Britain. His mother was a seamstress. Her son was scouted for fashion shoots starting in his teens. Enniful’s style epitomized grunge and streetwear. Enninful wound up working with Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Dolce and Gabbana, Christian Dior and Calvin Cline. He has also been a frequent collaborator with Naomi Campbell. In 2017, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Vogue.
At the tender age of 26, Adwoa Aboah is a force in modeling, styling and activism. Aboah has modeled for Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein, and was on the December 2017 cover of UK Vogue. She also started a project called Gurls Talk which allows young women a place to communicate their thoughts and opinions.
Beatrice ‘Bee’ Arthur
Bee Arthur’s unusual background has been fuel for her designs. Arthur is is Russian-Ghanaian, who was born and raised in Ukraine. She is now a fashion designer at fashion house B’Exotiq. Her style effortlessly blends elements from Russia, like nesting dolls, with textiles from Ghana, like Ganja Cloth.
Growing up in a dangerous situation in the Ghana of the 1950’s, Boateng’s family were forced to flee to Great Britain. Boateng was always interested in fashion, and he dropped out of computer college to follow his heart, enrolling in fashion design studies instead. Boateng’s ambition resulted in his first fashion line, which he sold in 1989. Boateng was the first tailor to stage a Paris catwalk show in 1994, and has now had a huge impact on menswear for three decades.
Daniel Mawuli Quist
Quist, also known as Fudoglo, is a Ghanaian stylist of Ewe descent. Fudoglo has had a huge impact in fashion and film, and he has also directed videos. Fudoglo created the look for the Idris Elba film Beasts of No Nation, M.anifest’s Someway Bi video, and EL’s Hallelujah video. Quist runs the brand Osei-Duro and founded the footwear line Tyresole. Tyresole makes an update version of traditional sandals using recycled tires.