Story by NANA OSEI KWADWO | Photography by SELORM JAY

The recent “rise of African Fashion” within global media is a bit of a dead tune in these parts. In Ghana, style has always been big news. The Internet makes all the difference now. Some fifteen years ago, you wouldn’t see the freshest Ghanaian designs on Instagram or Tumblr because all the fresh styles were on the streets.

The best designs are still on the streets. Street design shops, big and small, stock some of the finest locally made outfits in the city. Every minute someone from Ghana is posting a Look Book online allowing thousands  of people around the world to tap into Ghana’s style portal. Let’s not forget designer labels like Louis Vuitton slipping fashion aesthetics from Ghana onto the runway without acknowledging the origins.

African Victorian

African Victorian

Ghana has a long tradition of customized clothing dating as far back as the pre-colonial era. Several waves of freed slaves from Bahia in Brazil landed on the shores of West Africa in the mid nineteenth centuries, particularly Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. The ones who came to Accra were given land and GA citizenship by King Tackie Tawiah I in 1836. The Tabom people, as these returnees were later called, arrived with a lot of skills ranging from military tactics, architecture, carpentry, irrigation engineering to tailored clothing. The renowned Morton Family are descendants of the Tabom people. The Mortons were expert merchants and tailors, credited with setting up Scissors House, the first tailoring shop in Accra. Continue reading

GHANA Fashion + Design Week 2012: DUABA SERWA

ACCRA [dot] ALT was on hand for the first annual Ghana Fashion + Design Week festivities last weekend in Accra. Check out our feature photos from the show. We are ALL OVA Accra girl Nelly Hagan -Aboagye‘s super fly design line, DUABA SERWA.

DUABA SERWA: Arresting geometric patterns x Bright beautimous prints x Deliciously constructed feminine forms

Duaba Serwa – Ghana Fashion Week 2012 – photo by ACCRA dot ALT

Duaba Serwa – Ghana Fashion Week 2012 – photo by ACCRA dot ALT

Duaba Serwa – Ghana Fashion Week 2012 – photo by ACCRA dot ALT

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LOOK SHARP: Accra Street Style



ACCRA‘s got serious style. Folks here love to look good but they keep it low and undercover. But it’s about to get hi-def.

This was more than apparent at the first-ever Ghana Fashion + Design Week held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel over the weekend. The affair brought some of the coolest young designers to strut their stuff on the catwalk including our favorites – Duaba Serwa (Ghana), Sarah Duah (Ghana/Germany), Orange Culture (Nigeria), Coccolily (Ghana/Canada) and Christie Brown (UK/Ghana). These style stars have some bright destinies ahead. Can’t wait to see what they cook up next.

In the meantime and in-between time, peruse through this garden of images. We thought these cool kids had fashion worth stopping to take a picture for. We also decided to do something fun while waiting two hours for the show to finally start. Gotta love our people.

Tune in tomorrow to see photos from the catwalk.

BAYO of Orange Culture | photo by ACCRA dot ALT

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Beastin’ It: The Style AVATARS



The homie OB Abenser‘s FashionistaGH was on the scene for ARISE Magazine‘s first annual Fashion Week in Lagos this March. Take a look at super fresh Ghanaian designer, Nelly Hagan-Aboagye‘s line Duaba Serwa / @duabaserwa. The Legon alum who studied Nursing + Graphic Design started her collections only two years ago. Duaba Serwa is simple yet versatile – flipping from whimsical and romantic to structured with bold contrasts to glittery Grace Jones’ glam.

Check out the fashion show and jam down to EFYA aka @EFYA_Nokturnal‘s joint, “Blow My Mind” with rapper D-Black.

In other news, StyleLikeU‘s closet confessional interviews with hip hop artist, Theophilus London – Afro-funkster design twins, Dynasty + Soul – plus dancer/healer Lyfe Silva are ever so subtly addictive. Each intimately reveals how style blasts ideas about racial identity, gender, sexuality, self-worth and determination. Take a gander through this visual garden.

THEOPHILUS LONDON (Trinidad + Tobago/Brooklyn, NY):

“At three or four years old, my Auntie Cleo bought me a pink tuxedo. It was a weird number, but I’d wear it every Sunday. We went to a big Catholic Church… people would look at me like I was crazy.”

DYNASTY + SOUL (Nigeria/West Indies/Brooklyn, NY):

“Since I was like 11, I would get the ‘are you a boy or a girl? Before I would feel embarrassed about that, but now I accept it. I’m like ‘I’m letting your mind run, you can’t figure it out’ I’ve grown to love that aspect.” (Dynasty)

LYFE SILVA (Native American/Portuguese/African American):

“I wear a lot of African-esque things. A lot of people, will go ‘There goes mama Africa.’ I think it’s a terrible cliché when people choose to categorize. I thought we were just okay with being who we are.”