How Ghana’s Fashion Industry is evolving – we seek the views of international Designer: Nana Brenu of 1981 Label.
The Fashion industry in Africa is going through a stage of evolution and establishing its own identity on the continent and around the world. The industry across Africa is developing at an encouraging pace with a promising future and a positive outlook.
Considering what lies ahead of us, and what work needs to be put into it to come to fruition. We caught up with some of the international designers who had the opportunity to experience Ghana Fashion & Design Week in 2012 to share in the views of their experiences, and the effect it has had on them and their brand as practicing designers.
In this interview GFDW speaks to 1981 designer Nana Brenu about the Fashion Industry in Ghana.
GFDW: You took part in GFDW 2012, as a designer what was your experience of been in Ghana and showcasing at GFDW?
NB: I came to the show with no expectations, as this is the first time something of this nature had ever taken place in Ghana. I was mildly surprised and impressed by how well the show was put together and organized despite a few kinks here and there. It was executed in a very professional manner. I was overwhelmed by the reception and the positive reviews my collection got despite it being different from what one would consider typical African design.
GDW: How important do you think it is that new designers and entrepreneurs like yourself have a platform such as this?
NB: It is very important to have such a platform like this because helps generate and increase brand awareness and helps us get maximum exposure both locally and globally. Africa has a lot of hidden talent. Unfortunately we rarely get the amount of exposure our counterparts in Europe, Asia or the Americas get. So any platform to help generate any level of exposure is very vital.
GFDW: Do you think more should be done across the continent in support of the creative and manufacturing industry in Africa?
NB: I do believe a substantial amount of investment has to be devoted to supporting and building the creative and manufacturing industry in Africa because it not only benefits the continent economically and socially, but at the same time it will help bring these industries up to par with international standards thus making Africa an important player on the global stage with regards to creativity and manufacturing.
GFDW: What do you feel you can take from your GFDW experience, and where will it take the ‘1981’ brand?
NB: The reception and reviews my collection received made me realise there is definitely a market for the brand in Ghana and Africa. It will give the brand more exposure on the African continent as well as on the international scene. Hopefully it will help educate people and make them realise there is more to African design or African inspired design than just prints and Dutch wax fabric.
GFDW: What has been your greatest moment on your creative journey so far?
NB: Personally that would have to be the photo shoot for my first collection. It felt a bit surreal to finally see all the hard work I put into developing the collection finally come to fruition. It was a very special moment.
GFDW: What do you have in mind for your next collection, any ideas yet?
NB: For the next collection I want to focus on defining the core DNA of the brand, which will become apparent when I show on the collection. It will have something to do with layers. That’s all I am able to reveal at the moment.
GFDW: How can you be contacted
1981 is a contemporary modern brand by creative director Nana Brenu, 1981′s design philosophy is a reflection of one’s personality thus every piece created is aimed to enhance one’s personality. Fundamental to his design principles are exploring the core construction techniques used by the great couturiers and infusing it with elements derived from modern design and architecture. With great emphasis being placed on fit , comfort and ease of wear, his designs are effortless, chic and practical, despite its modern look and feel.