At almost every point in time, fashion is a reflection of the past. The industry thrives on reminding the modern world about all the beauty we created or the pain we have survived from the past. A few African brands that have at one point or the other, sought some inspiration from Africa’s history are Aphia Sakyi, Thebe Magugu and unisex Afro-minimalist brand, Ajabeng.
We had an opportunity to speak briefly with Travis Obeng Casper, Creative Director Of Ajabeng on his “Maame Yaa” collection, a collection inspired by 100 years of fashion in Africa. Here’s what he had to say.
Does this new collection pay homage to a specific fashion era in Ghana / West Africa? If so, which one and why?
The Maame Yaa collection pays homage to the dignity, elegance, and liveliness of African women throughout the century through images curated by celebrated African masters, studios, and anonymous artists.
The collection drew inspiration from various fashion eras in Africa over the course of a century. Some of the garments were redesigned in a more contemporary way while retaining their original values and aesthetics.
How does this new collection differ from your previous ones yet still bring out the signature Ajabeng style many people around the world have grown to love?
This collection, I'd say, had some very feminine looks that differed from the other collections because it was heavily inspired by Catherine E. McKinley's “The African Lookbook” , which seeks to celebrate African women in their everyday beauty and to shine a light on the exceptionally rich visual history of women living on the continent.
However, the collection maintained AJABENG's clean cuts while adhering to the brand's preference for solid colors.
Who do you envision wearing this new collection? What is their character or personality?
The Maame Yaa collection was designed for every African Woman, a loving and caring woman who prioritizes the needs of others over her own. Their personality/character is one of enduring strength, beauty, and power.
This post was written by our very own Retail Partnerships Manager, Elorm Amankwa