Fashion in Ghana has not necessarily been about labels or brands. It’s about these personalities that someway give\gave the art much life.
One certain thing in the fashion world is dynamism and that is proven by the constant change in trends, and style.
The fashion industry of Ghana has been made a very lucrative venture for those that pursue the art.
Currently, there are about 67 recognized textile industries some of which are Tex Styles Ghana Limited (GTP), Juapong Textiles, Volta Star, Ghana Textile Printing Co. Ltd., Akosombo Textile Company Limited (ATC), Premiere African Textile, Bowman Kente Weaving Enterprise and Printex, among others.
The textile industry alone is of tremendous importance to the country’s economy, namely the provision of jobs for the people, especially people in the rural areas and generation of revenue and income to both government and persons involved in the weaving and production of textile products, leading to a rise in living standards.
The fashion industry goes beyond clothes and appearances.
It is a nation on its own and has made homes for models, stylist, fashion editors, designers, fashion consultants, textile industries and a whole lot.
Beauty; hair and makeup are also a strong component of the fashion industry.
The evolution of fashion of Ghana in has been an incredible one.
In Ghana, culture has always played a keen role in the art of style and fashion. The period of modernization in Ghana during 20th century brought tremendous change to the fashion industry. From our notable kente, which was only a traditional cloth, to the new textiles, there has been a lot of change.
Fashion has been with us as far back as independence. Women and dressmakers back in the primitive period (1900s) pored over newspapers to see the latest styles and those who did not have access to these newspapers had to rely on sketches.
At start of 2000’s, the fashion industry of Ghana took a more definite shape.
The production of African prints and promotion of new products through fashion shows started to boost the superiority of the industry and enhanced awareness amongst the public.
Celebrities, like musicians and actors have always influenced what we’re wearing, but so have political figures and royalty.
Online portals and magazines report on what the President of Ghana wears to events, not forgetting the current style gem in the political sphere - the Second Lady of Ghana, Samira Bawumia.
While the fashion industry continues to introduce us to new trends and styles every now and then, the industry would not be where it is today without the help of some influential figures.
Though not all of these personalities are fashion icons themselves, some only made some policies or created smooth pathways that gave the industry the firm foundation it has now.
The following public figures not only had successful careers, but they also used their power, status, life achievements, keen fashion senses to catapult the fashion industry of Ghana into the what it is today.
In November 2004, the former President of Ghana, J.A. Kufuor, launched the "National Friday Wear Programme".
The initiative was aimed at projecting a unique Ghanaian identity through the extensive use of local fabric and designs, for all public officers and the private sector. This increased the desire of many Ghanaians in wearing many African prints till date.
The late Kofi Ansah was a renowned innovative and creative fashion designer.
He was credited with the changing face of the Ghanaian fashion landscape and a leader in the field of African fashion design. He was a founding member, as well as a past president, of the Federation of African Designers.
Kofi Ansah, through his company, was the winner of the prestigious Millennium 2000 African Fashion Awards. He also designed the official fabric for the Ghana @ 50 Golden Jubilee Celebration.
Joyce Ababio is an award-winning Ghanaian fashion designer and founder of the Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design.
Joyce Ababio school college of has natured lots of these big fashion brands we see today. Most Ghanaian fashion designers passed through her hands, from Akotua Gh, B’VENAJ designs and a whole lot.
The most admirable first lady of all times, Nana Konadu Agyeman, has also had a strong influence on the Ghanaian fashion industry.
Her personal style, which is the notable kaba and slit with the scarf wrap she uses is still most women’s Sunday inspirations for church.
Interestingly, this style has never succumbed to the dynamism of fashion. The kaba and slit still holds its beauty and that is kind courtesy Nana Konadu Agyemang. The Kente piece she usually places on her shoulder is now buzzing even more than ever.
Men are mostly left out anytime fashion icons are mentioned.
That is entirely not the case of the ace broadcaster, Kwasi Kyei Darkwah.
He gave men fashion a new face. The metrosexual has influenced men’s fashion with his exquisite appearances every time. He was honored at 2017 Glitz Style Awards.
Former president, John Dramani Mahama, gave the Ghanaian shoe brand, Horseman Shoes, a massive endorsement in Parliament during the State of the Nation Address in 2014.
President John Mahama has over time, re-affirmed his love for made in Ghana goods and lived that by example. He was seen many times clad in impeccable African designs during his regime.
This is the man that created the foundation of fashion business in Ghana, Ibrahim.
The boss of Exopa Modelling Agency paved the way for most of Ghanaian models. His agency trained the top notch models we have in the fashion industry like Stephen the model, Meek and Chantelle.
Ibrahim died on December 5, 2014 after suffering an injury following a football game while serving a jail term at the Nsawam Prisons in the Eastern region.
Edward Enninful is a British fashion stylist, and editor-in-chief of British Vogue magazine.
He is the first black British Vogue editor.
Though he is in the diaspora, his achievements and feats have inspired many fashion lovers in Ghana. Enninful's success has reassured many that want to go that path in Ghana the possible heights the fashion industry can catapult one to.
We cannot talk fashion influencers and leave out Claudia Lumor from the list.
It’s never a complete circus without the fashion impresario. She is the person behind the annual fashion spectacle, which is unlike any other fashion event in the country; Glitz Fashion African Week.
Ghana can boast of a fashion platform that could be compared to that of the international ones, the New York Fashion Week, and the Paris Fashion Week (possibly).
Its publicity bellowed masses and brings lots of fashion lovers and observers across the globe to Africa. She also has an annual style and fashion awards; Glitz Style and Fashion Awards.
Every industry strives on a bit of competition to stand firm and that is what the new face of Ghanaian fashion has brought on board.
Ghana’s celebrated fashion icon, Nana Akua Addo has sparked a new twist to the style and clothing industry.
Her unbeatable red-carpet appearances have ignited some serious red-carpet appearances by Ghanaian celebrities. She raised the bar so high that is getting her international recognition.
Her style moments have earned her tons of fashion awards here in Ghana like the Glitz Style awards and Africa as a whole (Best dressed African female celebrity- Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards).