Wednesday 18th November

| BY Paul Toner

Mercedes-Benz Spotlights Five Rising Ghanaian Designers on a Global Stage

For the past quarter of a century, Mercedes-Benz has supported fashion communities across the globe. One of the company’s most successful partnerships comes in the form of Accra Fashion Week, a pioneering emerging designer initiative which spotlights the finest design talent Ghana has to offer.

The latest instalment of the bi-annual event was supposed to take place back in October yet with the global pandemic and all, organisers were forced to hit the breaks on any physical event for the foreseeable future.

All is not lost, though, as Mercedes-Benz has brought a small part of Accra to the homes of fashion editors across the globe. Arriving at the doors of Ten Towers earlier this week came a box emblazoned in a print inspired by traditional Ghanian fabrics. Inside, the work from five of the country’s brightest young designers was showcased in a stunning series of images by docu-style photographer Carlos Idun-Tawaiah.

Each talent offers a distinct and individual take on traditional Ghanian culture. Menswear designer Atto Tetteh takes his cues from his surroundings, crafting eclectic pieces that tell stories of their own life in Africa. Similarly, Larry Jay looks to Ghana in the 1970s, in particular, photographs of his parents, who actually model his collections.

A particular standout comes in the form of womenswear designer Chloe Assam, who incorporates QR codes into her garments which tell the story of how they were made, photographed here on her aunts and grandmother.

Alongside the beautifully done editorial came a view finder equipped with more photographs, which this time the designers extracted from their own personal archives to showcase what memories of growing up in Ghana seep into their works. These were accompanied by a plethora of dried flowers native to Ghana, a cassette tape packed with the designer’s own curated playlists of songs from Ghanaian artists as well as a step-by-step Drinking Cacao recipe.

In the age of virtual catwalks, CGI models and digitalised fashion weeks, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Accra has created both an intimate and tender portrayal of Ghanian artistry that is not only celebratory but courageous, too.

Photography by Carlos Idun-Tawaiah, top image featuring the designs of Atto Tetteh. 


Steve French.

Steve French.