Trendy Fashion Report – Q & A with Ekua Odoi of African Prints in Fashion

Africa’s influence in the world of fashion is becoming irresistibly evident and now there are plenty of media outlets popping up to eagerly spread the news! African Prints in Fashion is one of such outlets that are dedicated to sharing “All things Africa” vibe that is infiltrating the global hemisphere.

Ekua Odoi whose heritage (German mother and Ghanaian father) makes her the perfect roving ambassador for this mission, wanted to explore the fine print and expose the history and aesthetics of African fabrics and why after all this time its emerging as the most sought after theme for almost every major designer.  So she embarked on a project that would allow her to investigate and inform consumers about future trends and designers on the horizon and how both of these players mesh to form the perfect union.

We wanted to find out more from Ekua, about her blog and her unrelenting love and loyalty for African prints.

MTB: This is obviously a great time to be Africa Diaspora, considering the popularity and interest in African fabrics, prints and style. How does your blog aim to capture this very significant time in African fashion?

Ms. K:  My objective is to showcase Africa-inspired designs and designers from all around the world and to share their fashion story. I am also trying to find and highlight new platforms that provide consumers access to this kind of niche. And whenever I come across a great item on the web or out-and-about in NYC, I am sharing it on the blog, too. The more I see,  the more amazed I am as there are also a lot of “smaller” designers on etsy, facebook etc. that are creating great outfits and accessories professionally.

MTB: How did your eclectic background influence or inspire your need to create an outlet that caters to expose African designers and track the trends that are consistently vibrating?

Ms. K:  Growing up in a Ghanaian-German household, African fabrics were always a part of my life. I was astounded to see these prints popping-up in mainstream stores, on runways and in magazines. I love fashion and I used to tailor my own outfits whenever I was in Ghana for a holiday. So I felt the urge to participate in the discussion.

MTB: How would you forecast the future of this new movement of “All things Africa”? Is it here to stay?

Ms. K: I am asking this question to almost everyone I am interviewing. Some see it as a trend, others don’t. Some labels have leveraged Africa-inspired textiles and prints for their 2012 Resort Collection – take Burberry for example. And that for me is an expression of a current trend. However, there are also designers of African descent who are bringing great and amazing ideas forward that make an impact on the fashion world. That is not just a trend – they are here to stay.

MTB: Which designers of African descent do you think are positively influencing the global market?

Ms. K: Many designers of African descent are trendsetters. Take for example Duro Olowu, Jewel by Lisa, Eki Orleans, Fati Asibelua and so many others. They are creating something new by mixing and combining Africa-inspired prints with – if you will – ‘classic’ concepts.

MTB: What are your long-term goals for your blog in terms of outreach and being a vehicle for consumer consumption?

Ms. K: When I fall in love with a design and I absolutely want to have it, it can be a bit frustrating if there is no possibility to shop online or to run into the city and buy it. So    I ‘m considering taking my blog a step further and enable readers to purchase featured items. Mainly, I see my blog as a platform to exchange opinions, thoughts and to share stories around African Prints in Fashion. I invite everyone to follow me on this journey to discover all the cool and amazing things that are happening right now.

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