Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2.0 has kicked off and The Wire will make sure you have front row tickets to all the action! Words: Bianca Agenbag
Meet designer AMI YOMEKPE set to show on the 7th of April at 17h00
Creativity, passion and perseverance are just some of the words that describe the very talented Ghanaian designer Ami Yomekpe, owner and CEO of one of the most recognised fashion labels in Africa – AfroMod Trends. Combining her love for fashion with her background in architecture, she began AfroModTrends in 2011, cementing it as a brand that caters for fashion-conscious women looking to assert their African uniqueness. Only two years later she was selected as one of the 28 Most Oustanding Emerging Women Leaders by the Moremi Initiative. We chatted to the dynamic designer about her latest collection titled African Gatsby and all things in between.
What can we expect to see in your MBFWCT17 collection?
This collection called ‘THE AFRICAN GATSBY’ will be a representation of a 1920s Gatsby party with a modern African twist. It will showcase a glamourous African woman in luxurious afro-fusion garments (from African inspired fabrics). The collection will celebrate the beauty of the feminine form with intricate details adding to the luxurious feel.
What inspires you?
Traditional fabric, art, historical eras re-imagined etc. I concur with a quote by Coco Chanel: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
What criteria do you use for selecting models for your show?
Model selection is based on striking features and the ability to embody the emotion and character of the garments.
Describe your design ascetic?
Everyday chic sophistication achieved through appealing clean lines with the appropriate finish and finesse.
How does your architectural background influence your designs?
Architecture and fashion feed off each other. Architectural concepts such as form, structure, and function feed into my garments and vice versa.
What is afro-fashion to you?
Afro-fusion fashion characterizes our products as a blend of the traditional African textile print and other fabrics which appeal to both the local and international markets.
Most memorable career moment?
One of our achievements has been to participate in the Oxford Africa Conference as one of the 3 young emerging fashion businesses to watch from Africa.
Which artist would you like to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Maku Azu; a young Ghanaian contemporary artist and sculptor whose pieces focus on Ghanaian culture and heritage.
My gold Sophia Webster Heels!
5 things every woman should own?
A black dress/ A pair of heels, flats and sneakers/ A statement neckpiece/ A structured handbag or statement clutch/ A flattering pair of jeans
What decade should you have been born in and why?
The 1920’s! It was a time of great changes in the world of fashion for women with the introduction of new styles, designers, and perspectives. With this new feeling of power, fashion became a high priority of the majority of woman. This era redefined womanhood.
Most designers only dream of reaching such success as you have. Any words of wisdom?
I encourage perseverance, determination and the ability to adapt and evolve with the times. Success is a never-ending journey, not a destination.