In the last decade, African fashion has tremendously grown to the level that international stars and famous people are now wearing clothes made from African print or created by African fashion designers.
While most of these African designers are using African prints and a combination of western fabrics for their designs, one designer has chosen to do things differently. Ghanaian fashion designer, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi produces her handbags using raffia. These made in Ghana bags are handmade and it takes about a week to complete one.
Akosua, who’s the founder of AAKS says she wants to change perceptions of Africa through fashion and has chosen to do so by producing luxurious handmade accessories from an age-old Ghanaian craftsmanship traditions. Using her made in Ghana accessories, Akosua wants the world to see how luxury and quality can grow from traditional African designs.
Before starting her own fashion brand, Akosua interned and worked as a designer with fashion designers such as Peter Pilotto, Matthew Williamson and William Tempest in London. She then went to Ghana in 2013 where she set up AAKS, a brand that’s using craftsmanship skills and techniques that are unique to that part of Ghana for her designs.
Because they’re made by hand, each bag and accessory bear the fingerprints of the person who fashioned it, as well as a signature tag that is added to prove authenticity.
Akosua’s designs have been showcased at international fashion shows in Milan and London. Her brand tells an exciting story of Ghana, offering a divergent interpretation of Africa as a whole.
The visual artistry behind every design is reflected through the images of Ghana and the crafters as they create these handbags shared on AAKS’s social network. Akosua is building an African brand ethically and conscientiously – one handbag at a time.
Photo Credit: @aaksdesign