I don’t want to sound bias here! But seriously, Ajepomaa Mensah is one of my favourite fashion designers in Ghana either on a good day or on a bad day. A surprise visit to her Gallery one day saw myself just stun for several minutes due to her very resounding sense of humour, rich knowledge in the fashion fraternity and pertinent thoughts on business issues at large.
It can never be a bad day for me looking at the growing pieces she has been able to produced since 2009 and I should say..”we at FAB Magazine are very grateful to share a piece of history on our platform” about Ajepomaa Gallery Design.
Tell us a bit about your background?How did you get into Fashion designing and how did your label come about?
My mother made clothes for my 2 sisters and myself using a domestic Elna sewing machine, so from a young age, I got inspired by her creativity , hence the keen interest in fashion. After I completed Accra Girls’ secondary school, I started Joyce Ababio’s Vogue Style Fashion School and whilst I was there I qualified for advanced standing for a Bachelors Degree Programme at The Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore. After graduation in 2005, I moved to New York City in 2006 to pursue a career in Fashion. I worked in retail houses like Anik and Searle NYC and worked at Jill Stuart as a Production Assistant. I moved from NYC to Ghana in December 2009 and started my Brand Ajepomaa Design Gallery in February 2010 and by Gods grace I haven’t looked back!
What could a potential client expect on a visit to your fashion house?
A potential client should expect eclectic and stylish quality clothes that are well made and possess unique detailing such pleats, leather trims, metallic hardware (eyelets, studs, and spikes), chains and bead work.
What fashion events have you done?
I have participated in The Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards, The Be Bold Show, 2 VLISCO Shows, Woodin, The Fawohodie Trunk Show and several exhibitions including The ADG trunk show in New York 2011 and Fashionmist show in London 2011amongst others.
What goes into the buildup of a new collection?
Firstly, I do research by taking pictures and documenting my ideas through reading and exploring to find my inspiration /mood/theme. I develop my sketches. Research upcoming trends, fabrics and colours for the upcoming season. I then enhance my signature details
to give them a fresh perspective from the previous collection.
How many collections do you have to your credit?
Ajepomaa Design Gallery has seven collections to our credit
Name some of your famous clients/ celebrities?
Most of my famous clients would not want to be disclosed but a few celebrities like Efya, Christal Beeko and Kaakie would not mind, Lol!
Any challenges in the industry?
In every industry there are challenges, ours is no different, I know that it keeps evolving each year for the better and that is what I love about my profession. Being a designer/manufacturer/retailer you wear many hats, the challenges that come with it I call good stress, lol. I am proud of the industry I am in because it is one of the few industries that allow for new inventions to take place in my country. We produce physical merchandise that represents my heritage. The work ethic and the energy problems are not challenges faced only by my industry but by my country as a whole, the heavy taxes on foreign fabrics. No new technologies are applied to textiles that are produced locally from our textile mills! The lack of unity amongst industry professionals. To enforce copyright laws, sourcing technical assistants, strict laws on the importation of second hand clothing so it allows our local apparel industry to grow. To clothe our economy internally before broadening our horizons internationally.
Where can one get your label to buy?
We are located at 8 Addo Close Ambassadorial Enclave, East Legon, Accra-Ghana.
Our Stockists www.stylesafrik.com
FAB fashion book of all time
The End of Fashion by Terry Agins
FAB fashion movie of all time
I don’t have one I have a couple;
· Funny Face
· The Devil wears Prada
· The September Issue
FAB fashion event
THE MET GALA IN NEW YORK CITY it gives fashion depth and a purpose, is not just about the red carpet looks it dives into history and shows us how fashion has evolved over the years(sometimes centuries), it’s like going through an archive of what once was! Simply Divine.
FAB destination for retailing
Brazil and Japan, these countries are adventurous with their style and they are welcoming especially towards refreshing eclectic designs that has new exciting appeal. Oh and they experiment with colour which is great for retail.
FAB fashion blog
www.fabmagazineonline.com of course it’s a no brainer lol!
FAB celebrity you wish to style
Shingai Shoniwa love her!
FAB fashion accessories
Love costume jewelry by Chic accessories by Siba, Kati Torda of Suntrade and Kua by Ruby Buah
FAB way to relax
Axim/Sogakope literally from southeast to west of the Ghanaian coastline serene and tranquil and it is right under our noses!
FAB African dish
Fried Plantain and beans cooked with palm oil of course.
FAB thing about being African
My glowing ebony skin and how colours just pop when I wear them, the ability to dance with good rhythm no matter the music, to see hope no matter how bad the situation, The sun, the spicy foods, my authentic accent, being bilingual and having a name that makes me stand out!
I love love by Moschino Daisy by Marc Jacobs
FAB music for your runway show
Depends on the collection Si Bon by Eartha Kitt and Seven Nation Army by White stripes.