In the run up to the GUBA Awards scheduled for Saturday 10 November 2012 at the Park Plaza Hotel, as media partners for the event, we will bring you exclusive interviews with designers nominated in the in the Best African Fusion Designer category.
First up this week is Ashanti Lou.
To vote for Ashanti Lou or any of the other designers, please visit the GUBA site.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your label and its history?
Ashanti Lou footwear is a fashion conscious brand for an individual who likes to stand out from the crowd. Ashanti Lou explores different shapes, materials and themes to create the most unique pair of shoes. Most importantly: a percentage of every shoe sold will be donated to my sponsored charity, Afrikids (also up for GUBA award).
Usually people just buy fashion without second thought as to how or where it was made, or they buy just because they can, not sparing a thought for people who have nothing. I myself have been accountable of this. I want to turn this mentally around, but not to make people feel guilty for having money but to simply make them more aware of their ‘neighbours’ needs.
What are the inspirations/story behind your latest collection?
Time. I have a fascination about the fashion and culture during different time periods and sometimes wish I had a go back to see what it was like living in those times. But I can’t, so I put my own history interpretations into my shoes. In the ‘Era Collection’, there are 6 pieces, inspired by the Decadent period, to the 80s and also recent events like the Diamond Jubilee.
How would you define the Ashanti Lou woman?
An Ashanti Lou lady is a confident lady who knows her style and exactly who she is as an individual. They like attention and must have items that nobody else has. Not only do they like to feel good about themselves, they want others to feel great too and will go out of their way to offer a helping hand.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
Anything and everywhere! It can be anything from my Ghanaian heritage, to an event, to a love of history, to lyrics of a song, to me just having a sweet tooth, hence creating my ‘Sweet Candy’ pair. Inspiration is all around; you just have to use your God-given senses to apply them.
Who are some of your brand ambassadors?
As a start-up, I’m currently working on that. But I may have one or two music artists in the pipeline so stay tuned!!
And who else would you like to see wearing your label?
The obvious such as Lady Gaga, Nicki, Grace Jones, RiRi, Katy Perry, Mischa B. The girlies from TOWIE would look great in them too.
Where can the fans of your label buy your creations?
As each shoe is a one-off and specially created for the individual, all orders are emailed to me at [email protected]
How does it feel being nominated in the fashion category of GUBA Awards and what would it mean to win this award?
Can I say the word ‘Amazeballs’? It feels great to be up for a nomination and even better to be in a category against established talented designers! Winning would just be the icing on top of a great year so far, and it will motivate me to do even better next year!
What’s next for 2012 and beyond for you and your label?
To make more lavish one-offs and by next year I will have a celebrity endorser. Also to promote my fashion conscious brand, by doing charitable events for and with Afrikids. This will be achieved by taking part in high profile fashion events, charity auctions, sponsored runs and trips to the north of Ghana to see the positive effects our work is having n the local children.
And our classic question with a twist – what is fab about being Ghanaian?
Everything! From the food, to our deep rooted culture and heritage, to the way we were raised…and most of all the fact that Ghanaian ladies are all Divas! Yes I said it, we are all Divas and I love it!by