Ghana is a hotbed of emerging fashion designers and is at the epicenter of a global fashion movement. Ghana's board of fashion has made it a mission to take African fashion to the world. Not only that but- they are developing brands and cultivating circularity.
The Board of Fashion, Ghana (BOFG) has the ambitious goal to position Ghana as Africa’s primary fashion hub. This not-for-profit institution was established in 2016, to promote the African fashion industry. It sprouted from the growing fashion graduates onto an unestablished fashion market.
It took a change-maker to set it up. Yvonne Ntiamoah, BOFG's Founding Chairperson, is a Ph.D. researcher. Her work focuses on contributing to a decolonized curriculum in fashion education globally. Her quest is to make a valid contribution to fashion academia, as well as the economy of Ghana. Additionally, Yvonne was the British Council's “Social Impact Award” finalist in Ghana in 2017, and in 2005 she took part in the UN “Fashion for Food program” (Catwalk the World). The creation of their brands changed the lives of both students and communities alike.
The mission of the BOFG is to make Africa the fashion continent of the world. But also, to create an integrated industry with significant socio-economic impact. They want to position Ghana as the center of fashion education in Africa. They support home-grown design and fashion activities that contribute to trade and tourism. BOFG has five goals. They include fashion education, promotion, domestic and international trade, funding, and regulation. They are developing world-class standards of fashion education across a network of institutions. They have created a platform for Ghanaian talents. There they can showcase their work, receive mentoring, and establish viable businesses. The BOFG also collaborates with government agencies, international fashion houses, and councils. They are improving access to capital for fashion, garment, and textile businesses. They are also supporting the lowest paid in garment manufacture. They are enabling a large section of those who are unemployed to find employment. Finally, the BOFG encourages sustainable circular, upcycling fashion through waste management.
BOFG is currently funded through the donations of its members, followers, and supporters. Since its foundation, the membership numbers are growing. Some very exciting brands blossomed because of the work of BOFG. They are supporting hundreds of designers and they aim at a thousand.
There are many designers on board. Steven French, Nathaniel Bio, Dorcas Kpogoh, Samuel Oteng, Alexandra Tomiyama, Samara Addo, Golden Osekie, Maria Fletcher, and Papa Oppong, just to name a few.
Design credits: top left: Alexander Tomiyama, top right: Danik Peters by Dorcas Kpogoh, bottom left: Samuel Oteng, bottom right: Kai. Shika by Golden Oseki
All these designers are re-imagining African fashion. They are cutting edge and are making insurmountable artistic contributions in fashion. Their aesthetics are wide-ranging, yet, all exemplify their true personalities and talents, culture, and context. Their contribution to sustainability is natural and essential to them. They were all born that way, creating circular textiles and upcycling waste materials.
At HxN, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to interview The Board of Fashion, Ghana, so stay tuned for our next article to read more!
---------------------------------- Author: Maria Gabriella Di Giacomo
Editors: Hailey Matarese & Alondra Magana
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