Beads and fabrics have been essential for dressing in Africa for many generations, while a young fashion entrepreneur from Ghana is now looking to project them onto the world stage.
With her fledgling fashion business, Joyce Owusu uses Ghanaian and African beads and wax prints for various attractive accessories and exquisite garments that seek to tell the story of African fashion in a whole new way.
With his love for pearls, Owusu quit his paid job in 2016, just four years after graduating from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. She launched the Purple Trendz Ghana Couture, which quickly became one of the brands of choice among Ghanaians both at home and abroad.
âI started playing with pearls in 2012 during my national service. I was just having fun, so when I decided to go into business I started with just 50 Ghanaian cedis (US $ 8). But the business has evolved from making beaded accessories to making hats, fascinators, bouquets and clothing, âshe told Xinhua.
Owusu showcases its beautifully designed hand-beaded fashion accessories such as hats, fascinators, bridal fans and women’s handbags, in addition to eye-catching clothing made from African prints in its African clothing store. in Madina, a suburb of the Ghanaian capital. .
Additionally, Owusu also produces for other contract brands, both inside and outside Ghana, making unisex clothing including kimonos and other colorful clothing for men and women.
âIt is important to project African fabrics and beads, which are an integral part of the continent’s sartorial culture on the world stage. This African fashion sense should also be instilled in the younger generation, âshe said.
âI think the products project the Afro-centric nature of our fashion and showcase the beauty of African culture,â she added.
Besides the rich and beautiful pearls of the Ghanaian communities of Krobo, Kumasi and the north of the country, the designer also sources pearls in Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Kenya and China.
âFor clothes, I use local fabrics from some of the best textile manufacturers in Ghana. Some fabrics also come from Holland and some African countries. I look for the best materials and beads for my clients, âshe said.
The young designer uses her communication skills to project the mix of traditional and modern African fashion on social media platforms including Twitter and TikTok.
âI also have a website that is currently being revamped into an e-commerce site so that when you visit it you can buy whatever you want,â Owusu said.
Ghanaian workers have typically worn their African prints to work on Fridays since former President John Kufuor started the National Friday Wear program in 2004. Ghanaians also wear them, adorned with beads for church services, festivals, weddings, parties and award ceremonies.
Despite the progress she has made in the vibrant Ghanaian fashion industry, Owusu told Xinhua that young Ghanaian entrepreneurs need support and high patronage to survive in the competitive business arena.
The young entrepreneur has three employees and has also trained 20 others, including needy single mothers, in free job skills to give them a decent livelihood.
With the opportunities presented by the new international business partnership agreements, Owusu believes the future of his fashion business was bright. It considers the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, in particular, a great opportunity through which it could export its products to other parts of the continent. Final element