Akosua Parker is an entrepreneur, a photo model, a make-up artist and ultimately a fashion designer who specializes in customizing bikinis, and unisex swim wears largely, using unique African print designs.
Fashion designers in and around Ghana have learned to embrace the use of African prints for their designs, but the idea of using these materials to make swim wears is seemingly exceptional.
“I make my designs simple yet classy, combination of vibrant and exhilarating African theme as well as European and American essence,” the Magio GH CEO told Starrfmonline.com.
She said she decided to use African prints because she believes it’s a fabric that is trending in “our fashion space these days”.
Parker described African print as “so unique and spectacular that it creates its own event and speaks to whoever it comes across and it comes in diverse designs, colors, and styles. Some of the most notable fabrics are Ankara, Kente, Dashiki, Batik and many more, so I prefer working with it because it doesn’t limit my idea in creativity.”
As to how clients are able to use cotton materials to swim she explained, “of course you can use it to swim. The reason why swim suits are not made from cotton is because cotton doesn’t dry fast and heavy when is wet, and also you always have to get the correct measurements of the person buying in order to help fit perfectly. But with spandex, nylon and other bikini fabric, it’s easier because the fabric will stretch so you don’t have to get customers exact sizes to make bikinis or swimsuit for them.“
“With cotton if a customer wears size 8 that means I will have to make it exactly size 8 with correct measurements but with normal bikinis because of its elasticity I can make it in between size 6 & 8 and it will fit size 8 and also a size 6 person,” she said.
She said getting the bikini fabric was a major challenge because it is not available in Ghana, and so she had to travel to Nigeria to purchase them, adding that from next year she would totally stop using the regular fabric, and switch to the bikini fabric with designs customized by her.
Quizzed about how the journey started, she recounted “I started when I was in primary school, between 10-12 years because I went to high school at the age of 15 years. I knew how to design, how to sew, because my mum was a seamstress so I was working with her almost every day. Most of the time she was busy so she would do the cutting and I’ll make a nice dress.”
She added: “But when I moved in to Accra, I was trying to balance my work as an employee with what I wanted to do. The swimsuit wasn’t something that I intended doing as a brand, I decided to start doing it for myself. But people saw it and contacted me, although I never told people I made them myself because they won’t believe me. So I created social media pages and that’s how it started.”
Akosua wants her brand to be in the top 5 spot in Ghana and top 100 in the world, in the next five years.
Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Senanu Damilola Wemakor