Thursday, 29 October 2009

Extremely thought provoking

I 'borrowed' this pic from a networking mate Katie Hart..from her website

She is a postgraduate student at Central Saint Martings college of art and design and her project aim and focus of her MA Design Studies ( is to 'address how we can reduce fashion consumption patterns and adopt a more conscious and sustainable approach to shopping"

She has some great ideas in the pipeline to effect the way we view shopping and how much we consume and looking at ways of communicating this to the public. I have alot of support for her in this initiative and look forward to seeing what she will bring in to the public over the next year and beyond

she will be exhibiting her work at the MA Design Studies Final Exhibition, Applied Imagination – Bringing Method to the Madness at T2 Truman Brewery - from 4th – 8th December 2009.

Snail speed

Things are moving slower than I need right now....I was planning to complete all designs made up in real fabric by end Sept mid Oct. Its now end Oct and I have just got all my patterns back ready to make up....Kenya is on the slow side to respond to my emails and i cant post them out until they give me the all clear and I cant make them up here as Kenya wil be supplying the bio cotton and colours and prints and embroideries....

The workshop Heba are overwhelmed with equally urgent work and so I will have to wait 6 weeks to get back all my samples. They showed me a couple they tested out...which took a week to do but were good. The first one had things i would change i.e pleats in the wrong direction...but hey the toile was like that though I did tell them to follow the edited and correct patterns...but easy mistake and they can amend it for me.

Funds are on the low side still and funding I expected have not manifested so its a difficult one right now to balance out the money side of things...normal small business issues.

I am just eager to see them made up. Emily updated the windbreaker style and it was much more voluminous now and looked GOOD. I really wanna see it in the flesh now and cant wait! I am still excited though and believe I will have ready for Christmas. Mentor David is soon back form his hols so I am a little anxious to tell him that i have nothing to show him. I am praying that he will continue to mentor me for another year as I think when I come to him with samples and photo shoot then he will be able to advise me more as to getting into stores etc right now its a waiting game and not much he can do except help with contracts which has been very useful.

I, by chance, met lovely Nicola Wood from Beautiful Soul at Heba this week. We met previously at a networking event and encouraged me to keep going. Her business though in its early days has two seasons under its belt so she gave me advice from her experience in order to keep going and not to give up even when time gets tighter and busier.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Ascending to new heights!

Ok so i may be a bit late as i just realised Ascension (previously known as Adili) have a blog.

I actually preferred the name Adili it had a great meaning but i understand their reasons for change anyhow they are one of the first online ethical supply bases for new ethical designers and one that I plan to sell my range of Akabi to.

The blog is cool though and they have their latest AW09 range on the main site too. I have noticed a change in the look of what they are doing..the fashion pieces and then the basic basics - very American Apparel - seems to be the way to go and i better take note. Give the people the staple pieces needed for their wardrobe but all ethical and organic...i love it...i also love that the London store is due to open in November...i cant wait!

Monday, 26 October 2009


Do you rememeber the cartoon...I am such an 80s kid!

Well after getting stuck in customs my little teddy friends have arrived safe and sound

Deciding on which maker to use as I really don't want to go down the China route though it is cheaper .... i will stick to my ladies homemade method. The final product is very good and it has the edge i need and room for development of design too.

Watch this space with info of where to buy!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

patterns done

praise the Lord, Hallelujah!
Emily you are a superstar.

I have the patterns all completed and will be ready by Tuesday to post out to Kenya. I have decided to definitely go with them but one of the styles I will make up in Ghana as I want it to be done by batik as an allover print as i feel my collection lacks prints.

But i did a proper colour overview and i was so pleased with how the sketches look and i am really excited with a leotard piece i have...kinda funky and probably will be the most expensive piece to buy - very fashion very edgy but very britsh urban. The colours I am now using give it more life as i originally was going to do them muted but i want to add fun to my range and that is important.

Ok so will post to kenya through dhl and should God willing get them back before I go to Ghana for christmas where i will do a photoshoot.

I have a model in Togo where i will be visiting and am preparing an african effect shoot.

I saw a great shoot done in this months Arise magazine this month (doesnt alicia look beautiful as always...aaahh) and the shoot had a very raw feel though i am not sure where they did it. They used a very edgy Kenyan model called Ajuma i believe and the shoot was fantastic. The composition, the background etc etc It inspires me. But I am still thinking youthful edgy or raw edgy....once the samples come i will know for sure but im thinking to def do it in Ghana/Togo and probably do a version here in the Uk too. but samples ... i cant wait til they are completed!

representing Africa

I have been watching for a while now and I am loving their representatiion of African made designs and african designers. I want to see this website grow to be the asos for africa and hope soon to give them a new angle of african made product with Akabi clothing designs.

nigerian made bags - what a beauty

Another design Abiola who has a desire to work with her homeland Nigeria and help to represent african made product in the fashion industry

She has been working hard on establishing her label Jezreel - the hebrew word meaning 'God plants'. I gotta plug this brand for the innovative designs in accessories. She fuses leather and ankara and creates beautiful accessory pieces you will love for your wardrobe

Her tenacity to get her business up and running is an encouragement to new designers

Go Abi!

check out designs at they can be bought through my asho website store
(see following post!)

Thursday, 22 October 2009


I came across this new label - Gadofka a young german stroke ethiopian girl who amalgamates african print fashion into her design

the designs are crazy-beautiful. I see alot of designers who mix the african fabrics with street styling and some times it often just looks wrong but i feel this designer has brought in her own heritage and personal style into the pattern cutting and design vision.

The label GADOFKA is Achamyelsh Biftu Bojia a womangirl whose imagination is filled with curiosity,innocence,fantasy,theatre, experimental films, modern dance , no boundaries, tradition and music. Achamyelesh Biftu Bojia was born in Germany and is originally from Ethiopia but she believes in another life she was married to Jean Michel Basquiat and the daughter of Miles Davies.However Gadofka was born in 2008 after Achamyelesh Biftu Bojia created the collection AFRICANICALPROGRESSIVEMADNESS for A/W 09, which is expressing all her experience in life and everything she has observed trough her journey so far. That includes the African heritage materials from Ethiopia and Nigeria. The collection itself is an echo for her life. Gadofka is a storyteller, it is the messenger of the african culture . Every print is telling a vibrant colourful story. Achamyelesh Biftu Bojia is a messenger of her own and culture, a true storyteller. She celebrates life and she believes in no boundaries and with a little bit of fantasy, braveness ,patience and optimism we can break limitations!

Achamyelsh Biftu Boija, we gotta talk girl

Loving it!

Saturday, 17 October 2009


Emily is back on completing my patterns and I have managed to get a morning to go down to Heba - a womens project in brick lane in london...well recommended

"Our enterprise programme offers production work through links with new designers, the opportunity to become involved in product design at Heba and a small number of subsidised workspaces for women who want to start a new business."

I am making my woven styles with them as i have heard alot about them and love the work they are doing with women. Initiatives like them make me desire more and more to set something up like this in Africa.

So im testing them out now on my woven styles and still planning to work with Kenya on my jersey styles as they have the bio(organic)cotton available in many colours.   The main thing is logistics now....order my bamboo., soy and hemp cottons from the USA and make them up in Ghana as i can get my printing batik etc all done there and madeup and i have a good courier service in place; OR make them in Kenya using their available organic cotton but logistically it can be issues.

Have a limited amount of fabrics in my first range OR have a variety but better logistics...tough decision. SO now i will test both methods as its mostly down to quality and i still have to test Ghana out for sewing and production

(you are probably shocked by the picture....i need to start adding pictures again-make the blog more fun! more will follow...)

Sunday, 11 October 2009


Feeling a little bit out of it last few weeks as everything is piling on more and more. My planning is proving okay but it is difficult to have a personal life whilst setting up business. One of the tough sides of business. I look back to my days of interning with a small designer after i left university and i remember how she worked day and night night and day, i saw her marriage falling apart and her new baby suffering from lack of nurturing from his mother. With that in mind I tell myself to get things in check.

I do believe that season two will be easier than one as at present pricing and timings are all over the place as I am in a learning position but by next season I will have something to base my pricings and timings on. So what is happening now? Emily has started to edit my patterns and I will be taking them to Heba this week (a womens cooperative workshop in Brick lane - lots of small design companies use them and their reputation is good and the finished product also is good). They will make up product for both companies. I also have to send patterns to kenya to be made up too. (via germany) I am deciding to make all my jersey styles organic cotton now. Though i have already spent a chunk of my budget on fabrics that finally came through customs (it wasn't that expensive a fee really - just annoying like i said) but i am thinking the bio/organic cotton that the Kenyan factory used is farmed in East Africa locally and i want to support that business. It would also be cheaper and better for my carbon footprint to not source cotton from the usa which originally came from china or somewhere and i want to be transparent in my whole supply chain.

Its my aim to support Africa through my business as much as possible so am building contacts as I go along.