Made in Ghana: Fashion Designer Launches Ethically-Made Luxury Accessories

A A K S produces raffia bags handmade by a women’s cooperative in Bolgatanga, northern Ghana. The brand produces luxurious handmade accessories using ethical processes and age-old craft traditions, are not often seen beyond the borders of Ghana. However Ghanaian fashion designer Akosua Afriyie-Kumi wants the world to see how luxury and quality can grow from traditional designs and is using A A K S to change perceptions of Africa through fashion.

A A K S is a brand that seeks to showcase the unlimited possibilities for the fashion and textile industries in Ghana. Using skills and techniques that are unique to this part of Ghana, craftsmanship is the foundation of this luxury brand.  It takes approximately one week to complete a handbag which attests to an unwavering dedication to modern style and interpretations using traditional methods. Made by hand each bag bears the finger prints of the person who fashioned it and a signature tag is added to prove authenticity.

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic


“ Inspired by South Africa’s vibrant daily street life, photographer Ed Suter began a personal project shooting street style photographs of fashion, graphics and street art.

This collection was published by Quivertree Publications in 2012 in a book called ‘Sharp Sharp’, showcasing the great style on the streets of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

After photographs from “Sharp Sharp” were exhibited in Paris, Ed stopped off in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, on his way home to spend a week shooting on the streets there.

Sharp Sharp was all about energy and colour and I was hoping to find that in even more intensity in Accra. The colors of the fabrics everywhere in Ghana were beautiful and intense, but they weren’t all I focused on. I also photographed young boxers, hand painted signs and what felt like incongruous Soviet-style architecture. The work in Ghana became more about portraits on the streets rather than images shot in what has become typical street style, mostly due to the brightness of the light and quite a lot of clutter I wanted to avoid in the backgrounds.”

Ed hopes to continue the idea as Sharp Sharp Africa – featuring one country from south, west, east and north Africa – with an east African country on the wishlist for this year. (via 10and5)