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History of African Fashion - Kofi Ansah


Kofi Ansah was born in 1951 into an artistic family and his interest in art and design. He was encouraged by his father, a photographer and classical musician. Ansah studied at Chelsea School of Art, graduating in 1979 with a first-class honours degree in fashion design and distinction in design technology. He initially made his name working on the UK fashion scene as he made headlines on his graduation when he made a beaded top for Princess Anne and later returned to Ghana in 1992, where he set up and ran the successful design and creative concept company Artdress. The characteristic of his style was the use of quilting, embroidery and appliqué.


He was the founder and past president of the Federation of African Designers. Kofi Ansah’s reputation as the pioneer of modern African styles is fitting. As the name of his company suggests, Ansah viewed fashion as art. He believed that it encompassed not only clothing but accessories and hair too. Hence, he promoted the art of fashion by playing the role of mentor. Consequently, he became a source of inspiration for many designers.


Ansah believed in using his designs to tell a story and delighted in creating original items of clothing. As a result, he worked with vibrant colours and rich textiles to showcase the beauty of African fabrics. Also, he found his inspiration in the motifs and landscapes of the African continent. Hence, Ansah produced clothing that was not only wearable but his flair and meticulous attention to detail won him many fans both home and abroad. Most importantly, it promoted the richness and creativity of African fashion.


Ansah won the prestigious Ghana Quality Awards Diamond Division in October 2003, for clothing and textile with Artdress Ltd, and his company was the winner of the Millennium 2000 African Fashion Awards. He also designed the anniversary fabric for the [email protected] Golden Jubilee Celebration. He designed the costumes for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 African Cup of Nations staged in Ghana, and in 2009 was the chief designer at the Festival of African Fashion and Arts (FAFA). He was posthumously honoured in November 2015 at the ETV Ghana Fashion Awards for his “immense contribution to the fashion industry and the prestige of the nation.”


References:

- African Vibes 'Designer Spotlight: Reminiscing The Legacies Of Kofi Ansah, The Pioneer Of Modern African Styles'

- Wiki 'Kofi Ansah’s biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story'