Nana Kwasi Wiafe is the founder and creative director of Very Ghanaian; a clothing line. He is also a stylist and 2020 has been an amazing year for him. He worked as a stylist on Beyoncé’s visual album ‘Black is King’. He also worked with Kim Jones, a fashion designer and Amoako Boafo, an artist, as a stylist on the Dior Men Spring Summer Collection 2020.
Describe your journey to becoming a designer/creating a brand?
Growing up have always been interested in telling my own story and with my love for fashion it was no coincidence I decided to create a brand which is aimed at doing just that .
My journey started as a model initially, even tho I still actively model I have been able to use that platform as a pivot to transition into styling and now a designer and creative director for my brand Very Ghanaian .
You worked as a stylist on Beyoncé’s visual album “Black is king” for the Ghana crew. How was the process, planning the looks?
The process normally starts with inspiration, team meetings ,listening to the music and with the mood board establishing the story telling direction, I move on with pulling of looks and putting them together for each scene.
Beyoncé and her entire team go to great lengths to execute their vision so a lot of research goes into every look to ensure it’s complimentary to the overall vision .
I also love showing emerging brands/talents so I always make an effort to feature these brands.
A big thank you to my brother Joshua Kissi who was the director for the Ghana visuals, he has always believed in my talent and put me on whenever an opportunity comes up and the rest of the team David Boanuh and Sharifah Issaka
Where do you see African Fashion’s future and it’s influence on the whole fashion industry?
I believe the future is African fashion, brands here are telling incredible African stories rich in history,culture,heritage and inspiring at the same time.
Recent research has shown that people buy into brands that they connect to more especially with the stories they’re telling and brands like Tongoro, Maxhosa, Very Ghanaian , Loza Maleombho ,kente gentleman, Orange culture, Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu etc are leading the way with that and would be leaders of the industry in future.
What roles do you think social media plays in African fashion today?
For the most part social media has been a blessing for African Fashion , it has helped the world discover emerging brands from the continent , giving them the platform to show their work and exposed a lot of talent which wasn’t happening in the past.
What are lows and highs of being a designer?
For me the lows of being a designer is building the business side of it alone , without a team you can trust from the on set it’s a bit difficult, also production in larger quantities is a problem because we don’t have enough factories here producing sustainably.
Some of the highs that comes with it is being able to express myself through design and using that to tell my story and impact lives. For me that is all that matters.
From your page , I can tell you are passionate about promoting African style. When did you first realize that was important for you.
My love for Africa was discovered at an early stage born out of curiosity.
Our sense of style , art , history,culture and our people. We are so beautiful and cool so that piqued my interest to find out more .
Our style as Africans has inspired the world for centuries and still does so it only makes sense to push it more for people who also don’t know about it to know this style.
What would you say to anyone looking to get into fashion ?
Let purpose led you and prepare to risk it all .
In what ways would you say COVID-19 pandemic will affect the nature of the fashion industry?
Covid-19 pandemic has already affected the nature of the fashion industry for good and I believe this will continue.
For me it has change it in a good way, like crowded shows are not really needed anymore, you can equally do a show online and the world will still see it .
Having physical stores are becoming less important compared to having an online store and our way of doing business has change for good!
Any tips for young fashion entrepreneurs?
I have a few
- Don’t wait too long , start now.
- Protect your ideas , register your business and trademark soon as you start .
- You can’t do it alone ,have a team because team work makes dream work .