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Sunday, November 6, 2011

"It is okay to Bee funky sometimes" - Interview with Bee Arthur, Designer of the Afro-Cosmopolitan Label B’EXOTIQ

"It's okay to BEE funky sometimes"
APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs: 
Bee Arthur: B’EXOTIQ is an eclectic line of chic clothing which reflects my multi-cultural background. 

APiF: When and why did you start designing with African Prints and Fabrics?
Bee Arthur: I have been in fashion since 1995. It was a hobby and a way to personalise clothes I bought in boutiques. Plus, I was frustrated that at the time no one made funky and well finished clothes in Ghana, for a funky and stylish girl like myself. By 2001, I won the Kora Fashion Award for my colorful but elegant approach to Afro-Cosmopolitan fashion.
 

APiF: How do u feel about the new African Prints/Fabric trend?
Bee Arthur: I am really happy about this trend. Today, African print is no more associated with older folks or traditional events. The funky African crowd now eagerly wears African prints as compared to 10 - 15 years ago. The new fabrics have appealing colors and fun designs, and designers are doing lovely things with them.
 

APiF: Is African Print in the fashion industry here to stay?
Bee Arthur: There seems to bee some sort of re-awakening and consciousness of one's origins amongst the African youth. If the manufacturers keep coming up with exciting cloth and the designers do their magic, this trend will continue for a while. But the nature of fashion is such that what is hot today, is not tomorrow. We can only hope, that this fascination stays with us for some time.
 

APiF: What inspires u?
Bee Arthur: Everything! African cloth, European clothes, Asian fabrics, paintings, sculptures, flowers, insects, fruits.

APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why? 

Bee Arthur in her red tunic with Matryoshkas
Bee Arthur: I really love to make very colorful clothes, but personally I wear a lot of white and black. I love my white lace blouse that I made years back but it's never outmoded. I also love my red tunic with Russian nested dolls (Matryoshkas) embroidered on the back and with motifs from mud cloth (bogolan) in front. I love these items because they are not necessarily trendy, but they are stylish and they always look "actuel".

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?

Bee Arthur: I have very select and loyal customers who have been with me for many years. They always send their friends and colleagues to my shop. I post my clothes on my web site and I use my professional page on facebook to market my clothing line. I also participate in fairs and fashion shows across the globe. I am working on retailing in Paris next year. And hopefully, someone who is reading your blog will get in touch!

APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
 
Bee Arthur: Know the difference between being a seamstress and a designer. A designer is a poet. Designers must tell their own story through their clothes, not replicate someone else's verses. They must constantly seek inspiration, but never imitate. That, plus fine finishing and attention to detail, is the key to success.

Find out more about B'EXOTIQ:
www.facebook.com/bexotiq
www.bq.awuraba.com

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