Check-out the interview with the designer of the label Duaba Serwa, winner of the Emerging Designer of the Year Award in 2011 at the Ghana Fashion Awards, as well as winner of the Young Creative Entrepreneur Fashion Award.
APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Nelly Hagan-Aboagye: Duaba Serwa is a mixture of innovative intricate details, structure, textures and new types of volumes. My story is about bold effortless beauty and I pride myself in the construction of luxurious style lines that caters to the woman who prefers understatements to flamboyant extravagance.
APiF: How does your heritage inspire/influence your designs?
Nelly: I am inspired by sensibility, I use a lot of beads in my work. In Africa beads symbolize, amongst other things, fertility, hierarchies within communities and wealth. To me the singular eloquence of beading completes and qualifies my garments into ornaments of value.
APiF: How do u feel about the current trend regarding all things “African”?
Nelly: I am pro African. It’s encouraging to see our translation of fashion interpreted in so many ways by so many international designers. It simply shows that we are doing something right, and if we continue in that direction, our major cities might just earn the title ” fashion capital “.
APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
Nelly: It’s a fully beaded red corset dress made from cheese cloth cotton. It is so comfortable and definitely a dress I’ll treasure always.
APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Nelly: Fortunately I have had the opportunity to participate in a couple of runway shows away from my home country, which has brought about a decent level of exposure.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Nelly: God is definitely in charge of everything, but be enthusiastic and passionate about what you do. Work hard at perfecting your craft on the basis of authenticity and originality and you could potentially build a business you can be proud of which will not only earn you a living, but provide you a lifestyle you aspire to.
APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
Nelly: Hopefully more runway shows, a flagship store and select line extensions.