APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Adjoa Acquah: My name is Adjoa Acquah and I am the creative designer behind the luxury jewelry label Joansu Jewelry. Joansu pieces are all limited edition and inspired by travel. The current Spring Summer 2012 collection reflects the vibrant colors of Accra (“Africanista Conversations”), the sophistication of Paris (“La Lune”), the serene beauty of Cape Town (“Cape Town”), the playful beach collection (“Boju Beach”) and the elegant charm of Vienna (“Music”).
APiF: What inspires you?
Adjoa: My inspiration derives from the color palette that paints my memory of a specific city/location and a bold visual element that invokes a strong connection to this city/location. The Spring/Summer color palette includes off-white, yellow, orange and blue hues, celebrating the freshness and sunshine of the season. Joansu jewelry is hand-made in London and is crafted from the finest materials, including precious stones such as sapphires, topaz, citrine and clear resin.
APiF: How does your heritage influence your designs?
Adjoa: I have always admired African women who accessories fearlessly – loud earrings and bangles, matching and mismatching colors and shapes. I am also inspired by the structural elegance of Vienna, Austria, where I spent much of my childhood.
The jewelery I design is therefore bold and feminine; taking into account the influences that have shaped my conception of beauty from Ghana and Austria. My African heritage is most prominent in the Africanista Conversations collection: a tribute to the beautiful and revolutionary women of Africa whose conversations, passions and strength create change.
The prints and patterns of the African textiles, with meanings that are often deeper than the attractiveness of their design, are captured and encased in clear resin to create a unique collection of modern glamorous jewelery. Hidden in the name Joansu is another link to Ghana. Joansu is a combination of my name ‘Adjoa’ and ‘nsu’ (water in Akan). The symbol mimics the Mmeeda geometrical pattern of Ghana’s Kente cloth – a pattern that means “something that has not happened before” – a subtle reminder to approach each day in that spirit: full of wonder, anticipation and love.
APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Adjoa: Happy, structured but unfussy.
APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece of your collection and why?
Adjoa: I love the Africanista Conversation Drum collection Cuff (see on the left) because it was the first of my designs. It carries many happy memories of my journey and is great with a pair of jeans for an easy going summer look. I also love the Cape Town collection Topaz Statement Earrings – it is just a “wow” piece that always draws attention. Honestly, each piece is a favorite because they are all conceived with love and reflection and all are limited editions. Each one has its story and place in the Joansu family.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Adjoa: Capture your dream in private and share only initially with a trusted partner, friend or sibling who can prop you up when you feel like giving up. Be authentic from the start – people are watching.