APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Maa Akua Berko-Mensah: MABM Designs is a clothing label for women of all shapes and sizes, founded in 2011. Our mission is to adorn women with beautiful, sophisticated designs that will nurture their sense of style.
APiF: How does your heritage influence/inspire your designs?
Maa Akua: As a Ghanaian born and raised my rich culture and upbringing has the biggest influence on my designs. Hence the African prints I use.
APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
Maa Akua: An optimistic lady full of character and dreams.
APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
Maa Akua: I have a couple of pieces that I adore. One is called Limelight from the new collection and I love it because of its unique combination of African print and pastel cotton fabric and how well it works with it. It is a pencil skirt and a peplum top.
APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Maa Akua: I currently have a website which showcases and carries some of my ready-to-wear pieces. I also have a facebook page.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Maa Akua: Never let anyone bring you down; don’t focus on any obstacles but rather hold on to your dreams and aspirations. It is not easy – but as long as you are able to place yourself in a position to make it no matter what, you will make it.
APiF: What are your fashion plans for 2012?
Maa Akua: 2012 is a great year for us and we are moving higher. We have a major fashion show Africa Fashion Week New York, precisely July 13th 2012, where we will be showcasing a new collection. In September we will be taking part in a major show in LA – Ankara Festival – and some of our pieces will be available for sale.