Saturday, October 15, 2005
Cape Fashion Weeks Says"...Ali Adam is a man of many faces, of many worlds, of many cultures. But essentially he is a man of Africa. Although a relative newcomer to haute couture, having recently launched his own label in the latter part of 2004, he is rapidly making his mark amongst discerning socialites.
Born in Kumasi in 1971, Ali’s mother, a skilled seamstress, instilled a sense of fashion in him from an early age. He spent the first 17 years in his native Ghana and was greatly influenced by the rich colours of the traditional Kente fabrics and diverse textures of this vibrant nation, which are evident in his exquisitely made garments today.
After completing his high-school education, Ali moved to Nigeria to study at Eleyele School of Fashion, honing his skill of traditional Ghanaian hand & machine embroidery techniques, which has since become his signature.
In 1993 he relocated to Johannesburg in South Africa to take up a job offer with Remote Clothing for 18 months. During this apprenticeship, interest from a Danish client prompted his next move.
In 1996 Ali moved to Copenhagen, where he spent two years working for an exclusive fashion house – Øhrolos. Exposure to the sophisticated European fashion scene left its mark indelibly on Ali’s work, yet the spirit of his creations continued to stem from a truly African soul. The result is an extraordinary fusion of Euro-African styles.
“ My creations combine those elements of life, of change and of surprise with a sense of luxurious comfort and exclusive well-being ”
His latest evening wear collection, named in honour of his home town – Kumasi, overlap textures that would otherwise never meet. Shot Taffata’s, combined with contemporary structured tailoring, embellished with silk thread and beading are sculpted into exquisite bodices defining the beauty of the female contours, complimented by heavy satin panelled skirts which skim the ground. His daywear is equally arresting, a shocking pink natural fray knee-length jacket with un-selvaged edges, over pagan orange crushed silk culottes would not look out of place worn in London’s, Kings Road.
Not surprisingly, his designs have attracted an exclusive list of clients from as far away as Washington DC, New York, Switzerland and the Netherlands. A highlight in this young man’s career was in 2004, when Ali was commissioned by Miss Sierra Leone, Miatta Dabo to dress her for the prestigious Miss Africa International 2004 Beauty Pageant held at the Lincoln Centre.
After these two consecutively successful shows, Ali was contacted by SABC 3 Free Spirit to dress their popular presenter Thame Ngubani
And perhaps the most important recognition of this young designers incredible talent comes from his peers. Notable among others are Sisterbucks and Zikomo who have both embellished their own ranges with the exquisite embroidery created by Ali and showcased at last years Cape Town Fashion week and the Civic Centre respectively.
Today, Ali lives and works in the heart of Cape Town, where he recently opened his first design studio in Shortmarket street..."
Photos Courtesy of Cape Town Fashion Week