Monday, July 03, 2006
Alfred Tamakloe writes"....Casting spells on his audience with his works is very characteristic of the Ghanaian designer, Kofi Ansah. His reputation as an avant-garde designer is well known not only to Ghanaians but also among fashion connoisseurs world wide. Kofi's designs have been sold through retail shops in Ghana, South Africa, United States, United Kingdom and
Germany including Sachs Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales..."
"... Ansah stems from a family of artists. His father, a traditional chief from Senya Breku in Ghana's Central Region, is a musician and photographer. The renowned Ghanaian film-maker and twice FESPACO film festival award winner, Kwao Ansah is his brother. His younger sister, Araba Ansah who accompanied him to the Copenhagen fair,is a make-up artist while another brother, Tommy Ansah, main actor in Kwao Ansah's award winning film 'Heritage Africa', is actor and script-writer.
Kofi is a graduate of the Chelsea School of Art, London with honours in fashion design and design technology. His industrial practice after graduation in 1977, took him through Guy Laroche's studio in Paris to that of Cecil Gee in London, thereafter, gaining membership of the British Couture Collection.
"After 20 years in Europe, I returned to Ghana in 1992 to contribute to the development of the Ghanaian clothing industry," he says.
"..In the past, those who dressed in traditional clothes in Ghana, were perceived as uneducated people. So when I returned to Ghana, I made it a point to change that wrong perception. Hence my use of local fabrics of varied shades of colours to create fantasy in my designs so it will meet the different colour needs and perceptions of people, young or old, educated or not", affirms the 47-year old fashion designer.
"Today, the story is different. Everybody, particularly the youth and people in executive positions are proud to wear clothes made from local fabric. This has brought healthy competition among Ghanaian designers and a boom to the textile industry, which I'm happy about."
His input as a consultant to Ghana Textile Printing Company, has transformed the fortunes the company. It has for the last five years, rolled out unusual wax prints onto the Ghanaian and West African markets. They include "Sika Print" and "Ahenfie" collections.
"Judging from the interest shown by fashion enthusiasts and the Danish media during this fair," Kofi says, "I look forward to staging a full fledged hair-raising solo fashion show in Denmark in the future which will linger on in the minds of the audience for years..."
Excerpts of this article taken from Djembe.dk and photos from Kofi Ansah's website