Sunday, August 05, 2007
Akua Adoma's Nana Boateng
Nana Boateng's website talks about his love for fashion and how he had to decide to be a designer rather than an athlete.The Sartorialist blog which according to Time magazine is one of 100 top Design Influences describes Nana as "...a guy that loved life and used his clothing as a way of expressing that joy..."
Akua Adoma also says "...A Ghanaian proverb instructs: “Let not what you cannot do tear you from what you can do.” These ancient words undoubtedly resonated with the gifted designer Nana Boateng, as in 2001, he pondered a major decision to make a radical career shift to fashion. Up to then, the Ghanaian, New York-bred designer’s sights had been set on athletics: once it became evident that this would no longer be a viable option, the designer looked about him and drew inspiration for his nextsteps from the powerful, stylish women of his family.
Nana’s aunt, Afia Akoto, studied design at the highly-regarded Scuola di Moda Ida Ferri in Roma. Ms. Akoto has in fact made her home and livelihood there for the last twenty years, and was Nana’s entrée to the concept of meticulous tailoring, clearly evident in his work since. The innate sense of style routinely displayed by Nana’s mother, Akua Adoma, had an invaluable influence as well. Mrs. Adoma is also an artisan of the exquisite lace used in the traditional clothing of Ghanaian women. It was no stretch for Nana, then, embark upon this career shift, and simultaneously to honor the legacy of his family’s women by naming his firm Akua Adoma.
The shirt collection, presented in Roma and London, was exceedingly well-received. The attention garnered provided the impetus for the line’s growth. Nana then turned his attention to the vast United States market. He soon established an atelier in the
luxury capital of Beverly Hills, where his sophisticated turn on men’s suiting has gained an intensely loyal following amongst Hollywood’s style elite.
Sony Pictures Entertainment provided the catalyst for Nana Boateng’s West Coast success. The relationships forged at the film conglomerate enabled extensive exposure for the Akua Adoma line, through costuming for major films and executives alike.
With an inborn design compass, a sensitive world-view shaped by his Ghanaian ancestry
and the classic eye of the revered European design tradition, Nana Boateng is infinitely well-suited to conquer the 21st century fashion universe..."
Excerpts and Photos courtesy of Akua Adoma. website