Ghana Is My Muse: Behind the Ahofe Fashion Line

“The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within, strength, courage, dignity”- Ruby Dee, African American Actress

Last December, I decided that starting 2018 I was breaking up with fear, leaving my crippling inhibitions, anxiety and baggage in 2017. It was too heavy a load to carry and it inhibited the growth of my creative endeavors. I vowed to myself that I would make bolder moves, take up more space and be more confident in launching my entrepreneurial projects.

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Growing up between African American and Ghanaian cultures, I exuded confidence but inside felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I was too African for African Americans, who were brainwashed, and too African American for Ghanaians who had amnesia about where African Americans were from. I climbed a rocky mountain to overcome this insecurity. Making it to the top didn’t happen overnight but the journey was an incredible one. They say pressure makes the diamond, and I couldn’t agree more. I had to travel to my home country and embark on series of voyages to get to this spiritual destination.

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Through learning in Ghana about my family history and exploring the similarities and uniqueness within my two heritages, it was revealed to me just how rich my ethnic backgrounds are. In Ghana, I found more peace to think because there was less ‘noise’. In my language Akan, we refer to this as ‘asomdwe’, or peace of mind. This state of meditation I was able to acquire emboldened me to develop stronger foundations of self. That is where I discovered what beauty means to me. It is the continuous cycle of learning through discovery and growth.

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I now see myself as a link or bridge to connect these two distanced families. Every story I tell is an outlet that honors the beauty of transformation, the African Diaspora and our innate creative genius.

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Taken in Kumasi, Ghana

 

I created Asiedua’s Imprint in August of 2016, a lifestyle and wellness travel brand, to encourage young creatives of color to harness their creative passions and build things that make the world a better place.

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View from my father’s house in Nsawam, Ghana

At the end of 2016, while in Ghana, I began designing my first fashion collection for Asiedua’s Imprint. Through becoming closer with my Ghanaian family and heritage I was inspired. I wanted to create something that allowed for all of the seeds of the diaspora to reconnect with their African roots through this fashion collection. So much of African American identity has been tainted seeing as though our African  culture was forcibly taken from us. Collaborating with seamstresses to bring my visions to life is an incredible creative journey that I don’t take for granted. It is important for me to make contributions to the motherland and make it stronger.

This collection is a physical manifestation of me reclaiming my African heritage for African Americans. This line is dedicated to them and all of our ancestors who struggled before us.

The premiere collection for this fashion line, which is called the ‘Ahofe’ (Aho uh fe), tells the story of a young flossy Ghanaian-American celebrating the duality of cultures in which she exists. Ahofe, which means beauty in the Akan language of Ghana, was given the name of the collection to exemplify the beauty that women of the African Diaspora exude. It honors femininity, boldness, bright colors, and the beautiful journey of life.

Here is a preview of the collection. My sister and I wore this design at last year’s Odunde festival. This is the ‘Ataa’ (Ah taah) bustier top + choker set.  Ataa means twin. It was inspired by my sister and I’s relationship. People usually call us twins so it was only right that I pay homage. #sisterhoodispriceless

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I’m pleased to announce that the Ahofe collection will be out soon! Stay blessed, hustle hard and play hard! This is our time. Lets get it.
xoxo,

Nana Ama

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