As I waltzed through the glass doors into the boutique, I felt like I had stepped into a Pan-African fashionista’s dream closet. The rich cultural cadences of afrobeats danced on my eardrums, and the colorful, eclectic and classy fashion pieces surrounded me like a breath of fresh air. On December 23rd, 2019 at 6pm in Accra, Ghana, The Lotte, Ghana’s premeire boutique and ‘Curated African Concept Store,’ hosted their grand opening.
The Lotte, situated at Icon House, North Liberation Link, on the floor just below the Coco Lounge, proudly showcases African artisan’s work. I initially learned about The Lotte when I attended the lovely fashion blogger Hayet Rida’s Meet and Greet, and I was intrigued to learn from Melissa, a retail associate, that the shop showcases strictly African brands. I introduced myself to Afua Rida, because hello, I was a fan of her work, and she told me the grand opening would be happening in a few days. #Boom! Asiedua’s Imprint was in there like #Swimwear.
Ms. Adelaine Akuffo-Addo, the shop owner, welcomed customers warmly with her calm, regal presence. Dreamy Afua Rida fluttered around the shop, interacting with customers. Passionate photographer Daniel Bonsu scouted the scene intently, looking for the perfect frame to capture this historical moment. Some of the beauty brands whose products can be found in the shop are Minku, Kinkou, Talata and Nokware. Fashion brands such as Simone & Elise, Ohemaa, Larry Jay, Nana Wax, Wote, Funke Adepoju, Dira Delicious and Selina Beb fill the shop with their powerful pieces.
This boutique breaks barriers with its all African brands and designers. Melissa says “If you are looking for African décor or skin care, this is the place you should come to.” Renee Nesblet, the mastermind behind the fashion brand Wato, which means ‘go’ in the Ga language, says “At Wato, we use repurposed fabric, promoting sustainable fashion in the industry. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, behind oil, which is number one. We use items like tablecloths and sheets to make our products.” You can find Wato’s esquisite, sustainable designs at The Lotte.
Ghanaians have acquired a taste for foreign products, and some would even say products from ‘outside’ are seen as superior to Ghanaian made items. As The Lotte sets an example of how promoting our own products can help change the narrative and transform our economy, African fashion continues to play a greater role in artistic expression and international development.
As President Nana Akuffo Addo rightly says, “We have to get away from the idea that there is some Father Christmas who’s going to come and develop our continent for us. There is no Father Christmas, there is just us.” Promoting African designers in high fashion is revolutionary, because for a long time, Africa was left out of the high fashion scene, and sat at the back of the bus, while European fashion occupied the front seats.
More and more people of the diaspora, especially Ghanaians, are taking our destiny into our own hands and shaping something beautiful for generations to come. It is a great and encouraging time for Ghana in many ways, and as the Year of Return comes to an end, we see a light at the end of the tunnel, which is Africa being developed in many sectors, FUBU style- For Us, By Us. Stop by The Lotte today. Connect with them on Instagram at @thelotteaccra. Experience Daniel’s captivating photography on Instagram at @danbnsu. Book him! Happy holidays from Asiedua’s Imprint.
Photography by Daniel Bonsu.