Ghanaian menswear designer and FashionGHANA Awards Honouree, Oheneba was selected from Ghana to lecture their students at Kings College University about African print textiles and how best to use African print.
King’s is ranked in the top 25 universities worldwide* (QS World Rankings 2017/18) and based in the heart of London. With nine faculties, institutes and schools. This might not sound as explosive news, but it has been a long way coming for the general census of African fashion, to experience a day in history where a top international university will call on an African designer to educate them about the creations of African fashion.
For many years African students have rushed to the halls that hosted British and American creatives and professionals to grasp an inch of their experience and absorb it into the core fabric of their growth, but the tables must be turning tremendously in the fashion industry, when an African creative is sought for to bring his experience and knowledge to lecture the British about this beautiful world of African print and textiles and how it is best used.
Oheneba is the founder of Abrantie the Gentle, commonly known as Abrantie. Before creating the brand he studied Industrial Arts Industrial Arts and majored in Textiles at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology so it’s only right he was best fit for the job.
However, the designer also took the opportunity to learn from the experience, According to him “The experience was Insightful and educative, sharing knowledge with learned fellows who also have different scope to fashion and textiles from a creative point of view.”
When asked how he feels about the turning impact of the fashion indistry, he replied “Personally I see there is more to African fashion than just making clothes. These past few days has enlightened me more to think more of environmental and functionable wear with regards to what we produce. Careful note to materials we use and a broader picture to our brands. Academia tagging along with creatives brings a new dimension to our sense of production”
It seems Africa is yet to learn to value our work more, where as in Ghana the notion print fashion might just be a convinience and cost effective option as opposed a real appreciation of the culture. Many might not know but it is even cheaper to get a hold of print fabrics that it is of plain fabrics with little to no designs. And this might be scary to note that what is heavily valued abroad and hard to get hold of here, is neglected right here.
From travelling experience Abrantie believed that African prints are more valued abroad and adds “But we have a responsibility to make it enviable and valuable as put.”
The dilema is if Africa is willing to grab print by the horns before it also becomes and easy and accessible trend in the west.