Saturday, 30 December 2017

2017 in Fashion: Recap of the Year

This year has been another great one for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands
Just like each year, there have been new entrants onto the fashion scene and we have also seen an all most ‘no show’ from some of established brands. It was really exciting to see many others thrive to stay top of mind throughout the year.

One game changer for this year has been social media as it continuously play a crucial role for many fashion brands who have been able to build their brand presence online. They have created campaigns and contents that gave them a voice and made them match up to even established brands. 

Touching on major happenings in 2017, the challenges and the opportunities as we look forward to a greater and more fulfilling 2018.

Fashion Designers
There were quite some designers who have worked real hard this year to keep their brand visible and grow more reach. The likes of Sima Brew with her stunning Red Carpet Gowns, Ophelia Crossland, West African Ambassador for Swarovski, Christie Brown showcasing at Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Nadrey Laurent rebrand from Totally Ethnik, Afromod Trends showcasing in South Africa, Charlotte Prive, Atto Tetteh, Abrantie the Gentleman winning 
Designer of the Year Awards and a host of many others have had a great year as they worked at keeping their brand visibly all year through both online and offline.

This year also saw the return of DuabaSerwa with its Nsubura collection and subsequently showcasing at Glitz Africa Fashion Week 2017.
Without a doubt, the young fashion designers emerging have a lot to offer and I can’t wait to see what they add on in 2018. Designers such as Lakopue, LJ Couture, Qwame Owusu have equally had a great year as they have left quite an impressive impression on our minds.

Fashion Shows and Events
Fashion shows are known to be the biggest events on most fashion calendar anywhere. This year started off with Accra Men’s Fashion Week (AMFW) in May, Mercedes Benz Africa Fashion Festival (MBAFF) in July, Glitz Africa Fashion Week (GAFW) and Accra Fashion Week (AFWk) in October. These events have had their fair share of setbacks in terms of publicity, organization, venue and timing. Nonetheless, they managed to pull through their events successfully as we look forward a more revamped ones in 2018.

The graduate shows couldn’t be left out. Radford University, BlueCrest University, Joyce Ababio Creative College and Design, Riohs Originate and Dreams College of Creative Arts all organized their graduate shows in a grand style this year.
Other events that took place in the course of the year are Fashion Forum Quarterly Series, African Fashion Voices by African Fashion Guide, Jump on Glitz and crowning it with the Vlisco & Co launch at the Untamed Empire.

Fashion Media and Bloggers
The fashion industry couldn’t have survived without fashion media and bloggers as they brought us all we needed to know in the fashion world. From designer Lookbooks, Features, Events, Style tips etc these platforms have continued to curate and bring us daily contents. The likes of Debonair Afrik, TrendsandBlends, AuntieOboshie, Fashion Ghana, YaaSomuah, Ghana fashion marketing amongst others have been constantly on the radar throughout the year.

Hopefully 2018 will bring good fortunes in regards to more collaborations and unique contents, live coverage. Looking forward to a new year full of energy and great contents from these media platforms.

Fashion Awards
Awards are crucial for any organization in business to gain recognition for its products and services and the fashion industry couldn’t be left out of this. Winning awards allows you to distinguish your company/brand from competitors. This year, we witnessed only two (2) awards. The Glitz Style Awards and Afroma Awards.

Hopefully in the coming year, we will see Ghana Fashion Awards bounce back bigger and better or other industry awards that will recognize and reward great talent.

Challenges and next steps
The fashion industry in Ghana still struggles with many issues. First is lack of a body to regulate and support designer’s work and their creativity. No organization has been able to succeed in pulling the various stakeholders under one umbrella. With a fashion council or board, fashion designers and other creatives can begin to work effectively with support from government and other institutions and gain direction to be able to build global brands.

Also, with a fashion calendar which clearly shows which event is on which date, organizers will begin to take note when choosing dates for their event. That way, the incidence of having both GAFW and AFWk on the same weekend won’t occur again.

As we get ready to celebrate the Season and New Year, I wish all B&FT readers a wonderful season. I look forward to a greater 2018 as I bring you more exciting features, personal thoughts and news on “Fashion & More with Faith Senam”

Have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

(Post originally published in my column in the Business & Financial Times Newspaper on 22nd December 2017)
Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Why Building Relationships are Important for your fashion brand


In business, relationships are equally important and having a mutual beneficial relationship could go a long way to help your brand especially in times when you need it most. From your direct customers or clients to vendors, employees to anyone who is either directly or indirectly connected to your business, building a good relationship with them serves as a bedrock upon which your product can flourish.

For many startups and young businesses, it is important to start building your relationship early in order to gain trust and credibility which could serve as an extra advantage for you in this competitive and saturated market. Be it through good customer service, personal engagement, proactive communication, good relationship should be established at all levels.

Be it internal or external stakeholders, their role to the growth of your business varies and as such they all play a unique role that needs to be solidly built for the benefit of your business. Same way, any dent on these relationships could adversely affect all efforts put into it.

Building relationship also means establishing good communication lines between your company and these various stakeholders or publics.
Here are 4 ways why building relationships are important to fashion brands.

Helps you achieve your goals
Every company no matter how young the business is has company goals and objectives. By building good relationship with your publics for instance your employees, you are more likely to achieve your desired goal as they are able to work hard and bring on board their best ways which becomes beneficial to your business. You must work in harmony with everyone including the community within which you operate, that way they there is goodwill which is transferred onto the work and its growth.

Helps you reach the right target
As a fashion designer, your target markets are usually those who are interested in your buying and wearing your clothes. In order to reach such people, you need to communicate effectively using the right channels to reach them. With the good relationship with editors, bloggers, journalists, marketers etc you are able to create strategic visibility for your brand using the right channels thereby reaching your targeted market.

Puts you in a strong position when customers are making buying decision
In an age where social media is king, word of mouth is key. The kind of relationship you have with your customers influence what they say about you. Good relationships, loyalty and referrals are the order of the day. Many people buy products because of what they have heard about it. With that achieved, work at building a strong relationship with them such that they become loyal to the brand and then end up referring their friends to purchase as well.  

Easier access to funding
For startups looking to attract investors and some funding for their young fashion businesses, having a good relationship with the various stakeholders opens up opportunities for growth. With clarity on the company’s vision statement and mission, investors become confident of your business and possibly will want to invest in them.

The important thing to remember is that the earlier you build good relationships with the right publics for your brand, the better your chances at positioning your brand for opportunities that will further leap the fortunes of your company.

Through a mix of effective communications, good customer service and appreciation, feedback mechanisms and proactive engagements, you’ll be well on your way to being able to accomplish more as a strong fashion brand.


Faith Senam Ocloo
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Embracing your skin with Nokware Skincare

 
A beautiful skin is a woman’s pride. It radiates beauty and makes one look and feel confident. Keeping a good skin doesn’t come easy as one needs to engage in daily habits to guard the skin and maintain its natural state.

With issues such as discolorations, uneven skin tones, eczema among others staring in the face, one will go every mile in search for a skin care product that will clear all those issues. For many women, it’s such a relief to find that ideal skincare product that works on your skin.

Also in our part of the world, getting people to appreciate and embrace their own skin tones amidst all the challenges of dealing with skin issues is an ongoing discussion as people still think having a lighter skin is preferable and prettier.

On this premise, Nokware Skincare was recently launched for people looking to find a product that is not only natural and organic but one that encourages people especially Africans to embrace their own skin and natural beauty.

Tutuwa Ahwoi, a Ghanaian and Thato Tau, Motswana both founded Nokware Skin care range of products. Nokware translated in Twi as “Truth” is not just your regular skincare range of products. It is 100% organic made from the finest ingredients sourced from sustainable local farms in West Africa.

Sharing their journey on starting Nokware Skincare products, Tutuwa explained that while studying in Paris sometime in 2014 they had problems with their skin but couldn’t find any product that worked. Upon using our very own Sheabutter and Alata Samina their skin began to take shape and fell back to its natural state. This birthed the idea earlier this year to start a Skincare product to cater to the many people who needed a natural and organic product especially for those living abroad.

Few years down the line, Nokware was launched in September and has since then made an impressive entry onto the Ghanaian market and has been received well by many consumers. The more exciting and hearty bit about the brand is its organic product and sustainable beauty packaging which is increasingly appealing to consumers in recent times.

It has Calabash which is the cut and dried fruit of the gourd plant and is recyclable. The Calabash covers are made from natural jute fibres from the jute plant. The raffia is derived from a palm tree native to tropical Africa and the brown paper is made from the unbleached wood pulp and is recyclable. This certainly makes Nokware products as eco-friendly as possible.

Currently being sold via online and in shops such as Elle Lokko and Juben House of Beauty and Healthy Shops in Labadi as well as some major outlets in Botswana, plans are also underway to begin selling in Nigeria and other African countries.

Tutuwa stated that “Nokware is made for anyone with skin, babies, children, men, women as there is a product for each skin category be it oily skin, dry skin but not for anyone looking to have a lighter skin tone”

Nokware beauty soup product offering comes in four (4) variants namely the Original African Black Soap, Neem Oil Black Soap, Activated Charcoal Black Soap and Shea & Baobab Oil Black Soap all of which are handmade and sourced locally. Other additions introduced include the organic Loofah Body Exfoliator and Sponges which makes bath equally an eco-friendly experience.
As a young brand, challenges are inevitable as Tutuwa mentioned trading among other African countries as one of the hurdles they have had to cross so far. She said “our biggest challenge is getting the product out of Ghana to other countries in Africa where unlike the EU countries, it’s easier to trade among each other; it is very difficult to do same here in Africa”.

She added that Social media has played a significant role since their launch as many orders and purchases were made via their Instagram account.
In the next coming years, Tutuwa discloses that there will be new more additions such as the Sheabutter to the range of products while working to make Nokware a global brand. At the core of this is for Nokware Skincare to be available for anyone looking for a natural and organic product that appreciates and embraces ones’ own skin color.
Founders (Tutuwa & Thato)
Nokware Skincare






This post originally appeared on my column in the Business and Financial Times Newspaper on November 17, 2017


Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Menswear: Seen the 'Son of Gold' Collection by Atto Tetteh?

Accra based menswear brand ATTO TETTEH has launched its latest collection “Son of Gold Coast’ as a tribute to Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Otumfuo Opoku Ware II both very important figures in Ghanaian history.

The collection ‘Son of Gold Coast’ eulogizes these great men poetically in “We went back to our roots. Gold Coast; the land of Gold and Hopes. From there we sought to be inspired; And Eureka we found; An heir to the throne; An illustrious son, so prominent and astute; He had a unique style that gave him an identity; This style we brewed in our African pot; To create a collection so rich with culture yet very modern; We told the Gold Coast story with Color, warmth and sartorial elegance.”

This collection which was first showcased at the 2017 Glitz Africa Fashion Week few weeks ago received a great applause from the audience for its cultural and historical cohesion for each look all pulled together to tell a story of the Gold Coast man with a modern touch.

The use of colorful floral print, stripes, fugu (handwoven), leather and embroidery on jersey fabric which focused more on color, texture and technique were specially made for the modern African man with knowledge about his own culture and history.  Colors such as emerald green, pink, mustard, black, oatmeal and gold were used to convey a unifying message.

The ATTO TETTEH brand launched in October 2014 was named after the Designer and Creative Director Atto Tetteh. The brand has since then become one of Ghana’s consistent menswear brand. ATTO TETTEH serves as the luxuriating brand which provides men all over the world with quality and trendy clothes with a touch of African culture.

The brand has so far released five (5) collections since its launch with earlier collections such as Atto Tetteh Army, The Artisan, Tohazie (The Red Hunter), Aqua Safari, and Aloo (Woven) all of which garnered the buzz and attention of many fashion lovers.

 “With very carefully selected fabrics and immense attention to detail, we construct clothes that fit and makes THE ATTO TETTEH man exquisite”, Atto Tetteh said.

He added that “Africa has a story yet to be told and that the African man is bold, strong and courageous and has always been known fashionable and color, warmth, energy, sophistication and sartorial elegance is our description of this fashion sense.”

With a strong design aesthetic which is largely inspired by his African culture and environment, Atto Tetteh passionately tells the African story through the making of elegant and sophisticated clothing, carefully and meticulously constructed for the ATTO TETTEH client.

At the core of ATTO TETTEH is the creation of Timeless and Original pieces with the utmost Quality that pleases many of its clients. These carefully selected ethos guides their activities, products and services, and most especially in their relationship with customers. It’s upon these pillars that the ATTO TETTEH brand is built.

With a strong foundation on good customer relations and a vivid understanding of men’s fashion for the modern African, ATTO TETTEH is certainly becoming one of the favorite menswear brand in Ghana.









 These pieces are available on their website and social media page for purchase. You know you got to own one. Contact +233 546638335 or email info@attotetteh.com
Website: www.attotetteh.com Facebook: Atto Tetteh Twitter: @attotetteh Instagram: @attotetteh



Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Sunday, 12 November 2017

5 Emerging Ghanaian Fashion Brands you should know about

Emerging designers always have a way of breathing some freshness onto the fashion scene. They bring on board lots of energy and new creative direction that gets us yearning to see what is next for these designers.

Without a doubt there is still a lot of work to be done after you debuted your brand and made quite a great impression on many, the expectations become high and designers can only work harder to keep the momentum alive.  With each year serving us some new entrants of young talented designers, we certainly are looking forward to what their next collections will be and how they will keep being top of mind.

In no particular order, here are my 5 emerging Ghanaian fashion brands who have made great entry onto the scene and ones you should by now know about them too.

Larry Jay Couture
Anyone at Accra Men’s Fashion Week held earlier this year, will affirm that Larry Jay’s collection was one of the best for the entire show. Timeless legacy which happens to be his debut collection introduces clothing and accessories for both men and women. The brand brought some new feeling to urban wear through oversized wax print shirts and fitting pants/joggers, oversized silky tunics, shorts, open front cardigans, shawls, infinity scarves, etc  He also showcased at the 2017 Edition of Style Lounge and the Flower and Garden Fashion Show. This brand is certainly one to look out for in the coming year.

Quophi Akotuah
This designer is becoming a strong one on the Ghanaian fashion scene and obviously have had a great year already having won the Emerging Designer Award at this year’s Glitz Style Awards and nominated for the Creative Designer of the Year at Men’s Fashion Week Nigeria. He has also collaborated with GTP in producing his collections which have been spotted on some top celebrities in Ghana. Quophi Akotuah opened this year’s Glitz Africa Fashion Week held at the Kempinski Hotel. He brings a lot of energy and vibrancy onto the fashion scene, one which has caught our eyes and interest and looking forward to seeing more.

Akua Asante
I fell in love with this brand the first time I saw it. It was full of life and had bold colors and playful look that attracted my interest. Her pieces draws inspiration from her Ghanaian heritage interspersed with influences from cultures across the globe. The bold signature and unique craftsmanship of her pieces coupled with vibrant colors makes her designs stand out. Akua Asante made her debut appearance during her graduate show at the Marangoni Graduate Fashion Show in 2016 and has since then made a great impression with each piece she makes.

Qwame Owusu
Quame Owusu came into prominence in 2015, when he won the much coveted Vlisco Students Awards at Joyce Ababio College of Creative and Design (JACCD). He has since then been working and producing great designs for Vlisco and GTP fashion campaigns. Few months back he was adjudged with the Best African Collection after debuting his Perfect Ashlar collection in GTP Fabrics at the #DFF2017 ramp at the Durban Fashion Fair in South Africa. This designer is certainly one to watch in the coming years.

Lakopue
This young designer has had a good year so far after introducing his debut collection “The Atelier by Lakopue”. A collection which emphasizes on craft and the idea of every profession being an art. Prior to debuting his collection, he has worked with Woodin for some of their fashion campaigns and shows. Lakopue showcased at the recently held Glitz Africa Fashion Week 2017 where he had a presentation alongside other talented designers. As they say, the future is bright for Lakopue and we can only wish him the best.


I wrote this article originally for Debonair Afrik Creative Issue
Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Friday, 27 October 2017

Speaking at the 233 Models Summit on "Secrets to becoming a Successful Model"

Last week, I was invited by my very good friend Nana Mensah, founder of Accra Mens Fashion Week and Mr. Model Africa to speak to aspiring Models on the "Secrets to becoming a successful Model".

I shared the platform with 2 known faces within the Ghanaian Modeling Industry Prince IB and Shirley Selase Anku and Mrs. Mabel Adu, CEO of Alloette Africa.

It was a pleasure to do so because as a Fashion PR Specialist for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, I had the opportunity to also speak to them on building a brand on Social Media as a Model. I advised them not to overlook Visual Branding and storytelling by creating unique contents on social media. Additionally, I told them to carve a niche for themselves by truly understanding who they are as a model and learning to live what they portray by being consistent with their brand offerings and thriving to build strong relationships both online and offline.

Here is what the other speakers shared: 

Speakers at the event included Mrs. Mabel Adu, CEO of Alloette Africa. As a beauty and Skincare Expert, Mrs Adu highlighted the need for models to take very good care of their skin by eating healthy, drinking lots of water, eating fruits daily and keeping a good lifestyle. She emphasized that the skin is essential to the success of models and as such models need to know their skin type and know what kinds of products they apply on them.

Prince IB a renowned model and CEO of TM Model Management who has worked for many brands in Ghana and walked many runways also advised attendees first to keep to time if they really want to succeed in this industry. He added that there is a place for any aspiring model who is invests in researching and learning about the industry and attend auditions well prepared with the right requirements and willing to take up challenges when no one dares to do it.

Shirley Selase Anku, a Ghanaian beauty who has starred in many commercials and editorials for international brands admonished aspiring models to have a thick skin if they want to survive in the fashion industry. She added that models need to know their worth and their body inside out in order to deliver on the job when contracted. Shirley also told models to sign up with the right agencies in order to get in-house trainings who will equally manage their client relationship and prospect for jobs on their behalf.


233 Models Summit promises to be a yearly event as part of Mr. Model Africa Competition to search for the ideal Male Model which is taking place on Saturday 28th October, 2017 at the Providence Event Place, Trade Fair.


Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Selina Beb's Kente Collection


If there is one Ghanaian accessory brand that has transcended the borders of Ghana especially onto the European market, it certainly is Selina Beb. From the fine details of each piece to the quality and choice of fabric used, Selina Beb is definitely a proudly Ghanaian made brand.

Founded and designed by Selina Bebaako-Mensah, Selina Beb brand has grown to become one of the favorites for many fashion lovers and have over the past years proven to be a consistent accessory brand growing steadily to a household brand.
Launched in 2012, the brand is known for its colorful, rich and quality pieces ranging from bags, footwears, jewelry made for women, men and children.

Selina Beb is seen at almost all major fashion and trade events in Ghana and has also participated in many fashion shows in Ghana, London, USA, Italy and beyond.
At the recently held Neskael Corporate Show at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Ms Bebaako-Mensah as usual thrilled attendees when she outdoored her 2018 Collection called the Kente Collection.

With this year’s theme “Celebrating 60 years of rich Ghanaian culture & continuous economic growth through arts” the launch of the SB Kente Collection was timely as it gave the designer the opportunity to re-echo the ‘Kente’ fabric as a key part of our Ghanaian cultural heritage.

According to Ms. Bebaako-Mensah she was inspired to do a Kente collection based on the theme for this year’s Neskael Show. She added “I wanted to do something that is really truly Ghanaian, something that truly represents us as Ghanaians.”
Being an annual event organized by Neskael Travel and Tours, the event is aimed at showcasing Ghana’s cultural heritage and values through fashion.

The multiple award winning accessories designer brand has been recognized globally for making very beautiful African inspired pieces with this time round focusing more on doing something that is truly Ghanaian and one that reveals who we are as a people and she felt what better fabric could she used than our very own Kente.

This collection features the SB Bags in several variants and accessories handmade with the authentic Kente fabric as well as that of the Woodin designed kente fabric.
Selina Beb is a recipient of many awards with the most recent ones won at the Bi-Annual European & International Women Inventors (EIWIIN) Awards in Italy.

Selina Beb aims at making its customers feel like royalty when using their bespoke items. Products are made with genuine leather, high quality African wax prints, rare and unique beads and the best in raw materials that are all carefully handpicked by the designer to ensure the best possible final product.

Being a proudly made in Ghana, Selina Beb Bags, Footwear and Accessories are all made by hand and each item is made with the upmost effort, care and love.


With a blend of rich Ghanaian history and culture coupled with modern and innovative ways of making bespoke pieces, Selina Beb has become the go to for many Ghanaian accessory lovers.

Below are images of the new collection. You can shop these at their store located near PhotoClub, Osu or call 0543459000.









Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts