Heroism in fashion
- Ozwald Boateng
A GNA Feature by Benjamin
Accra, Jan. 16, GNA - "Keep designing, keep designing.
Be clear to the vision and be committed to it", the
excited 39 year-old-man told his questioner.
"Fashion is one of the hardest businesses in the world.
It requires strong belief, prayer, determination to make
it, so keep designing", the Ghanaian fashion icon told
the Ghana News Agency.
The ability to gentrify colour in his clothing has been
the focus of numerous design led features as demand for
his unique style in interior design increases.
He is recognised in high circles in the global fashion
industry, and has much respect for Ghanaian designs and
But Ozwald Boateng, the man who for two decades has been
re-writing the established perceptions of Savile Row,
the home of British tailoring, says Ghanaian designers
have to be more entrepreneurial in thinking and approach
Boateng's more contemporary twist on the classical form
on Savile Row, has unveiled a new dawn of classic
British tailoring on an international stage by combining
the essence of British heritage, global glamour and
Ozwald is hopeful; that, there is a real rebirth of
opportunities in the fashion industry in Ghana.
He told the GNA in an interview after a fashion show at
the Golden Tulip in December 2006: "Keep designing. Be
clear about it and be committed to it."
The inventor of Bespoke Couture, the traditional fusing
of traditional tailoring and European designs, says the
numerous awards serve as inspiration to him.
Boateng received the "Officer Order of the British
Empire" from the Queen in 2006, for his services to the
clothing industry designs. He had earlier in 2002,
launched the Ozwald Boateng Headquarters in Savile Row.
To celebrate this, along with the Queen's Golden
Jubilee, Ozwald Boateng organised an event, during which
the street was closed and over a 100 metres of marquee
was erected down the middle of the streets, and 1,500
stellar guests were treated to the crème of a fashion
But the price of success is more inspiration, and then
more perspiration. "These are inspirational to me, and I
think to other Blacks in Europe.
"My obligation is to continue to succeed and build, and
by doing what I do and do it well."
In 2003, Boateng was appointed the first Black designer
to the position of Creative Director of Menswear at the
celebrated French Fashion House, Givenchy.
And he was also honoured in 2004, after 10 years of
making short films, with a retrospective of his work
Piti Immagine, in Florence Italy.
Boateng tells GNA: "I'm determined to make three feature
films, and one of them will be about an African hero.
"We need films about African heroes that could be
marketed to define our significance in the world. We
need to have more heroes, heroes that would be
recognised easily wherever you go in the world."
And the gains from the hard thinking, and pain of the
commitment would go into charity, to the aid of the