Ciaa: Hello Abenaa and thank you for taking some time to do this interview can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Abenaa: London College of Fashion Design Graduate, Born and bread in South East London, 1 of four siblings. I Have always loved my roots and my culture and being British!
Ciaa: Well that's lovely , How did you get into Designing?
Abenaa: I loved fashion from an early age and during my time in Secondary School [High School] I enjoyed textiles, which allowed me to design and create anything from cushions to a dress.
Ciaa: I understand that many designers decide to only specialize in one thing ,but you design both clothes and shoes.Why both ?
Abenaa: They are both essential items that are needed.
Ciaa: They are both essential items indeed , now Do you only work with African fabrics?
Abenaa:No, I work with a range of fabrics, silks, fine yarns etc. I try not to limit myself to just using African prints, however this is of course my signature.
Ciaa: I've had a look at your OH! latest collection and it looks amazing – are you pleased with the outcome?
Abenaa Thank you very much . Yes i'm very pleased, it was a lot of hard work and investment. Its great when your ideas pull together to a positive end result.
Ciaa :Can you tell us about your latest collection and talk us through the key pieces . Do you have any favorites? ( picture of the pieces)
Abenaa: My favourite is the Gigi Mac and Noémie bustier dresses, the Mac is fun and colorful and very eye catching, everyone always looks back twice when I wear it! Noémie is elegant and make you feel womanly and seductively sophisticated.
Ciaa:For people like us who do not know much about the process of designing shoes – is your design process different when you design shoes compared to when you design clothes?
Abenaa:Yes and no, you still start of with an idea, initial sketches and CAD’s, of course the fabric and print selection is slightly different due to the difference requirements of performance of a dress as a pose to a shoe. The making process is where the difference actually lies.
Ciaa: What is the most interesting aspect of your job? And the worst?
Abenaa: Creating products for everyday people [from all walks of life] to wear, its a great feeling when someone loves a product that I have created. The worst part for me are the long hours! There is no rest, gotta keep it moving!
Ciaa:What's the best piece of advice you've been given as a designer?
Abenaa: Know your market, understand the commercial side and the business of fashion and not just the idea of a garment! Be consistent!
Ciaa: What is your take on the African fashion industry?
Abenaa: I think its growing, there are more and more designers popping up every week. I think its great but the industry should be careful not to seem repetative and out-dated.
Ciaa:Who is your fashion icon?
Abenaa: I don’t really have icons, however I do have people who I find aesthecially and stylishly interesting. Lady Gaga, Shingai from the Nosiettes and Bentley Fonsworth.
Ciaa: Are there any designers, past or present, that you would have liked to work with?
Abenaa:The late great Alexander McQueen I think the fusion of African prints and his tailoring and unique take on design would have been breathtaking. Also Marc Jacobs, I love his stylish lines, which could easily be translated or edited with an African influence.
Ciaa:yes, We were all saddened by his sudden passing , but his work will live forever. Where can we buy you beautiful pieces ? and do you ship worldwide?
Abenaa : you can find us on Shop.ohemaohene.com and yes we ship worldwide
Ciaa:Any new projects coming your way ( fashion shows for example or expending in North America)
Abenaa: yes we are currently working in a New menswear line.
Ciaa: Finally, do you have any fashion advice or styling tips you could give to our ciaafrique Afronistas?
Abenaa: Be bold, be beautiful and wear Ohema Ohene!
Here are few different ways you could contact Ohema Ohene
Online Boutique: http://shop.ohemaohene.com