African Fashion Week is the latest buzz in and around fashion circuits, held in New York this July, it promised to give us the crème de la crème of African inspired designs the most talented the continent has to offer, with over 21 designers from Africa and the diaspora this is one not to miss..Major of New York City Michael Bloomberg will be opening the event and I couldn't pass by the opportunity to interview the shows youngest designer Charlene Amankwah.
The beautiful Ms Amankwah herself.
1. How long have you been a fashion designer?
Literally all my life just not professionally. Designed lots of my own clothes and even custom designed garments I bought from the shops. But I've been professionally designing for almost two years.
2. What motivated to create your own collection?
It was what I was destined to do dreamt about it forever and did lots of sketches. One day, my dad and I had an argument about my supposed loss of interest in fashion and not long after that, I registered the company ;)
3. What is the name of your label?
4. Tell me about how you got involved with the Right2Rights foundation?
Right to rights foundation...can I just say how amazingly inspiring that organisation is? It just makes you want to do more with your life for the girls back home. They need successful role models and right to rights gives them that and more. So back to the question, I went to primary school with Lady May (the founder) so that's the link. Lol. When she told me about it, I thought it was a fabulous idea and I'm happy to do whatever I can to support right to rights foundation.
5. How are the preparations going for ny, how many pieces are u showing?
I'm showing 20 pieces.
6. "Nothing is impossible"what does this phrase mean to you
It means exactly what it says. You can do all things especially when there's a will, as they say where there's a will there's a way. And above all, with God all things are possible. Without God, I would have never gotten to this point. And I believe with him I will get farther.
7. Has being involved with r2r altered your perceptions in any way? if so why
Not really. I have always been a fan of giving back in whichever way you can. But what right to rights has done has created the avenue for me to give back to the people my story as inspiration. Like I said, if I can do it, anyone can do it
8 Can you offer advice for budding designers?
Go for it. Its not easy but with determination, God and support from those who matter, anything can be done. Don't let anyone tell u u can't be a designer. You can if you want to.
9. Aside for being a fashion designer, you are also a student, tell me about that and how you manage to successfully combine the two?
University is stressful but at the same time its fun. I think for me because they are two different things, its easier for me to do both. I study law which is great and I study two languages that I absolutely love. I love the variety: law, languages, fashion... Its exciting and I'm focused and determined to succeed in all these areas so I do and with God I will continue to.
10. Where can we see more of your collection!
Come to my show in new york or my show in london on the 17th of july. Otherwise, visit www.charleneamankwah.co.uk
I'm ending with a quote from founder and producer of AFWNY Adiat Disu
“Charlene Amankwah proves that talent is unrelated to age. This young designer of 20 is making waves on the fashion scene by creating timeless high fashion collections”
Nothing is impossible