Thursday, April 2, 2009

ASCHOBI DESIGNS BY ADAMA KAI

Name: Adama Kargbo
Age: 24 years
Country: Sierra Leone


Adama is a recent graduate of Parsons school of Design (Paris, France) and she recently returned to her native Sierra Leone from New York to launch her first label; Aschobi Designs.


Her collection gives a modern twist to vintage 1960s African couture. She could have chosen to launch her label anywhere in the world but Adama chose her native Sierra Leone as the birth place of Aschobi Designs because of her unshakeable conviction in the rebirth and redevelopment of this country.


Her collection is a celebration of the career minded African woman who balances family, community and work obligations with grace, elegance and beauty.
Here below is a few exerpts from an interview she gave to Ladybrille.

LADYBRILLE.com: You complete your fashion degree at Parsons in Paris and then you decide to move back to Sierra Leone. Why?
Adama: I wanted change, in design, opportunity and what I view as unexplored territory. I was helping to nurture the talents of others whilst mine had become stagnant. I had all this experience in different areas of the fashion industry but nothing that really set me apart from my peers. Right now in NYC, Paris, Milan, London there are millions of recent fashion school graduates that are looking for that opportunity to start their own line or design for big fashion houses like Balenciaga, YSL, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I like competition. I believe it brings out attributes in an individual that one may not even be aware of, but more importantly I like to challenge myself. In this industry from what I have observed 90% of an individual’s success lies on who you know and what opportunities come your way. Hard work and self determination is a must. So I made the decision to move home with all the experiences I had gathered throughout my education and with a dream to start a clothing line that would catapult African Fashion into the mainstream fashion arena.

LADYBRILLE.com: What a busy day! What does the name Aschobi mean?
Adama: ASCHOBI is a play on the spelling of the Yoruba word “Aso ebi”. It is a concept that is practiced throughout the West African region. For any particular event or any particular gathering in which a group of individuals want to be identified as a unit, they will choose to wear the same material sometimes in the same style. [It is done ] to be exclusive but at the same time inclusive.


LADYBRILLE.com: What influences your designs?
Adama: As a designer for an African clothing line, it is safe to say that I am very much influenced by the textiles and different materials I come across. But I would think all designers whether they are fashion designers or architectural designers are greatly influenced by the materials they used. Otherwise my work is influenced by so many different mediums.I am a visual person so anything that I come across in my daily life: a book, hairstyle, jewelry, any particular ethnic group, a movie, song, architecture, historical time periods I can go on. In the case of Aschobi, I find myself constantly asking myself how will the new African woman pull this look or style off? How can she maintain her African lifestyle at a black and white affair without having her outfit look too traditional? This is a concept that influences my work greatly, that my customers feel that they can wear their Aschobi not only in Africa but anywhere in the world and they feel comfortable and confident in it.


LADYBRILLE.com:Describe your clientele. Who is the Aschobi woman?
Adama: The new African woman is the Aschobi woman. She is global, international, intercontinental, socially responsible, fashion conscious and fashion forward. She is a chameleon that can blend into any setting but still leave a mark and this is often because of her choice of dress. She is educated, a professional and is concerned with what happens when tradition meets modernity. She is confident.

LADYBRILLE.com: Where can our readers reach you to purchase your garments?
Adama: We are located at 17 Pademba Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone. We also have a facebook page titled Aschobi Designs. Our website is under construction and will be ready before Christmas. But, you can still visit it to see pictures of various styles and photoshoots we have http://www.aschobishop.com/
We can also be reached at infoaschobi@gmail.com.
LADYBRILLE.com: Where do you see Aschobi in five years?
Adama: In five years I see the Aschobi shop on 17 Pademba Road standing as a landmark in Sierra Leone. I see Aschobi products being carried by major department stores and boutiques through out the Diaspora. I see Aschobi as a household name in the fashion industry on the continent of Africa. I see the Aschobi website as a place where all these things and the Aschobi lifestyle merge and it becomes a place for people to satisfy their craving for all things Aschobi.


I hope you liked her designs and her vision for Aschobi Designs. For the full interview, please visit: http://www.ladybrilleblogazine.com/2008/10/ladybrille-woman-of-month-adama-kai-of.html
Fah-schyonysta!

5 comments:

assa said...

Hi
I love your blog, I guess we like the same thing . I wish there were more people like us that love and blog about African fashion!!!!!!
keep up the good work.

Ciaa said...

Hi
I love your blog, I guess we like the same thing . I wish there were more people like us that love and blog about African fashion!!!!!!
keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

she knows her stuff! love the catwalk in the street.

ngum

Fah-schyonysta said...

Thank you Ciaa / Assa - I definitely want to shout about it from the rooftop!
Vive l'Afrique!

Fah-schyonysta said...

Ngum, me tooo! I love the dycotymy she has going on fusing the dirty streets with her clean cut designs!