Interview with fashion designer Naana B.


Today I'm happy to bring you an interview with artist and designer, Naana B. With a solid fine art background, the "self-confessed dream chaser and globetrotter" embarked on a journey to create clothing and accessories inspired by art and adventure. She's making a splash all over the press and here Naana talks to us about her passion and her journey.


What's your passion?
Fashion and art! I'm an artist first and foremost and a designer, inspired by the arts. I think the way every woman chooses to dress says alot about her and how she views herself in the world.

What inspired you to go into fashion?
I studied sculpture and painting at Columbia University in NYC as an undergrad. I created installation art using fabrics. I taught myself how to sew and took supplemental classes at FIT and Parsons. Shortly thereafter, I starting designing clothes and handbags.


What has been your greatest obstacle/challenge?
In this business you meet a lot of people with different intentions. On a business level it's hard to find people who "truly" believe in what you're doing. I think my greatest challenge has been learning to trust people and take risks with business relationships.

How have you dealt with/overcome it?
I've had a lot of fantastic collaborations recently and that's because I went with my gut and jumped right in.

What has your greatest achievement been?
I think my greatest achievement has been this project. The Naana B line is produced by an NGO that my mother started in Ghana, the Rural Communities Empowerment Center. It's wonderful that I've been able to work with my mother on this project. Proceeds from the line go to the women artisans that produce the collection.

Where will you be in 10 years?
I hope to have returned to Ghana, be living there full-time and designing. I am currently based in New York but have always had my sights on moving back.


How does Africa inspire you?
Africa is such a motivating force. Having been raised in Zambia as a young child, I have so many positive things to say about where we are now, where we were as a continent, but above all, where we need to be!

Anything else you'd like to share?
For all those young designers out there, always remember to believe in yourself and what you are setting out to accomplish. Anything is possible!

Anything we should look out for in the coming weeks/months/year?
Naana B's Spring 2011 collection! Coming soon …



Images courtesy of Naana B.

Week in review





This past week market the launch of a project I'd been working on with non-profit, Epic Change – Epic Thanks. A global celebration of gratefulness honouring individuals who have created positive change in their communities and inspired hope in many. It's fantastic to be reminded of what a wonderful, and potentially widespread, impact we each can have when we truly apply ourselves in pursuit of our dreams. 

I spent the latter part of the week showing a visiting friend around town. Seeing a place through the eyes of someone who's seeing it for the first time, truly makes you appreciate it anew.

I guess the theme of my week was appreciation. Appreciation of all the people who make my life so much richer. Appreciation of the power of collective good energy. Appreciation of all the so-called little things that we so often take for granted. I am thankful for everything that I have and experience. And I'm thankful for you!

Here's a round-up of last week's posts, in case you missed anything:

A huge thanks to you for taking the time to read and share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get updates via facebooktwitter and by subscribing to the Afri-love feed.

Feedback is incredibly useful to me so, please drop me a line with any comments, suggestions, ideas etc.

Next week, look out for:

  • Quote of the week
  • A celebration of our crowning glory
  • An interview with a funky Tanzanian designer and entrepreneur
  • More design inspiration from musical sources
  • A hair journey update
  • TGIF!

Have a fantastic week! Be proud, be inspired and be thankful.



Images, starting 2nd from top: Shine Shine illustration, artist Tamara Natalie Madden (photo by Kelechi Anusiem), still from Mauritanian film, Waiting for Happiness. 

Old-school album art


Old-school is such a relative term these days! These album designs are still inspiring today. Enjoy.

Albums from top: Daniel Owino Misiani – The King of History : 1970s Benga Beats from Kenya, Malombo Jazz, Orchestre Les Noirs, Issa Juma The World Defeats the Grandfathers Singing Swahili Rumba 1982-1986, K. Frimpong and His Cubano Fiestas

TGIF! Classic African tunes – West African edition

Following the Southern African and Central African editions, this week it's all about the West! Thanks again for all the recommendations – East and North are next up so, please keep them coming.


 (Frimpong is tooooo funky!)  

Continue reading “TGIF! Classic African tunes – West African edition”

Fatric Bewong: painting the sounds of nature


Ghanaian artist, Fatric Bewong, generously shares her work and process with Afri-love. Working in Tarkwa, in the Western Region of Ghana, Fatric's current work is inspired by paying attention to the sounds of nature. Though famous for its rich mineral wealth, Fatric says that Tarkwa should be noted for its daily – ritual even – afternoon rainfall, falling always between 2 and 3pm.

"The more attention I paid to it, the more I was interested in hearing the intricate details of the drops. It was complex but all was harmonious. The sound of the wind and the rain was soothing, calm and not intrusive. It made me more reflective. That was the moment I started giving more thought to the sounds of nature, so they could inspire my paintings. I deliberately allow the sounds to influence my work. The pitch, the tempo, the melodies and the choruses, all being created by a multitude of animate and inanimate beings take their positions on my canvases in a careful, respectful and loving manner."

Continue reading “Fatric Bewong: painting the sounds of nature”