Truth or Dare…Your Fashion Stimulus Kit

8 May

For this week, let’s play a game: Truth or Dare (now don’t get your knickers all tangled in a bunch now…there will be no dares to kiss the next guy or gal who walks up to you or truths to confess your first crush…let’s leave that for another day)

Truth or Dare….

Truth? Okay so how many of our parents had the dream of us becoming a doctor, pilot, lawyer, engineer (you know, those professions that make great conversation piece at family get-togethers)? For some, this dream became a reality (Kudos) and for the rest of us…well lets just say our parents are still dreaming! Hardly did you see a Ghanaian parent encouraging a child to pursue a career in the arts – dancing, craft making, design, fashion – a profession to stimulate our creative egos. Well now times are a-changing and there is much promise in these “artsy” careers. Yes, I said it… designing is no longer a hobby but now a fulltime career that pays the bills and yes, many Ghanaians are doing exceptionally well doing it.

Dare? So if you are one of those who has the flair for design, craft making, cooking, fashion, however had to make mummy and daddy proud and of course justify hundred and thousands of tuition and years of schooling by going into white collar careers and working for “the man”, I dare you to explore your creative side and do you!! Give up your salaried office jobs and make “you” happy. However, the caveat here is …please make sure you do have the talent…if not, don’t go handing in your resignation letter just yet!!!

Now for the talented but scared ones amongst us…If you don’t believe there is gold at the end of the fashion rainbow – don’t take my word for it – let’s meet some of the new and upcoming fashion designers who are running fashion power houses and fueling the fashion revolution:

Sika Designs – Talk about using art to move mountains!!! Sika designs is a fresh fashion powerhouse based in London – its creator Phyllis Taylor (Sika) provides a kaleidoscope of colors and styles using delightful Ghanaian fabrics to produce collections for the everyday woman. Looking for sexy – Sika’s got it; looking for elegant – look no further; looking for practical – Sika’s got your number!!! Please feel free to visit Sika designs at and tell me what you think…

Moving on …

Nkya Designs – Now here’s a new comer ready to blow out of the woodworks!!!! Nkya (pronounced Ne Ka Ya) designs provides an explosion of unique styles and colors and is marked by the three Ss (Sassiness, Sexiness and Style). The tagline says it all: Nkya…sense of Africa, a touch of you. Well I was lucky enough to sit with its creator, Shelia Boateng to shine more light on her creation: Nkya:

AJ: How did N’kya Designs come about?

Sheila: It started with the sewing on of cut out pieces of cloth (mostly adinkra symbols) onto t-shirts, this was when the label was known as S.B.O.G(Sheila Boateng Of Ghana). I was always imagining what outfits I saw in magazines and shop windows would look like in the traditional cloth so moved onto designing pieces that were totally different from the norm and that would work with the kind of fabrics produced in Ghana. This is when with the help of my cousin we came up with the name N’kya (pronounced NE KA YA): the word is adapted from the twi word ‘nkyia’- greetings. Having never studied art and design I was a bit hesitant at first but my ideas seemed to work really well in the Ghanaian community so I have never looked back.

AJ: Was designing always what you wanted to do?

Sheila: To be honest I had no idea what career path I wanted to take for a very long time. I studied science subjects for a-levels and studied for a degree in biomedical science, I had no passion whatsoever in my courses and needed the strongest of motivations just to turn up for lectures. The designing aspect just sort of happened, I found myself daydreaming in class and drawing all over my lecture notes. I took part in my first ever fashion show when I was in my final year and it was a show organized by my university ACS team.

AJ: Did you get initial support from parents, family?

Sheila: Let’s just say it took a while for my parents to believe that I was not going to become a doctor or anything else in the medical field. My brothers and cousins however have supported me from the very beginning and helping any way that they can.

AJ: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Sheila: I don’t restrict myself to anything in particular as I have so many different personalities. I draw inspiration from anything and everything as well as it looks or sound interesting to me. I go from designing a ‘kaba’ and ‘slit’ outfit one minute to designing outfits only suitable in night clubs the next. I enjoy the whole diversity of the field.

AJ: Any last words of advice for up and coming designers who may have not yet taken the plunge into the revolution?

Sheila : My only advice to up and coming designers is just to follow their instincts and not watch what other designers are doing. If they like a particular idea just go for it as its very likely there will be people out there that will appreciate their creativity.

Well, that’s my time folks Hope this was inspiring and eye-opening for you as it was for me. Got talent…well put it to good use, you could be the next big thing! Catch me next time as we see how others are using their talents in fashion!

It’s been real – Toodles!!!! And remember: Stimulate your trends with your weekly Fashion Stimulus Kit!!!!


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