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Memoirs of a Closet Freak – TGICF (Thank God its Causal Friday)

3 Aug

I guess everyone has their own idea of what ‘Causal Friday’ means; my interpretation of causal Friday would include some boy shorts, tank top, head all scarfed up and some bunny slippers… however my interpretation could never measure up to Corporate standards unless of course I was craving for an HR nightmare!!!

Causal Fridays or Jeans Friday, (whatever works for you) are great opportunities to merge your causal with your professional. It’s really all about a balancing effect; doing casual but not going overboard with it.

Layering, is always a cool option for casual Fridays…a summer jacket, a blazer, a sweater; these could really transform a really causal look of jeans and a tank top into an appropriate business causal ensemble.

Blazer and tank: My tailored navy blue blazer and striped tank top make a great team paired with a pair of jeans

Jeans: It is very important to keep up with the ‘jeans times’ because there are so many cuts and styles and no one wants to be the one who came to a skinny jeans party in bell bottoms! (Awkward!). However, since we are talking office wear, conservative cuts are your best bet. Please DO NOT walk into work with a quarter of your thighs and half a butt peering out of some heavily ripped jeans…(an HR nightmare). Let’s leave that for Friday night lounging or Saturday club hopping! I made lifelong friends with these adorable semi washed designer cut skinny jeans from Express. What I love about these jeans is that they are not that figure hugging type that could probably replace your skin if it had to! They fit just right, for the office, during the day and still make a great companion at night stepping out with the girls!

Accessories: In this case, your accessories are not meant to out stage the outfit but more so compliment it. Once again this was a job for color and this time around I opted for my silk multi-colored scarf with pink trimmings, my hot pink earrings and my patent hot pink pumps from Marshalls.

This look is versatile and the color accent can be changed depending on preference. Below I have on the same outfit however this time around I employ yellow as my color of choice:

Still on the topic of jazzing up my jeans for the corporate world, and no better companion then my orange blazer and matching orange and tan heels (both fine purchases from Zara).

So these summer months, as you look for a way to keep your jeans official, remember – layering is always key and so is keeping true to color!

The Essence of Adorable…

15 Aug

What better way to teach our kids about our culture and our identity then to bundle them in cultural art forms that are representative of the motherland. A marriage of the western styles and our traditional art forms are not only adequate for grown-up fashion but very necessary for that of our little ones. As a solution to a frustrated mother’s shopping misadventures in looking for more creative, expressive and stylish garments for her daughter, Kradle Kouture Inc. was conceived. With a mandate to provide mothers with a cultural infused alternative to children clothing, Kradle Kouture Inc. carries fun, expressive and modern styles cut out of authentic African designs, textiles and themes. As part of its philosophy, Kradle Kouture supports individuality, creativity and cultural expression by providing unique pieces for the trendsetter in training!

The designer and owner, Nana Adwoa Abeasi, combined her love for fashion and design with her native Ghanaian background to create a fashion house catering to kids and toddlers (boys and girls) from six months to eight years old. The vibrant colors, alluring styles and modern appeal provide an alternative to cookie-cutter, mass produced garments found in department stores. This yummy mummy understands the need to keep her little treasures repping their Ghanaian roots through expressive fashions that combine the best of both worlds – traditional and modern. Using her brand, Kradle Kouture, she looks to bridge the gap between other mothers and creative culturally infused alternatives to kids clothing.

Meet Nana Adwoa Abeasi – mother, wife, engineer, entrepreneur and designer….

AJ:        What inspired the Kradle Kouture Inc. line?

Nana Adowa:  Well to be blatantly honest, the inspiration behind the Kradle Kouture Inc. line is my fashion-forward 3 year old child, Ava-Mirre. Ava-Mirre has been my inspiration to start this business from the very beginning. Being a new mom of such a smart yet fashion-forward child, I was inspired to make cute clothes for her. She has always been my muse and motivation for the clothing that I create. I identified the gapping need for more creative and expressive clothing options for babies and toddlers after a number of frustrated shopping trips looking for outfits for her highly fashionable daughter. I wanted to be able to give kids an opportunity to be noticed in the glamour limelight by creating ‘miniature copies of adult designer couture fashion’ for them.

AJ:        Who is the ideal Kradle Kouture Inc. customer?

Nana Adwoa:  The ideal Kradle Kouture Inc. customers are the young fashion diva and hot lil’ dude in training, little fashion forward trendsetters and of course our fashion-forward and cultural conscious parents.

AJ:       What kind of influences/inspirations do you draw from when designing a Kradle Kouture Inc. piece?

Nana Adwoa:  First and foremost, inspiration is deeply rooted in my African origins and background. I get inspired by the bold colors, shapes, patterns and designs in our rich African fabric. Other inspiration comes from what is fashionable, modern and in vogue. All in all I use these influences and inspirations to create a safe balance between what is African and what is fashionable for our kids. Kradle Kouture is a functional cross between modern styles and authentic African designs to promote cross cultural fashion alternatives that keep kids styling while enjoying their day-to-day adventures.

 AJ:       What is your background and was Kradle Kouture Inc. an obvious progression in your professional career?

Nana Adwoa: I always laugh at this question because I’m one of those people who tend to do a complete 180 degree turn in my professional/personal life whenever I begin to feel stagnant or see that there’s some monotone aspect to my life. Believe it or not, my background has always been in the science field – Electrical Engineering and Mathematics to be precise. However, even as an infant, I have always been fashion-conscious and had an immense passion for fashion. Despite the fact that I have always actively worked and have been educated to be an electrical engineer, I managed to participate in several fashion shows; working as a freelance commercial, editorial and runway model most of my early adult life. I have had the pleasure of mentoring and training young adults in the art of cat walking. And funny enough, to this day, I do continue to work as a freelance print and commercial model.

So to get back to your question, NO, Kradle Kouture Inc. was not an obvious progression in my professional career but has been a passion of mine from birth!

AJ:        As a new designer, what have been some of your struggles or stepping stones in releasing a kids’ boutique and clothing line?

Nana Adwoa:  There have been numerous stepping stones as well as obstacles that I’ve stumbled upon during my journey to set this boutique up but the ones that immediately come to mind are:

With Stepping stone: Finding my niche market, target market

With Struggles: Developing sound marketing strategies, finding investors

  AJ:       What two words, in your opinion will best describe Kradle Kouture Inc. clothing?

 Nana Adwoa: The two words that come to mind that I feel will best describe KK Inc. are ‘UNIQUE’ and ‘ONE-OF-A-KIND’ kids’ apparel.

 Unique because you will find that KK Inc.’s clothing is in no way, shape or form like your typical departmental store items. Our creative team spend a lot of time putting these unique designs together and infusing them with very rich and authentic African fabrics, hence each symbolizing some African tradition and/or culture. One-of-a-kind because we stand on the grounds that you will probably not see the exact same design on the exact same fabric with any of our pieces. Simply put, they are all clearly unique and one-of-a-kind masterpieces!

Our clothing is a fun expression of modern styles cut out of authentic African design, textiles and themes. We use African fabrics rich in color, patterns and designs to provide our garments with a vibrant presence that adds to the authentic cultural appeal.

AJ:        What’s in the future for Kradle Kouture Inc.?

Nana Adwoa: Since we are very young (been in production for about a year now), we are looking forward to a lot in the coming years. In the immediate future you can expect to see more creative designs for the kids; we’ll be venturing into making baby clothing and shoes (all with African prints and themes); educative programs/newsletters for the kids; more fashion shows and photo shoots and just more fun, expressive clothing and accessories.

AJ:        Where can we find the Kradle Kouture brand?

Nana Adowa:  Currently we are an online brand and can be found on our website and etsy. Please see our website and additional contact information below.

For more information on Nana Adwoa and her Kradle Kouture brand:

Discover them at Kradle Kouture

Follow them on Twitter

Join them on Facebook

Keep up with them on their Blog 

Shop with them at Etsy