Master of African designs

Well before the world flocked to African prints, there was Kofi Ansah. Before young
African designers paraded their brands on Vlisco’s runway, there was Kofi Ansah, the master of contemporary African designs.

With over 2 decades of experience working with reputable designers like Guy Laroche, Kofi returned to his home country, Ghana, and introduced a versatile way to treat African cloth. His designs were a complete departure from the traditional styles and even appealed to the African man. With tailored precision, he has dressed the creme de la creme of Ghana’s elite, and  revolutionized how Africans viewed how to use their colourful Ankara print.

African inspired designs

There was a time when African-inspired designs meant safari jackets and animal prints. Now runways are glittering with the work of designers who stitch their models in bold Ankara prints. Burberrys leads the pack with men’s shirts and women’s dresses designed in vibrant african print. Even their trademark trench coat has been doused with a splash of Ankara colours.

Moschino’s joined the pack this fall with chic print green dress that is so beautifully crafted it looks like it was sewn in Accra.

At the summer 2012 Mercedez benz fashion week, Michael Kors showcased his afriluxe collection, but by reverting to the archaic interpretation of African-inspired which consists of safari khaki and animal prints, the collection fell off the mark.

Vivienne Westwood, strikes gold with a collection of handmade bags from Nairobi.  Aptly labeled  get a life, she partnered with Ethical Fashion Programme to create a line that supports the handiwork of women in uderserved communities in Kenya . The success of this fashion venture has encouraged Stella McCartney, and Fendi to join this UN international trade centre programme.


Afro chic footwear

The unwavering trend in fashion is still the African wax print. Previously reserved for traditional African societies the Ankara print is now the most remarkable way to make a fashion forward statement. Mystique clothing has honed into this growing trend and introduced an Africa inspired twist on footwear.

Based in Ghana, Mystiqe clothing is owned by Kwabena D. Boateng, a trained physician who is ironically one of the most prominent shoe designers to hit the scene. Kwabena designs shoes with a definitive Afro flair. His rendition of Birkenstocks has been a runaway hit because it is the perfect fusion of Afro chic and comfortable footwear. In an interview with the designer, he explained that his work is inspired by his love for Africa.

“At Mystique, we incorporate wax prints and tie & dye cloth to create a range of products which include Afro Birks, Loafers, and flats. We keep our products vibrant and chic and still remain committed to a high standard of quality. Eventhough I am a doctor, I have been motivated by the uniqueness of our Ankara prints to create a business venture that shows the beauty of Africa. In my native Ghana, we have a wide array of designs so the avenue for being creative is limitless. I am always motivated to create something that is comfortable, affordable and aesthetically pleasing.”

Visit to place an order


Color block ankara prints

2012 fashion statement is all about color blocking - a fashion trend where you mix n match several monotone colors in one outfit. It can be a solid blue dress paired with green pumps and a red handbag. Sounds outlandish? Get used to it .

Color blocking will be with us for many more seasons. However if you want to be trendy without being a follower take color blocking up a notch by doing a mix n match with your favorite african prints. Here are a few vlisco styles to inspire color blocking Ankara style.

You are not just color blocking you are fashion forward!