Our October Ladybrille Woman of the Month, Adama Kai owner of Sierra Leone’s Aschobi Designs, will be showing her Fall 2009 collection at the 11th Annual Harvard Africa Business Conference in Boston, Massachusetts on Friday, February 20th, 2009. We caught up with Adama for a sneak preview on what to expect for Fall 2009.
LADYBRILLE.com: Hi Adama! Good to know you will be on our shores very soon. How are you and how have things been since the last time you featured in Ladybrille?
Aschobi: Hello Ladybrille. It really feels good to be bringing Aschobi to the other side of the ocean and it just so happens to be happening at an opportune time. I am doing well. Things have been steadily moving forward, towards our goals since we last spoke.
LADYBRILLE.com: You will be showing at Harvard’s Business Conference. How do you feel about that?
Aschobi: I am so excited. It is a great opportunity for Aschobi, as you know I just started my own business and they say the first 3 to 5 years are the most crucial and financially demanding; so showing at such a conference could not have come at a better time and with such an appropriate audience. It is a great platform for expansion and business development.
LADYBRILLE.com: How did the call come about?
Aschobi: A dear friend had mmentioned Aschobi to the organizers a while back, and they called. Like I [have] said, in this business, who you know or who your friends know will help. So you could imagine how elated we were when they finally did call and asked us to show. This has been in our plans to steadily move forward towards our goals.
LADYBRILLE.com: What is your inspiration for Winter/Fall ’09?
Aschobi: A play on Fela’s [Fela Kuti] song “She go say I be Lady” and Dr. Doolittle’s “My Fair Lady”.
LADYBRILLE.com: Give us a teaser. What should we expect?
Aschobi: Expect a throw back to the romantic notions of being a “lady.” Red, opulent lace, with Van Gogh, impressionist prints, in clean feminine silhouettes, that satisfy the “lady” in all women.
LADYBRILLE.com: You will be showing the same day New York Fashion Week [NYFW] ends but what’s your take on the African fashion Designers who showed at NYFW ?
Aschobi: I think it is very necessary and long overdue. African designers need to be showcasing their work at international fashion weeks like NYFW, especially if we are aspiring to create international brands. Showing at such events brings our work to a larger and more diverse audience. I am familiar with the designers that showed at NYFW and each one has something fresh and unique to bring to the international fashion scene. ThisDay/Arise magazine has given them a great platform to showcase their work, and we hope to be a part of the African Collection in future international fashion weeks.
LADYBRILLE.com: Is your site ready to go for e-commerce in case you run out of stock for the designs people might want at the event?
Aschobi: I am actually in Accra as we speak testing different garment production sites. Our website will be up in the next month, but I can not put a definitive date as to when you will be able to order from our website. I will say though that ordering on line is in the pipeline, it may have to be through another e-commerce site, as we are just in the beginning stages of developing our own website.
LADYBRILLE.com: Thanks Adama. Have a great show!
Aschobi: I should thank you, for giving us this opportunity. I am very grateful, please stay tuned for more to come.