midnight silk & boyedoe
Meet the Designer
WORDS BY TIARA MOORE
While many charities and media campaigns have rallied gender equality for decades, Ghanian fashion designer, David Boye-Doe Kusi opens up about gender inequality, on the flip side.
Raised in a town outside Ghana’s capital, a then school-aged David experienced gender exclusion. While girls were the focus of many charitable aids working in Ghana, boys often missed out on educational opportunities. The imbalance in the distribution of educational funds, designed to resolve gender equity globally, brought with it disadvantages locally within his home town.
As of 2014, some 263 million children were uneducated (majority being girls), however @UNESCO reports that at secondary school level there is a reversal, where girls have a higher attendance rate.
Those disadvantages were quickly overcome. Kusi started out as a stylist before studying at Joyce Ababio school of design where he was honored ‘most outstanding & most creative’ student. He went on to receive first runner up at Vlisco’s Fashion Fund in 2019.
BOYEDOE costume house offers a playful juxtaposition of chic and dandy, in a bold collection of ready-to-wear couture.
Kusi creates for men and women to celebrate gender, not exclusively mens or women’s. Driven by sustainability and the preservation of cultural fabrication techniques, Kusi’s method of deconstruct and sew garments anew, using recycled materials, plant based dyes in patriarchal Ghanan wax prints.
BOYEDOE ready-to-wear collections are influenced by haute couture draping and burst with color. While the local market is privy to less frill and frey, Kusi’s business partner, Nana explains their strategy to introduce a sleek new RTW line in 2023. Its couture and signature styles, which are today easily identified by top African stylists, will be distributed to partner showrooms for editorial and special dressings.
Kusi says that in order to continue supplying customers with sustainable (more appropriately, “conscious”) collections, brands require higher volume and a regularity of orders (due to the substantial cost for sourcing eco materials), as well as pre-order systems that are favorable to locate specialist services and resources.
This year, the repurposed clothing market is expected to exceed a valuation of $5,2B and will likely surge a vigorous 10.7% CAGR during 2022. It‘s independent brands like BOYEDOE that are shifting the wheel, despite the creative and qualitative challenges, that shift perceptions and redefine luxury, sustainably.
Starting out as a stylist before studying at Joyce Ababio school of design, where he was honored ‘most outstanding & most creative’ student, David went on to receive first runner up at Vlisco’s Fashion Fund in 2019.
BOYEDOE offers a playful juxtaposition of chic and dandy, in a bold collection of ready-to-wear couture.
JPJM+9GR, Sowutoum, Ghana
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Before the age of 10, Bethanie was already developing as an artist with writing classes, illustration, dance, theatre and piano. Later, clients from fashion, real estate and corporate sectors rounded her creative, technical and social media writing skills. Naturally, her artistic interests transposed onto film and production. Today, Bethanie hosts and produces interviews with international lifestyle brands and contributes to SNEZNY travel magazine.