For close to 500 years, people have sketched the outfits they want to wear on several mediums even before they could stitch them into clothes.
This form of art known as fashion illustration is a way of communicating concept and ideas through sketches in order to portray what the outfit will look like before it comes into life.
The trend, however, saw a decline in the 19th century after photography became the choice of fashion insiders such as Vogue editors, designers, boutiques and the other outfit makers.
The situation has seen a turn around since the turn of the digital age allowing fresh new ideas to be incorporated into the fascination art.
In Ghana, the situation is no different as young fashion designers and students add their own style and touch to the creative genre of illustration pushing them further from the status quo and into the stars.
Below is a list of exceptional illustrators from Ghana who are adding their voice to fashion communication through illustration and promoting diversity in the industry.
Check them out
Papa Oppong Bedaiko, who designs and illustrates under his label name, Papa Oppong is an illustrator who has received global recognition for his remarkable works in the field of fashion illustration. Oppong has mentioned by Pop icons including Rihanna, Amber Rose and Kelly Rowland for creative works he’s done of them. His works tell a story of a glamorous, confident and willful African woman who loves to go out of her way to look good. These illustrated figures are created with exaggerated features and huge lips with a floral background and his signature. He has been commissioned to illustrate for several brands including Swarovski, Vlisco, and has been featured on Forbes plus a list of media outlets
Perhaps one of the most successful fashion illustrators rising from this side of town is Ghanaian born British artist, Peniel Enchil. Ms. Enchil makes illustration about the millennial woman who has African influences. The illustrations cover a range of topics from fashion to female empowerment, a lot of lifestyle and motivational messages as well. She’s successfully made a business out of the illustration by creating phone cases, accent pillows, calendars, prints for her numerous clients across the world.
House of Paon
Even before a full-fledged design name in Ghana, House of Paon’s creative director, Collins was already his whimsical fashion and out-of-the-norm looks on paper. Inspired by the peacock which he claims is his spirit animal, Paon creates very nude-friendly looks for his women who love to go bear but with a lt of grace and style.
Kwaku Kyere follows the others in this list assiduously have gained popular recognition for his illustrations of Ghanaian celebrities as well as other household brands including Coca Cola, Guiness, MTN and more. According to Kyere he takes inspiration from Haute Couture, color blogs, animations and the environment.
Known for his bold and quirky designers, Steve French Oduro who illustrates under the name Stevie Frenchie has caught the attention of the crème de la crème in fashion society. Inspired by cartoon characters at a tender age, Frenchie used information from his favorite pastime to create extravagant outfits. His illustrations have an avant-garde aesthetic that speak to fashion conscious minds. Speaking to CNN Africa in 2016, he said school desks, dusty car windows and textbooks were part of the canvas he used in creating his work.
Stunnin Denzel is a young Ghanaian designer who uses digital art to create illustrations his award-winning art pieces. Born in Accra, his inspiration stems from wax-textiles and the rising fashion scene in the streets of Accra, Ghana.
Another staunch lover of the female body and its silhouette is Ghanaian illustrator, Kobby Adu. Known as Kobby the pet name for Kwabena which means he was born on Tuesday amongst fans, friends and family, he describes his work as a gift and a pleasure which is heavily influenced by fashion trends. These illustrations shed light on the power of the 21st-century woman and how she uses her flawless to advantage
Kevin Afriyie Akosah
Last but definitely not the least is Kevin Afriyie, another talented young brain who is going places with the illustrations he puts out there. Kevin’s muse is also the female aesthetic rather than a male look which happens to be his gender. His inspirations for creating the bold and sometimes bizarre looks on paper are informed by music especially soul music. He has made illustrations of Deborah Vanessa, Nana Akua Addo and a bevvy of stars. Just like the others on this list, Kevin is using his art as his voice to bring new ideas into the forefront of Ghanaian fashion.