Prior to the release of 4th studio album ”West African Vibes” (WAVs), E.L has been featured in the eminent fashion and style magazine – Vogue (USA).
In the feature titled “How one Afrobeat superstar is reinventing Ghana’s most prized fashion treasure”, E.L spoke about how he’s picky with his choice of ”Kente”; also known as nwentom in Akan, is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan ethnic group of South Ghana. ”It’s tradition in Ghana – buying fabrics, gifting fabrics”, he says.
E.L also said when he needs something special for a show or red carpet event (he won Artist of the Year at the 2016 Ghana Music Awards), he turns to his tailor who happens to be a pacesetter in the fashion industry and passionate about the craft, Kweku Bediaku who is the CEO of Chocolate Clothing.
Chocolate has a knack for using traditional motifs, including kente, in unlikely ways, such as piping on suits. ”It should always be with a twist. Culture is dynamic. It’s always changing. Our fathers wore cloth, but we want to create a contemporary look”, says E.L. He further went on to say if he needs something ready-made, he goes over to Studio One Eighty Nine, the boutique and clothing line operated between New York and Accra by designer Abrima Erwiah and actress, Rosario Dawson.
The Rapper settled on a kente item, a blue suit with white stripes so contemporary and cool you’d never know it was made with an ancient technique unless you’re up close and feeling how soft and special it is to the touch. “Kente is something you use for ceremonies and weddings. I want to reflect an African kid who has had the opportunity to travel far and wide but hasn’t forgotten where he’s from,” he says, a day of shopping for new clothes behind him. “We don’t lose sight of who we are.” He said.
StyleAfrique was privileged to be around when the Vogue representatives where in Ghana for the meeting with E.L, Chocolate Clothing together with other fashion designers and artistes. We have Exclusive Behind the Scenes photos.
Below are photos featuring E.L, Chocolate clothing and the Vogue Representatives: