Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Occupation: Creative director of Kwasi Paul.
Studio location: Los Angeles and Accra.
Describe what you make: I specialize in creating sophisticated contemporary menswear and womenswear, drawing inspiration from the dynamic interplay found within the African Diaspora.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: I’m not certain if it’s the most important, but I would consider the Kingsley Suit to be the most personal. This suit is named after my father, who embarked on his first migration to the United States in the 80s. It features a single shawl lapel that encapsulates the fusion of contemporary style with traditional elements. Interestingly, the creation of the single shawl was not initially intentional; it emerged as an accidental result of the tailoring process. However, once we placed it on a dress form, its construction resonated far more effectively than what had been originally envisioned.
Describe the problem your work solves: The brand is dedicated to tackling the complexities of cultural identity and assimilation. Through our pieces and products, we honor the distinctive heritage of first-generation individuals and migrants born of the African Diaspora, all the while navigating the intricate landscape of adapting to a new world. Our mission extends to erasing generational divides as we actively encourage intercultural empathy, meaningful dialogues, and the dispelling of stereotypes.
Describe the project you are working on now: Currently wrapping up my SS24 collection called Black Star Groove. I look forward to showing the world when it’s complete because it’s heavily inspired by music, which is a huge inspiration for the brand.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: Finishing up a four-track EP with curated artists that will drop when our SS24 collection arrives.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: I keep a pomegranate at hand since it’s my absolute favorite fruit. Music is an essential companion in my life, and I frequently indulge in the groovy vibes of Soulection radio episodes via Apple Music. Alternatively, I might immerse myself in the timeless melodies of Marvin Gaye’s iconic album I Want You.
What you do when you’re not working: Outside of my work hours, you’ll find me either working out at the gym to maintain my physical well-being or browsing through flight options on KAYAK, in search of my next destination to gather fresh inspiration.
Sources of creative envy: Issey Miyake and Michael Jackson. Miyake’s innovative approach to fashion design, characterized by his relentless pursuit to push boundaries and redefine aesthetics. Meanwhile, Michael Jackson’s ability to seamlessly merge music, dance, and storytelling into iconic performances. Both figures push me to strive for similar heights of creativity and expression.
The distraction you want to eliminate: My phone. I’m always checking for emails or DMs. I’d like to shut off from technology for like a month or two.
Concrete or marble? Marble.
High-rise or townhouse? High-rise by the beach in Ghana.
Remember or forget? Remember. It holds the key to preserving the past and learning from it, making it more valuable than forgetting.
Aliens or ghosts? Ancestors.
Dark or light? Dark, followed by light.