Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Diva of the Month - Mave

This is going to be a new feature on my blog its called "Diva of the Month" and the idea is that every month I'll pick an inspirational person to show you guys, there will be a profile of the person and an interview followed by pictures or information etc. The whole idea is to highlight people and show their passion and allow it to come to light for others to spread the word.

So without further ado I introduce to you Februarys' "Diva of the Month" Mave


Mave currently lives in Ghana but she is a frequent traveller of the world. Fine dining, spending quality time with friends, spa dates and quality 'me' time are just some of her interests. Mave is definitely the ultimate girls' girl.

So what makes her "Diva" material, well she was named the most stylish girl in South-East London at the Most Stylish Girl Awards 2006 with More Magazine UK and any of her friends can vouch that this girl knows fashion!



A picture of Mave at a press conference for the awards show















Mave along with her good friend Yuko founded AcoSua, after Yuko visited Ghana over Christmas in 2005 and fell in love with the place and the hospitality of the people especially Mave's mother. 


A picture of the lovely Yuko

AcoSua is ultimately aimed towards young Japanese girls and is a great way to also educate young Japanese girls about Africa through fashion.




The official description for AcoSua


Africa... 


What do you picture in your mind? 
The land of nature, MT. Kilimanjaro and Victoria Lake 
or 
conflicts, refugees, HIV, malaria 
Maybe not the business man in suits, 
Indian merchant or Chinese dignitaries. 
Africa is rapidly changing. 
But the Africa that we are working together is, 
the Africa full of stylish girls. 
The girls who love to have their hair done, 
The girls who love to have their nails done. 
Wherever you may be born, 
if you are born as a girl we all love to dress up. 
AcoSua is bringing Africa closer to Japan 
and the world through fashion,





It is not often that young designers know the impact of using fashion to educate people about another culture and this inspiring description shows the deeper understanding and message they have to convey.

Without further ado here is the official interview CocoKarleCouture had with Mave



Q1. First of all how did you get into the fashion business and how hard/easy was it

I personally feel that every young lady or woman is indirectly involved in the fashion business. This is because women are walking adverts of fashion always ready to look good on a daily basis or for a special occasion. I have always had a good eye for style and fashion. Personally getting into fashion wasn't a struggle for me because I have always had a real interest in new trends. I have been very blessed to be surrounded by many young creative designers who have given me the opportunity to participate in their clothing photo shoots etc.
I have always been a fan of bright bold fashion and being African helps me to be convey my fashion for colorful vibrant fashion.

I am partnering with my friend to get into the Japanese Fashion industry, and would not say we have had the breakthrough yet, however regardless of the challenges I know for a fact that Fashion is widely accepted worldwide by a majority of women so its only a matter of good timing and planning.

Q2. With your line based in Japan how did the natives there respond to the african print style you've brought to them

Initially I had a positive expectation this because I have been to Tokyo twice, and on both visits I emerged myself in the fashion district 'Harajuku' I realized that Japanese people were very experimental and bold when it came to their dress sense, they were almost uninhibited!

I am lucky that one of my close friends is Japanese so we conducted some research on initial concepts of Africa amongst Japanese women. We both decided one day to just go ahead and create a sample skirt to show to a few friends, and it was accepted very well!

We have successfully showcased our skirts at a Fashion show held last year, and we received positive feedback, we advice on areas to improve.

Model wearing skirt AcoSua designed


Models wearing AcoSua


Q3. With the surge of african print in fashion its understandable you picked japan to sell in, what was your inspiration for the line and how have you incorporated it into your designs

The line is based around making sure that the skirts are made to fit Japanese body structure. Also African print can be very colorful and a bit overwhelming to some conservative japanese women.

Q4. What kind of women wears AcoSua?

AcoSua is not just a clothing brand, it is a line which intends to improve the image of Africa to Japanese women. So AcoSua is for the bold and adventurous woman who wants to stand out in a very competitive Japanese fashion environment. Ladies who wear AcoSua skirts will definitely get asked where the fabric is from and in turn they can start a conversation about Ghana!


Q5. How would you describe your sense of style?

My sense of style is very much vibrant and colorful. I like to wear colors that compliment my golden African complexion. Having a passion for traveling many of my key accessories in my wardrobe are from all over the place! I often get asked where I got a bag or necklace and have to answer Hong Kong, Tunisa, New York, Bahamas! People often have the look on their face like: 'yeah right you just don't want to tell me where you bought it" but its the honest truth!!

Q6. Can you tell us a bit about why you picked some certain prints for the line?

In selecting the african print I had to consider the seasons in Japan. Brighter bolder and colors would be used for the summer collection, and as the weather got cooler in japan more subtle prints would be selected.

Q7. Where do you see your line in the next 10 years, and if you do expand what items would you love to add to your itinerary

AcoSua is still an up and coming brand, so in the next ten years, I would love to see the dream realized to its full potential! It is all about upholding the name of African print to japanese people, so in 10 years it would be great if Ghanaians could identify and incorporate some of Japan's traditional clothing e.g the Geshai look in Ghanaian dressing!

Q8. Where does the name for the line come from?

The name has a very sentimental meaning for me and my Japanese partner. My Japanese partner visited me in Ghana christmas of 2005 and fell in love with the Ghanaian lifestyle and the hospitality of my mother! So my friend just suggested we name our brand after my mum whose name is Akosua, however we modified it to AcoSua!



"When it comes to career, work etc my biggest goal is to put 100 
percent in everything I do. There will be obvious challenges along the way but
 having passion to stick to what I enjoy doing is very important. Regardless of profits,
 money being happy doing what I do I s very important, I want to be recognised 
as a 'go getter' with a very resilient character who continues even when things get hard!
 My favorite quote that keeps me going is definitely: 
Only the Strong Will Continue"


Maki- Model and friend to Mave and Yuko and part of the AcoSua team
We can't talk about AcoSua without talking to the other half of it Yuko so here is CocoKarleCouture's interview with Yuko 

Q1. First of all how did you get into the fashion business and how hard/easy was it



Whenever I traveled abroad, people will always ask me to buy some clothes to get. Girls love dressing and want to be different. I guess getting clothes abroad helps them to stand out from the crowd.

I always admired traditional clothing from all over the world and I wanted to work with it to keep the tradition going. This is where I got the idea from initially.

We are still slowing developing out business, it maybe very hard, but if I can end up getting the clothes I want, I can take the pain!

Q2. With your line based in Japan how did the natives there respond to the african print style you've brought to them

Originally I was worried about the reaction because their print is so different from African print. More settled colour and pattern. But the reaction was great! Girls love it. Especially the young generation. They are always open for new fashion style. And I honestly think that it changes the image of Africa that they have.
Now those girls think Africa is "Kawaii" (Cute!)

Q3. With the surge of african print in fashion its understandable you picked japan to sell in, what was your inspiration for the line and how have you incorporated it into your designs

To accommodate the design to Japan, we made sure that it fits Japanese
body structure. Japanese people tend to be shorter, so bringing the Print around their face didn't fit the body structure well. So we started off with the skirts.

Q4. What kind of women wears AcoSua?

Women who wants to be different, who want to get to know different world. AcoSua is a brand where you can start conversation from. Conversation about Fashion and Africa.


I absolutely love Yuko's take on how conversation about Africa can start simply by wearing AcoSua, it not only looks good but spreads awareness and the reality of the changing face of Africa and shows girls that African girls love exactly the same things as they do. 

For more information about AcoSua you can email both girls on the following email addresses


Yuko on yuko.nagata@acosua.com
Mave on mavis.tufuor@acosua.com

Their job is currently in Japanese but if you can work round it here is the link www.ameblo.jp/acosua




3 comments:

  1. Wow its great to see what our young ladies are doing to spread positive things about Africa - this bit on fashion is great. Well done!

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  2. Love this piece! Interview Nicely conducted Coco. You got some skills!!
    Loving AcoSua and what it is about!! xx

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