Fashion shows in Africa have always been subject to controversy. For a very long time many stakeholders in the entertainment industry have argued that the fashion industry in this part of the world has not been fully developed.
Based on this, renowned fashion designer, founder and creative designer of Abrantie, Oheneba Yaw Boamah has said fashion shows in Ghana do not meet international standard, a situation which he describes as a major setback.
‘There is something major we are lacking because though fashion shows are about money and business, Ghanaian fashion shows tend to be more like parties where celebrities and popular faces but not businessmen are given the frontline seats.
‘When I attend fashion shows in other parts of the world, they give the frontline seats to buyers and representatives of big shops who are looking for designers and fashion brands to sell in their shops. The frontline seat is not for mere observers just watching for the show part of it. No. It is for businessmen who want to invest in fashion; it is for businessmen who want to put money into the pockets of the designer. But in Ghana we have a different story,’Oheneba Yaw Boamah, popularly known as Abrantie, explained.
He, however, singled out the Glitz Africa Fashion Show as the best in Ghana, though he said it has room for improvement.
“I have to be frank about that. Glitz is the best we have in Ghana now, though there is still room for improvement… I have attended fashion shows in South Africa where they sent the invitations and everything to my team for free because they wanted our brand to be on their show.
“But in Ghana, fashion show organisers rather ask the designers to pay before they get on the show. Then it makes you ask yourself if it is worth it because even if you pay to join, the target audience at the event is not the business class ready to buy your stuff in bulk to sell in their shops.
“Paying to be part of a Ghanaian fashion show does not bring any revenue back to you the designer.
He added: “Another challenge is that all the shows are in Accra and none in the other regional capitals,” Abrantie noted.
He continued: “…even in South Africa, they take fashion shows very seriously from the production stage, the models, to the commercial aspect. I attended a show there and it had more than ten producers, with one producer for each fashion brand.
‘But with fashion shows in Ghana, sometimes there is just one producer for the whole show. You have just one agency handling everything and we end up messing up ourselves. By the time you are dressing one model, another one hits the runway not properly dressed. The cameras capture that image and the next thing, you see the picture go viral with a model rocking your brand the wrong way, as if you do not even know how to dress models properly.”