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Mawusi's Hair Accessories

Ghanaian-American label Mawusi hair accessories

Ghanaian-American designer Jane Odartey holds all creative positions and oversees the direction behind her line Mawusi. Named after her mother, the label is composed of hand-made accessories and knits inspired by Odartey's Ghanaian heritage and love of abstract art. "My inspirations come from my own fashion taste. For Mawusi I make things that I will be excited to wear. The sort of things that I am always on the lookout for but never seem to find anywhere," she dishes. Being self-taught enables Odartey to  express the essence of her unique aesthetic which she relays to all her clients. Her ideal Mawusi client is "a conscientious person who, though matured and responsible, chooses to remain playful and as carefree as possible... they don't shop for seasons, they haunt the unique and timeless piece."


Mawusi hair accessories are constructed out of wax prints from Ghana and designed into wearable works of art. "Several prints hold personal memories for me, so when I design something with them I aim to do something new [that] can still support what the wax print means to my people. For instance, when I designed the Mateko hair piece, I was thinking of young Ghanaian ladies going to church on Sunday, or to an engagement party. Sometimes I blend my other cultural influences... for instance the Dipoyo, meaning Dipo girl, though inspired by Dipo, the coming of age ceremony for the Krobo girl (I am a Krobo girl), is also inspired by the [Japanese] Harajuku girl and her love for oversized accessories," Odartey explains. Check out the Mateko and Dipoyo hair accessory as well as other Mawusi pieces in the gallery above.

Art
Image courtesy of Peintre Obou.

Ivorian Artist Peintre Obou Speaks on Expression Through His Masked Characters

Peintre Obou talks about how he came to be an artist, his fervour for the mask, and his uplifting project, 'Abobo E Zo'.

Gbais Obou Yves Fredy better known as Peintre Obou is an Ivorian artist whose work is centered around the political-military crisis in his home. To date, his career has been an exploration of his passion for the human condition and the traumas he has experienced as a result of human-orchestrated disasters. He goes as far as highlighting life in the slums and the individuals who opened their arms to him in the lowly communes of Abidjan. He distinctively distorts the faces of his subjects with masks and places vibrant colors upon their bodies as he weaves tales of war, trauma, suffering, and oppression.

Last summer, the Ivorian commune of Abobo underwent renovation in a project titled, Abobo E Zo commissioned by the Minister Hamed Bakayoko. Not only were downtrodden areas within the community rehabilitated and sanitized but multiple buildings around the populous commune were painted to the delight of residents. It was street art set on enlightening a disadvantaged community piloted by Obou with help from hundreds of crafty volunteers.

This interview was conducted in French and has been translated and edited for length and clarity.

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