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Joe Casely-Hayford. Photo by Ben Weller via Wikimedia Commons.

Pioneering Ghanaian-British Fashion Designer Joe Casely-Hayford Has Passed Away at 62

The designer, known for fusing bespoke tailoring and streetwear, lost his 3-year battle to cancer.

Joe Casely-Hayford, the innovating fashion designer best known for making way for streetwear through bespoke tailoring, passed away after losing his 3-year battle to cancer on January 3.

He was 62 years old.


Among the top British designers of his generation, Casely-Hayford, who has prominent Ghanaian roots as the grandson of Pan-African thinker Joseph Ephraim Casely Hayford, launched his eponymous fashion house in 1984 with his wife, Maria, where they soon reached fashion stardom in the industry and among the youth.

Casely-Hayford was a graduate of St Martin's School of Art and the Tailor and Cutter Academy, along with having Savile Row training under his belt, The Guardian adds. He dressed the likes of prime ministers and rock stars, including Bono, who wore his garments as the first man to grace the cover of British Vogue in 1992. His influence was a mainstay through the 90s.

"He was the first London designer to bring the cultural mix and energy of the East End together with the amazing skills of a Savile Row tailor," fashion critic Sarah Mower tells The Guardian.

The designer became the creative director of legacy men's tailor and menswear retailer Gieves and Hawkes in 2005, where he was awarded an OBE in the same year. In 2009, he relaunched his business as Casely-Hayford with his 32-year-old son Charlie. The father-son duo worked to position the brand's former appeal to a newer generation, which led them to a collaboration with Topshop. They opened their first shop in London this past November.

Mark C. O'Flaherty, a friend of Casely-Hayford, says when announcing the news of his passing that he "was grounded in being classless and cosmopolitan—he fashioned an ongoing document of the London in which he grew up and worked. At the same time, he was one of the few black designers to rise to a position of global prominence."

Revisit a 2012 interview with Casely-Hayford and Charlie below.

Casely-Hayford | Father & Son Designers youtu.be

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GuiltyBeatz, Kwesi Arthur & Mr Eazi's "Pilolo" visualizer video (Youtube).

The 20 Best Ghanaian Songs of 2019

Featuring Pappy Kojo, Sarkodie, Amaarae, Kwesi Arthur, Shatta Wale, Efya GuiltyBeatz, Joey B, R2Bees and many more.

2019 was definitely an exciting year for Ghanaian music.

Right from the top of the year, we saw both new and established make their mark with songs that would soundtrack the nation's airwaves, functions, and nights for months to come. In 2019 we got to experience an E.L comeback, Shatta Wale and Beyoncé on the same song, numerous solid Ghana-Naija collaborations, and bop after bop by old and new artists alike.

We also saw the rise of brand new artists, starting from the likes of J.Derobie's wave making debut in January, to Kofi Mole's widespread trap anthem, to Fameye's declaration of brokeness, to the promising future superstar Sam Opoku. As far as projects go, 2019 was a good year for that in the Ghana music space as well. We were blessed with an EP from Sarkodie, an album by the superstar duo R2Bees, talented singer King Promise's debut album, Ko-Jo Cue's stellar debut, and M.anifest's 7-track feel-good EP, among several others.

Ghanaian music has been stepping its game up lately, and there's only one way to go from here. Below, we give you the rundown on the Ghanaian songs that stole ears and hearts and set the pace for the country's sound this year.

Check out the list below. Listen in no particular order.—Nnamdi Okirike

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Image courtesy of Trap Bob.

Trap Bob Is the 'Proud Habesha' Illustrator Creating Colorful Campaigns for the Digital Age

The DMV-based artist speaks with OkayAfrica about the themes in her work, collaborating with major brands, and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her work.

DMV-based visual artist Tenbeete Solomon also known as Trap Bob is a buzzing illustrator using her knack for colorful animation to convey both the "humor and struggle of everyday life."

The artist, who is also the Creative Director of the creative agency GIRLAAA has been the visual force behind several major online movements. Her works have appeared in campaigns for Giphy, Girls Who Code, Missy Elliott, Elizabeth Warren, Apple, Refinery 29 and Pabst Blue Ribbon (her design was one of the winners of the beer company's annual art can contest and is currently being displayed on millions of cans nationwide). With each striking illustration, the artist brings her skillful use of color and storytelling to the forefront.

Her catalog also includes fun, exuberant graphics that depict celebrities and important moments in Black popular culture. Her "Girls In Power" pays homage to iconic women of color in a range of industries with illustrated portraits. It includes festive portraits of Beyoncé, Oprah, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama to name a few.

Trap Bob is currently embarking on an art tour throughout December, which sees her unveiling murals and recent works for Pabst Blue Ribbon in her hometown of DC and during Art Basel in Miami. You can see her tour dates here.

We caught up with the illustrator via email, to learn more about the themes in her work and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her illustrations. Read it below and see more of Trap Bob's works underneath.

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(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for AFI)

Cynthia Erivo Earns Golden Globe Nomination for 'Harriet'

Check out the full list of 2020 nominees (and the snubs).

Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo has earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman in Harriet. She's earned a nomination for Best Original Song for 'Stand Up."

She's nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actress In a Motion Picture—Drama" alongside Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Renée Zellwegger and Saoirse Ronan.

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Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

CNN Names Ethiopian Innovator Freweini Mebrahtu This Year's 'Hero of the Year'

Freweini Mebrahtu designed a reusable sanitary pad to help keep girls in school and has fought to end the cultural stigma around menstruation.

Last night, Ethiopia's Freweini Mebrahtu was been named CNN's "Hero of the Year". The award was in recognition of her work on menstruation and keeping girls in school as well as fighting to end the cultural stigma still attached to menstruation. Mebrahtu was also awarded USD 100 000 to help in expanding her work.

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