Style

Self-Taught Ghanaian Fashion Designer Mimmy Yeboah Talks Busy Prom Season

"All fabrics are chosen, cut, and constructed to create confidence as you walk with your head high."

2016 prom season goes to African style.  Kyemah Mcentyre  kicked off the trend last year when her eye-popping, self-designed dashiki prom dress went viral, scoring her recognition from a slew of media publications.


This spring saw snatched dresses that accentuated curves, plus bright, bold Ankara prints that Madame Noire associate editor Veronica Wells tells the New York Times, "stems from the larger culture of black women embracing themselves and their beauty."

Enter Mimmy Yeboah a self-taught, Ghanaian designer who slayed prom season with her dresses, and wax print designs, including West African flag swimsuits, all of which have garnered her a deep social media following. She currently has 19.4K Instagram followers.

"As much as I hate hand sewing. I love putting beaded lace together," Yeboah says in an Instagram post, as this season for the young, NYC-based designer was all about lace and Hollywood glamour.

 

Because I slay! #mimmyyeboah #promgirlspopping #classof2016

A photo posted by Mimmy Yeboah (@mimmy.yeboah) on

I caught up with Yeboah over email, ahead of her move to Ghana next year where she plans to build a mass production office for her business, to learn more about her dress designs and how she fared during this year's busy prom season. Read what she had to say:

Could you tell me about your brand?

I love creating one of a kind statement pieces that focuses on the woman's frame. My pieces are cut and constructed to create confidence in the women who wear it.

Courtesy of Mimmy Yeboah

How have you been able to take on this year’s busy prom season? What was it like?

Every year, prom season is my busiest time. I've luckily been able to handle it by creating a schedule that works well for me and my clients. I try to take on two or three girls a day. Sometimes it's easy and other times you meet the client and you realize that the vision needs to be changed. I always want my clients to leave satisfied and excited to wear my dresses for their special day.

Take us through your process: How much time does it take from start to finish to produce a gown?

It depends on the fabric and design. I've had a dress take days and some can take a few hours. Regardless scheduling a fitting is very important bodies change so for the fit to be right I like to meet with my girls at least once before they pick up. As long as they can wear the gown and it fits them perfectly.

Courtesy of Mimmy Yeboah

What are your thoughts on the wax print prom dress trend?

I've seen some good executions of wax print fabric as gowns and some that could've used some work. I feel indifferent about the wax print dress trend. I love that Africans are appreciating [their] culture. I just hope that people understand wearing the fabric is more than a trend.

Why do you think it’s important for young Africans to rep their heritage on one of the most important nights of high school?

I like the idea of us, Africans, being proud of our heritage and looking for ways to show the world how beautiful our culture is. Prom has a whole new meaning now because of social media and how the images are shared—it's cool to see how creative people get with garments that represent where they're from. My only concern is that we don't cross the line between appreciation and trend.

Fly #promgirlpopping

A photo posted by Mimmy Yeboah (@mimmy.yeboah) on

What were the aesthetic considerations for with each piece you designed? What were some of the trends from this season?

When I come up with a dress idea, I look to hear what my client wants [and] I ask them about color and fabric ideas. Sometimes they'll bring in a picture and we can go from there. I look at their body and shape and look to embrace their bodies and what will make them feel good in the dress design. Lace was very popular this season and I loved how the dresses looked when they were completed.

Which of your dress designs are you most proud of?

I'm happy with all my designs as long as my prom girls are happy. The design I really liked this season has to be the pink prom dress with the gold jacket and long train. It was different and the girl who wore it definitely pulled it off.

#mimmyeboah When mom wants to go to prom too ?

A photo posted by Mimmy Yeboah (@mimmy.yeboah) on

Now that prom season is over, what’s next for you?

MimmyYeboah.com launched last month. It's closed now, but I'm looking to relaunch in July with new pieces to the collection. Also custom orders resume in August. I'm excited to expand my brand and move to Ghana in 2017. Creating a brand made in Ghana is important to me, so I'm looking forward to growing.

 

Model: @royalmaggie

A video posted by Mimmy Yeboah (@mimmy.yeboah) on

Audio
Image via Sheila Afari PR.

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We know that Black queer DJs from the Midwest are behind the creation of house and dance music. Yet, a look at the current electronic scene will find it terribly whitewashed and gentrified, with the current prominent acts spinning tracks sung by unnamed soulful singers from time to time. Like many art forms created by Black people all over the world, the industry hasn't paid homage to its pioneers, despite the obvious influence they have. Thankfully, the independent music scene is thriving with many Black acts inspired by their forefathers and mothers who are here to revolutionize electronic music. Here are a list of the ones you should check out:

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