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Ghanaian fashion designer and CEO of Le Bon Collections, Bridget Osei Nyarko, is a designer of good reputation and with many enviable records, including designing for Ghana’s First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
Her designs are most sought after by fashionistas, especially mature women.
Her collections take one on a creative journey and are not only inspired by things around her but also borne out of her own creativity. Mixing vintage styles with current cultural obsessions is one of her major strengths on the Ghanaian runway.
She told NEWS-ONE in an exclusive interview that several years ago, she was called a ‘crazy’ woman because of her decision to start a fashion career in Ghana.
Bridget who graduated from the Middlesex University in the UK with a degree in Marketing gave up her fine and paying job in a UK marketing firm to come to Ghana to pursue fashion.
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That left many of her friends to think she was crazy. But she said she hasn’t regretted because she is currently enjoying that ‘crazy’ entrepreneurial decision she took.
“People were like are you crazy? Because I mean I just had my British passport and people asked what, is she going to do in Ghana after going through all this hassle. But I thought there was a lot to do here.”
“People also thought why would I spend all this money to educate myself abroad and come back and say I am going to fashion school. They thought I was crazy, ” the fashion designer narrated.
“I like to encourage young designers that hard work pays. With hard work and determination they will get there. They should be focused. Some of us never believed we will get here but we are here because of hard work and by the grace of God. Pray as well,” she added.
Bridget is happy today fashion designing is considered one of the lucrative and glamorous career options in Ghana and encouraged government to devote some interest to the industry.
“Before people used to look down on people that they are dump and they are not intelligent and that’s when they would say you should go to fashion school or go and learn how to sew. But I think it’s different now. Government should pay attention to the industry,” she disclosed.
From a small corner in her home with just two clients who believed in her designs, Bridget Osei Nyarko has gone through all odds and five years on, she now owns one of the best fashion outlets, which is Le Bon Collections.
Located at Dzorwulu opposite the Mediferm Hospital, not far from Sid Theatre, Le Bon Collections is not just being celebrated as one of the favourite and finest female clothing lines, but it also makes clothing with an exceptional taste.
She established the fashion brand in 2012 when she came out of Joyce Ababio College of Creative Designs.
Her first professional job for a friend who is always particular about her outfit and looks gave her the motivation to establish her own brand.
It wasn’t an easy task for her but she had to learn a lot on her own. She went the extra mile to hire a professional tailor to work with her and understudy him to learn more about fashion designing in addition to what she had learnt in school.
“It is not easy. The journey has been very tough. I mean it is not a thing you just get up and do. Especially working with people, they frustrate you a lot. I am a perfectionist when it comes to finishing. I want things perfectly done.
“..If you want to be a good designer, go to fashion school and after fashion school there is a lot that you need to learn. May be you have to be attached to somebody and understudy the person,” she said.
“People pass by Le Bon Collections and they see our cloths and fall in love with us. Sometimes people come in and they see our things and they feel they are designs that we have imported from outside. They don’t know we make them here because of the good finishing we do,” she recounted her success story.
Le Bon Collections are predominantly silk and soft fabrics and also have special stones in them. The brand is also known for its bespoke services. Bridget combines pattern drafting and free-hand-cutting techniques in making the designs to suit her comprehensive style.
“All of our clothes we have stones in them. The stone is like our signature so we put a little bit in everything we do. But some people don’t like it so we just ignore it when a client doesn’t like it. Apart from that we put stone in every design we do.”
Le Bon is not just affordable but also has different levels of clienteles. One of its most celebrated clients is Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
“Considering the efforts we put in our clothes especially with the stones, I think our collections are affordable. We want to satisfy our clients and not really about the money though we need money. When we make clothes for clients who are happy, to me it is a big achievement. Most of our clients are mature women because our focus is like do a shift-silhouette- not very fitted- because the grown up women usually don’t like the fitting stuff.”
Le Bon Collections has been one of the influential fashion brands on Ghana’s runways. The most recent events it showcased at were the ‘Rhythms On Da Runway’ and another by the American Embassy in Accra.
“Our target is to expand beyond the shores of Ghana and enter European market after we are done with Africa,” Bridget indicated.
Bridget left the shores of Ghana 1999 to the UK to read Marketing at the Middlesex University after she completed St Louis Secondary School.
She believes fashion is her calling, hence after working in the UK for two years in a marketing firm, she moved to Ghana, where she also did ticketing before finally going to fashion school.
“Fashion was a childhood dream and I prayed about it. I am a spiritual person so I said to myself let me pray about it and see where I stand. I just decided to do marketing but it is something that is helping me with my business now,” she said.
Bridget looks up to Joyce Ababio as her role model because she is a big influence on her.
Source: Daily Guide