Exploring the joys of being black and “Pure Love”- how Pan-African womenswear designer, Ophelia Crossland is leveraging on Tech and authentic designs to celebrate black women
As Winston Mwale reports, the Pure Love Collection is available directly through the brand’s Flagship shop, its affiliate stockists and the new e-commerce website
Pan-African womenswear designer, Ophelia Crossland is well pleased to announce the launch of her ‘’Pure Love” Collection for the Spring and Summer fashion season.
Produced on the lines of an international pandemic and a lockdown that has affected the fashion industry and African enterprises , the titular womenswear brand with a luxury African aesthetic delved into her notion of unadulterated love to create the new line.
Nestled on the first floor of Sarah’s building, an iconic landmark on Ghana’s culturally-rich and retail district, Oxford Street in Osu, the brand which was founded by Ophelia Okyere-Darko, a then-graduate of the Vogue School of Style and Design where she was adjudged Best Graduating student in 2004, explores the fusion of Ghanaian folklore symbols, modern silhouettes, vibrant textiles and feminine designs to craft the pieces.
Okyere-Darko, a Swarovski West African Ambassador and a cultural Ambassador for her nation of Ghana with an abled team of artisans created building blocks with Ghanaian adinkra symbols including “Obaapa” which means ‘Good Woman or Wife’ in Akan, a popular Ghanaian dialect.
Launched at a time when discussions of women rights, Black rights and diversity have hit an all-time high , the new collection of fresh pieces celebrates the strength, resilience and joy of being a black woman in today’s world.
“Our world has changed drastically in the past few months, which has pushed us to think on the edge, questioned some of our truths and become more daring,” the award-winning Ophelia Okyere-Darko notes “Women including myself have mostly been affected by the disruptions that have occurred in the world; juggling several roles in their homes and careers which has taken a toll on their mental health.
“Our new collection is our bold way of infusing joy and love into the lives of Black women, we are sparking a never-ending affair with women and their clothes.”
Building on its renewed creative spirit, the brand shot their new lookbook at a time when the government of Ghana eased lockdown restrictions in parts of the country massively affected by the COVID-19.
Shot on the bustling streets of Osu RE, the lookbook, a creative collaboration between fashion photographers, Frozen Second and Mel Arthur brought the floaty, flattering, fresh, feminine Ophelia Crossland looks to life with some pieces inside the brand’s studio.
Models in matching face masks, the latest health and fashion accessories, swirled like swans in the new collection which introduces a wide array of antique gold prints, fine embroidery on cotton, lines and crepes on the gorgeous garments.
The selections du jour are everything from unique peach embroidered cotton tiered Midi dresses, Vintage cotton Kimonos, brocade panelled skirt and a floral crepe midi dress with a wax print collar.
As it explores a new path, the brand has also launched its e-commerce website in a continent where internet connectivity, electricity, delivery services and proper mapping system is an issue that affects business face but for an optimistic phelia Okyere-Darko, it creates the opportunity to conquer the obstacles and introduce her brand to every Modern Woman of Colour.
“As a black woman who is making clothes for my kilt and kin, I want their clothes to be an expression of their values and their ethnic identity but more than that I want everyone to have access to authentic Ophelia Crossland pieces which are inspired by the motherland and that’s why we launched a new e-commerce website like the top brands in the world to give everyone access,” she revealed
The Pure Love Collection is available directly through the brand’s Flagship shop, its affiliate stockists and the new e-commerce website.
For this African luxury womenswear brand, love is what the world needs in the era of racial injustice amidst the pandemic
“Love is radiant, charming and too beautiful to hidden in a closet just like our clothes,” she says.