The Designer Series

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 9.9.19 | A.M.

 
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Akrofi Adjumani is the Founder and Creative Director of his eponymous label. Akrofi’s focus is womenswear, creating separates and dresses for formal occasions. His aesthetic is one of contrasting values, finding beauty in juxtaposition.

With influences ranging from his home in Ghana to contemporary voices in international fashion, we find firm textiles, precise construction, bold colors and strong patterns paired with sheer materials and flowing silhouettes to render a powerful yet gentle woman entirely in command of her agency.

 
 
 
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Akrofi Adjumani

BORN : Adjumanikope, Greater Accra Region, GhanA
RAISED : Adjumanikope
EDUCATION : SEATTLE Central College
EXPERIENCE : Tailor, Nordstrom Flagship
LABELS : 1
FOCUS : PRÊT-À-PORTER
Studio : YES
LOCATION : Burien, WASHINGTON


 
 

Born in a small village called Adjumanikope quite a distance away from the capital city of Accra, a young Akrofi grew up amidst the rich colors, textures and reminders of the beauty of nature and the indomitable human spirit that’s prevalent throughout the African continent. With only about 4,000 people in the surrounding area, most villager’s daily activities included agriculture and mining salt.  Named after his great-grandfather, Adjumanikope was a place where one worked hard, and played harder.

“When I was growing up, it didn’t feel like poverty to me. . . I didn’t have any life to compare that to.  I grew up very happy,” Akrofi recalls with a kind of pleasant serenity. Though much of his life might easily be classified as struggle, he doesn’t see it that way. For him, happiness was a key feature of his upbringing — which included working in a salt mine and on farms after school as a kid.

 
I think part of the reason why I like using prints is because I got drawn to color since I was little.
— Akrofi Adjumani
 

While education is valued in Ghana, it wasn’t always available. “We were very fortunate to have a primary school in our village.  However, there were times we didn’t have teachers for months.” This effectively gave Akrofi more time for work in the mines until the rainy seasons came. But it also opened small windows for creativity. And once a habit of not attending school is established—well, perhaps we can all relate. “I remember growing up, I would skip classes to pick up colored chalks and do a lot of drawings with it.”

Akrofi took his early interests in art and worked for his uncle in Accra as a tailor for several years before meeting his wife and traveling to the United States, Haiti, and finally Seattle, Washington. The path may not have been a straight line, but was a consistent trajectory with a key theme of adding beauty through the application of creativity to matters of problem-solving. (More on that later.)

“The art [in Ghana] is very bright and vibrant.  Everything around us.  You go to a market and see different patterns, different colors. . . I think part of the reason why I like using prints is because I got drawn to color since I was little.”

 
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Akrofi Adjumani SS19 Selections

 

Akrofi’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection features clear influences from the house of Alexander McQueen (a longtime source of creative and technical inspiration) as well as The Spheres at Amazon in Downtown Seattle. Yet it is his deep admiration for his Ghanaian heritage which stands out most notably.

With a foundation of repeating patterns and strong symmetry, Akrofi weaves an organic story closely mirroring his own personal—and Seattle’s collective—rise to metropolitan heights while remaining true to the roots from which our shared blossoms have flourished.

 
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Akrofi Adjumani AW19 Selections from Couture & Cars Fashion Show 2019.

 
 

Akrofi is currently a tailor at Nordstrom Flagship in Seattle and a graduate of Seattle Central College’s School of Apparel Design and Development. He recently was a part of FashioNXT UpNXT Emerging Designer Competition where he was awarded Style Challenge Winner.

But for all his recent success, there still beats the heart of a young man from Adjumanikope who would rather sketch tables and patterns than attend a business lecture. Akrofi is an artist, after all, from a long line of artists. And that’s an important key to his happiness.

 
 
When I was growing up, it didn’t feel like poverty to me. I didn’t have any life to compare that to. I grew up very happy.
— Akrofi Adjumani
 

 

Follow Akrofi Adjumani on Instagram and visit his website.