An award-winning Ghanaian fashion designer, plus a pioneer in promoting modern African styles and designs to the internationals stage – Kofi Ansah, was born into an artistic family, which was what triggered his interest towards art and design. He was especially motivated by his father, who was a classical musician and an artist.
Kofi studied design outside the country, he went to the United Kingdom and studied at Chelsea School of Art, graduating with first-class honours in fashion design and especially in design technology. Moreover, for his graduation, Kofi made a beaded up top piece for Princess Anne, which was the first time his name appeared in the headlines. After finishing his studies, he then came back to Ghana (1992), where he started his own creative concept and design company – Artdress.
Kofi was an extraordinary designer and his awards and honours are a proof of that. In October 2003, he had won the prestigious Ghana Quality Diamond Division award, plus his company – Artdress and his overall skill in clothing and textile had attained him the first prize in the Millenium 2000 African Fashion Awards.
What is more, he was known for his incredible use of quilting, appliqué, embroidery and his impeccable craftsmanship in women’s clothing, that showed off his distinct style – a mix of traditional West African style with a touch of Western contemporary design. Kofi was very keen on teaching and educating about fashion, which is probably why he has been giving young, emerging Ghanaian designers workshops in his developing, eponymous label – Artdress. And, if that wasn’t enough, he has also created and served as a president for the Federation of African Designers.
The innovative, true pace-setter designer has always accentuated the importance of clothes and them having a story. He himself has always had great ones [stories] and has always told them in the most elegant way. Kofi aimed to make people feel unique and especially happy, when wearing his clothes. He had even claimed that there were never two shirts that were made the completely same way.
"No, I am not in the beauty business, I am in the bringing happiness business."
̶ Kofi Ansah