“Who doesn’t love Friday?” asks Meghan Sebold, founder of the breakout fashion label, Afia. We couldn’t agree more. According to Sebold, whose studies in Ghana led to the creation of her company, everyone is given a bonus name based on the day they were born. For Sebold, her Friday birth made her known as “Afia Meghan.” Everything, it seems, is better in twos. By fusing the brilliance of Ghanaian cotton wax textiles with silhouettes designed to emphasize womanly curves, Afia is a standout new label, with a name and aesthetic that blend tradition with modernity, exoticism with the familiar.

Afia, Fall/Winter 2011, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, fair-trade fashion, fair-trade clothing, fair trade, Ghana, West Africa

URBAN INDIGENOUS

Sebold’s mission to merge economic development with fashion began in high school, but it was during a semester abroad in Ghana that she opened up to the breadth of talent amongst local seamstresses and textile vendors. More important, she also learned about the limitations they face regarding business growth. It took a bit of self-reflection, but Sebold recognized the role she could play. “I could use my skills of design and trend forecasting to connect their craft to our market,” she says.

Sebold handpicks fabrics from the markets of Accra before employing professionals in Chicago and New York City to create her patterns.

Using an integrative production approach, Sebold handpicks brilliantly hued fabrics from small vendors in the markets of Accra, Ghana’s capital, before employing professionals in both Chicago and New York City’s Garment District to make and grade her patterns. “The process was like a treasure hunt, and very fittingly, I chose a collection called “Treasure” to work with,” she tells Ecouterre. “[It’s] a special collection made by Ghanaian producer Akosombo Textiles Limited.”

One of those “treasures” that Sebold carries with her from her time in Ghana is the local axiom to “fully enjoy your life.” If you’re in NYC, you’re invited to share her enjoyment at Afia’s official launch at Guilded this evening. Don’t miss the opportunity to scope the line out, as well as get your hands on some of the pattern-popping pieces from Afia’s capsule collection.

+ Afia