Designer | Papa Oppong

As a boy in Accra, Ghana, Papa Oppong loved to draw so much that he did it all the time. He viewed the world as his canvas, drawing on the walls of his home and on the back of his homework. While this frustrated his parents and teachers, it was the first indication that the young artist would have a career in fashion. Inspired by the fashions of his mom and aunt, Papa continued to draw and soon saw the picture for his career. He majored in visual arts, textiles and literature in high school and enrolled in Radford College, the only university in Ghana to offer a fashion program.

Inspired by death, Old Hollywood, and post-war fashion, Papa launched his first collection, a Celebration of Darkness, at the inaugural Radford University College graduate fashion show. He was not only the youngest designer to present in the show but also the only person to present a fall/winter collection using materials like recycled car seat leather and corduroy, despite the fact that it never snows in Ghana. But Papa felt that it was important to follow the fashion calendar in order to launch a global brand.

Papa has interned with the UN Ethical Fashion Initiative, MCPR, and Studio 189, a fashion brand co-owned by actress Rosario Dawson and Abrimah Erwiah, immersing himself in the study of fashion design, styling, and public relations. He was also one of only three students selected showcase an outfit at IED Moda in Milan, Italy.

Papa Oppong has been featured in a number of local and international publications, including DASH Magazine and Dream Magazine. Legit Retail, a fashion retailer in South Africa, also highlighted the young designer in their 2014 catalogue, helping to spread the name of the young designer across the continent.

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