Amaka Osakwe is the creative director of Maki Oh, a brand that fuses traditional African techniques with detailed contemporary constructions.
Osakwe’s journey into fashion began at the Arts University BourneMouth where she received a BA in fashion studies. In 2010 she started her Nigerian based women’s wear label with a collection inspired by rural Ghana’s Dipo rites-passage ceremony, introducing the brand’s signature style of incorporating traditional African textiles and techniques such as the traditional hand dyed adire.
Her label soon got recognized as one of the most daring and authentic designers from West Africa, after debuting at New York Fashion week in 2012. But Maki-oh considers her fashion journey as more than just offering well tailored clothing. Through her vision and engaging narratives she aims to represent women of her culture in a unique way, making her one of the leading visual storytellers in the African design sphere. The label received another boost in 2013, when US First Lady Michelle Obama wore the brand during a trip to Johannesburg and later invited Osakwe to join her at the ‘Celebration of Design’ event at the White House.
Maki Oh’s forward aesthetics made her a finalist candidate at the LVMH prize in 2014, burgeoning a lot of interest from international press, buyers and expanding a celebrity’s clientele including Solange Knowles and Lupita Nyongo.
“I think the only way to breathe new life into fashion really is adding some meaning to it, adding some depth to it.”