We can't get enough of our artistically woke muse, Akua Shabaka
. She is one of the creator's of House of Aama
, a culturally inspired lifestyle brand rooted in the ethos of the African continent and diaspora. Read our interview with her below where we find out her design process, where she finds inspiration, and her thoughts on LA vs NY.
Describe your style in 3 words.
70s, dancehall, queen
What inspired you to start House Of Aama?
I was inspired to start House of Aama way back when I was 15 in the 10th grade. At the time, I started exploring my love for fashion and culture by up-cycling vintage clothes and creating garments made out of fabrics that reflected my African culture. A lot of people around me and at school wanted pieces so I decided to open a store. This birthed our youth collection Urban Nomad and collaborations with artists in Senegal. Since then we’ve gone back to the drawing board, rebranded and recently launched our adult AW’17/18 collection “BLOODROOT” inspired by my mother’s southern heritage. The collection is an ode to southern creole spirituality and African roots.
What is the design process like for your clothing?
After we go through all of our inspiration and research. We do rough sketches (very rough, we’re so much better at just getting on the sewing machine) and then we start sourcing materials.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
We spend a lot of time doing historical research and exploring archived historical imagery of regular people in their everyday life. We review our hr historical imagery with a focus on the design elements and the fabrics being used.
How do you like living in LA compared to New York?
Because I lived in LA primarily during my childhood and teenage years and I now live in NY as an adult I feel there are so many things that aren’t comparable. However, nothing can beat the various beautiful landscapes of LA but the diversity of people and best jerk chicken is in NY. I definitely feel that New York’s fast paced hustle vibe is what I need right now.
What's next for you?
I feel like I always ask myself this question, because everyday is new for me and the most amazing experiences for me have been at random. Coming up in the near future is my NYFW “Bloodroot” presentation that I’m really excited about! Other than that, finishing college, continuing to model, travel and be free.