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December 27th, 2011

Trading on the Gold Coast since 1444 – Designer PROFILE

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Written by: Jacqueline Shaw
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Gold Coast Trading is a clothing company created by Nigerian born Emeka Alams which brings together traditional Africa cultures and the Western world. Emeka calls this label his ‘effort to get back to that time’ meaning that time when:

“We would gather in large numbers to mourn with those who mourn and to rejoice with those who rejoice. We have forgotten that we came from a continent where guiding, correcting and rebuking children is everybody’s’ task; a continent with green forests, clean rivers and undiscovered natural resources abound.”

This time was before 1444. Before,

“We were traded from the gold coast by Europeans x our own African brothers. This trade has changed our world and reshaped our thoughts. Living by European standards throughout the African diaspora we have forgotten what makes our culture powerful, rich and unique. Here we strive for riches and neglect our families, we smile upon others while wishing for their demise, all things associated with the mind frame of those who began this trade.”

let’s go back to the way we use to live, the pride we once had

Emeka currently resides in New York City and has lived in West Africa, Europe as well as the USA. His experience has been in the running of VisualKoncepts  – a graphic design company producing graphics for the music industry which lead hm and the team to start  making clothing too to go along side the merchandise for the music album covers etc. This inspired him to start his own thing as his work was obviously that good – why waste talent!

Naming the brand Gold Cost Trading / 1444, was due to location and it being the same year in which European colonists began the deportation of the first Africans. And his works for every collection seem to have a political stance to it. You can almost relive times and experiences in African history through these clothing items without being in Africa. The previous collection was about the rise of the youth against the South African government in a Johannesburg filled with apartheid. So he dedicated it to the youth of Soweto in 1976.

The western coast of Africa is known as the Gold Coast for obvious reasons, and the majority of slaves were taken from there and transported across the seas known as the Transatlantic Slave Trade. He used this as a reference point in time around 1444 when the African slave trade began.

He is just one of many creatives coming out of the Diaspora and we are loving this new collection and the beautiful lookbook featuring the artist/photographer Cassie Gibson. And we at AFG in particular love his use of organic and high quality cotton as well as the use of kente in the styling of this range.  check out the ‘Mzuzu’ traditional  print  organic  cotton cardigan and a pima cotton te.

Inspired by the African continent with the notorious use of African country graphics – enjoy a look at the latest AW11 collection by Gold Coast Trading .

image – Gold Coast Clothing/Before 1444 – AW2011
image – Gold Coast Clothing/Before 1444 – AW2011
image – Gold Coast Clothing/Before 1444 – AW2011
image – Gold Coast Clothing/Before 1444 – AW2011
image – Gold Coast Clothing/Before 1444 – AW2011
image – Gold Coast Clothing/Before 1444 – AW2011
image – Gold Coast Clothing/Before 1444 – AW2011

Absolutely love this yellow cardigan and the coral /salmon colour tee …mmmh I wonder if they will ever do a Caribbean story…Jamaica could be a great idea for 2012 50th anniversary…..just a thought 🙂

anyway check out more details of ‘The Very Best’ AW11 collection – Gold Coast Clothing on: website: http://before1444.com

(images courtesy of Gold Coast Clothing)

MUSE: All photos by Sarah de Burgh , Styling by Emeka Alams

Author: Jacqueline Shaw





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