The way he just put pieces together it’s always so effortlessly and giving your favourite mood aesthetics. Kwofie finally tells us how he got into this industry we all love.
GQ: How did you end up in fashion Industry?
TK: Since I was 16 I’ve always liked fashion and clothes. I’ve always tried to surround myself with people that inspire me, push me mentally and creatively, so it all happened naturally. Started by dressing my classmates for fun. My first serious gig was back in 2014 in Leeds when the owner of a small boutique I was working for – “The Allotment Store” – sent me to London Fashion Week as a buyer (shoutout Sol). From there it was a domino effect of experiences and jobs that came by being around creative people with (in my opinion) beautiful creative mindsets.
GQ: How do you come up with your outfits?
TK: So I grew up in Italy in the 90s, and by then we had stopped wearing uniforms, so I always had to find clothes to wear for school. When I was a kid I didn’t care much, but once I became a teenager I found myself spending more and more time every morning trying to mix and match those few clothes my mum would provide me at that point. Everything comes naturally to be completely honest with you, I don’t have any secret. When I look at items I always have in mind a piece from my wardrobe that could match or go with it and whenever I’m not sure I ask for opinions from my friends and family.
GQ: Describe your style
TK: The best way or word to describe my style is versatile. I could wear a whole fur coat and boots today and the day after you’d see me with a pair of blue jeans and a white t-shirt. I don’t limit myself to a specific style I just wear whatever I feel like wearing.
GQ: Does your Ghanaian culture play a role in your content creation and culture?
TK: Definitely in my stories and/or captions.. I grew up in a household that was really heavy on me learning the language, so I find myself speaking Fanti/Twi a lot. There will be a lot of Ghanian influence in my bags also once they are out.
GQ: What’s that one piece on repeat in your wardrobe?
TK: Probably my FaxCopyExpress ‘hand in front pocket’ pants, I literally wear them every day they just go with everything.
GQ: Which brands have you collaborated with so far?
TK: Some of the brands I’ve collaborated with so far are Gucci, Prada, Reebok, Needles, M. Margiela, Rick Owens, Bape, Converse, Dr. Martens, and New Era. But there is way more..Shoutout to all the PRs who have made it happen
GQ: How’s your journey like as a stylist?
TK: It’s been an interesting one, from dressing my classmates/friends to style serious photoshoots and campaigns, the best word to describe it is fun. The journey was enjoyable, but I’m not really heavy on styling anymore. Now when I get jobs, I usually direct them to people around me that are interested in styling. I have new projects I’m working on at the moment that I want to focus more on and give more time to.
GQ: You been working on your own brand wanna spill the secrets about it?
TK: No, you guys wait and see ahaha.
GQ: What are your future goals in this industry?
TK: I’m going to open a gender fluid fashion brand with leather goods and bags, and also a creative agency which gives opportunities to young people to enter the industry – I completely dislike the concept of gatekeeping and want to continue to try my best to dismantle that.
GQ: What advice would you give to a young person in Africa that want to enter the industry as a stylist?
TK: Same advice that I tell everybody all the time is that if you are looking for a place to start, just dress your friends and family, create a portfolio with at least 5/10 looks and email bigger stylists. It’s all about reaching out to stylists, the big ones are always on the lookout for assistants for pick-ups and returns. There’s not a single shoot I’ve done/directed without assistant stylists. So, create portfolios…but most importantly, reach out to people. When you’re entry level in the industry, do not be scared to do jobs for free at least at the beginning. I feel like nowadays everybody just expects money to flow straight away. Focus on just getting yourself in the industry at the start of your journey, learn as much as you can and the money will come eventually.
GQ: Which 3 African fashion brands are on your radar?
TK: Free The Youth Ghana and Motherlan are definitely putting Ghana and Nigeria on the map. And of course, Thomas Kwofie.
GQ: Which people of colour in this industry inspire you?
TK: You guys couldn’t ask me an harder question, Seriously the list could be incredibly long because I am inspired by so many people every day. First things first I want to start with a big shoutout to Emmanuel Spike Degbato , Aaron Dunkies and Jon Broxl for being my local inspirations/heroes while growing up in Verona. First 3 Black men in the Italian fashion industry that I’d see would stand by their morals and beliefs and they’d never stray from what they believed in. They all entered the industry and grabbed a seat with the big boys.
There is so many amazing Black men and women doing so much every day, it’s beautiful. If I had to pick a few I’d say:
All my friends from the one and only Stacey Foxx to everyone else, they teach me and inspire me every single day and I wouldn’t be where I am now without their influence.
Edward Enninful… The British Editor-in-Chief of Vogue made headlines for being the first man and the first black editor in British Vogue’s 100-year history. He was also one of the few black stylists back in the day who included minority models in his work wherever possible.
Quoting the TIMES “first-generation Ghanaian American, was a trailblazing, outsized figure in the fashion industry—but his influence stretched far beyond the world of clothes” no words needed. One of the biggest influences of our generation, his growth through the years and achievements are really inspiring.He proved to all of us that there is no limit literally anything you want to be you can reach it.
Dapper Dan, known as the king of “knockoffs.” He made a name for himself in the late ’80s one of the pioneers and first ones to introduce high fashion to the hip hop world with his legendary custom pieces. Another one that came to the industry to make noise by introducing new innovative techniques, a man that was never scared to stay true to himself and have a voice.
Joey Lit, I really look up to Joey me so much, by fire by force Joey release after release has made himself and his brand Free The Youth Ghana known worldwide with some of the biggest celebrities wearing his stuff and being part of HIS community. The concistency and energy this guy puts on things is beyond incredible I simply love him, he’s just a BEAST, phenomenal, keep your eyes on him cause he’s going far for sure.
Yagamoto, Ottawa Kwami, Samuel Ross, Ib Kamara, Campbell Addy, and seriously I could carry on for days, I get insired by literally everybody around me everyday. Learning from people never stops and I find it beautiful.
Stacey Foxx, my best friend her whole persona is inspirational to me. I’ve never seen in my entire life someone with ambition bigger than her, she’s wise, caring and super talented, I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for her, she’s influenced me a lot through the years without even knowing, my mannerisms, my mindset, she always knows how to cheer me up. Stacey Foxx birthed me.
Lenny Kravitz, this is really random but I’ve been a fan of Lenny for a long time. He is confident and Black. In Italy I was a bit of a nerd and my parents forced me to learn how to play drums for church and my whole persona (boots every now and then, silver jewellery, my nose piercing, my locs etc) are all because for a big part of my life he was my role model, he’s always been true to himself and never merged with trends without mentioning how talented he is, one of the most inspirational people in my opinion.
GQ: What’s the mantra you’re living by right now?
TK: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine”
“Whatever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it, and it will be yours, Mark 11:24”
GQ: Have you faced any challenges being in the industry?
TK: So many and that’s why I want to open my agency at one point, unfortunately it’s all about connections out there and there is so many reasons why someone wouldn’t like you, gender/sexuality/race/religion or simply the way you look, that’s why also I’ll help as many people as possible with my agency where there is no bias judgement.
GQ: What do you think should be done to bring more African designers into the international fashion market?
TK: More co-signs from people in other countries. Creatives from all across the world resharing and speaking more about designers from Africa is not enough tho, I think also bigger brands should start including African designers to their projects. Prs of big companies should reach out to the African market too. Brands should start considering African creative directors and/or designers in their teams but it all starts from us, everytime there is an opportunity I think we should mention African designers/creatives and include them in whatever move we make.
GQ: Three words to describe London Fashion Week?
TK: Young, Quirky, experimental.
GQ: Three words to describe Milan Fashion Week?
TK: Tailored, High-Quality,