PGF Collaborative Dream Team
About Our Team of Collaborators:
Artist Christopher of Aerime Designs: Leather Craftsman: A Y3 M3 Bag.
PGF Narrative: A y3 m3 …in our local Guan Eastern Region language also known as chripong means “What did he/she say” . My design collaboration partner on the A Y3 M3 Bags, Christopher, heard my aunt say to me “ay3 m3″ as he was talking to me about the art of leather & design passed down to him generation to generation- his eyes lit up and he smiled & said “what did you say? aerime?.. that is my name” as he pointed to his design label . He is from the Upper East of Ghana -a place called Bolga. In their local language aerime means spirt/guiding spirit or similar to the meaning of Gye Nyame in Akan language. Connecting to people on the basis of the priceless fusion of languages shows just how powerful language can be on so many levels.
Bolgatanga, colloquially known as Bolga, is a town and the capital of both the Bolgatanga Municipal District and the Upper East Region of Ghana. Bolgatanga is the twenty-seventh most populous settlement in Ghana, in terms of population, with a population of 66,685 people. Historically Bolgatanga was situated at the southern terminus of the ancient Trans-Saharan trade route. The eastern route traveled through Northern Nigeria, converging with the Sahelian route from Mali via Burkina Faso, near Bolgatanga. Along the route, handicrafts—especially straw baskets, hats and fans, as well as leather goods, metal jewelry, and indigenous attires — were exchanged for kola nuts and salt.The Upper East Region, where Bolgatanga lies, is part of what used to be known as the Upper Region. Between 1902 and 1960 the Northern Territory was a British protectorate; it was separated into the Northern and Upper Region on July 1, 1960. The Upper Region was apportioned into Upper East and Upper West Region in 1983 during the PNDC rule. The ethnic group of the Upper East is the Dagomba with their language Dagbani spoken. When early Europeans arrived in Bolga, the villagers welcomed them warmly. Today, Bolga is known as the crafts centre of northern Ghana, with a large central market. Apart from items found elsewhere in Ghana, the so-called “Bolga hats” are made and sold there. Bolgatanga and its surrounding villages also comprise the largest producers of leather works, straw baskets and smocks in the country. The artists sell their works at the Bolgatanga Market, which is open every third day.There is also a museum in the town which houses objects of historical importance of the region…” Source
Makaaf : Beaded Jewelry and Queen’s Handle bags
Makaaf is an extremely accomplished jewelry designer who creates custom pieces for fashion houses all over the world. He embodies and represents the rich history of cultural, fashionable and traditional glass bead works made famous in Odumase Krobo -a small town and the capital of Lower Manya Krobo district, a district in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The 150,000 Krobo are the most numerous of the Adangme speaking peoples. They are located in the mountains just inland from the coast and are the fourth largest ethnic group in the country. During the nineteenth century they were one of the small states of the Gold Coast in the formative stages of political and cultural development. After the middle of the nineteenth century they became economically and politically one of the most important groups in the country because of their dominant role in commercial production of export crops.
PGF Narratives: The Jewell Green Pick: We comb our hair to beautify our face…
As I was in Ghana collaborating with Jewelry Designer Maakaf on this limited addition collection under the PGF Brand – created specifically to promote the amazing creatives of art in Ghana & to promote the Made In Ghana label; He pulled out this pick from his bag of original design ornamentations and asked me if I wanted to make a new design from it. I automatically said yes & with green beads because the first person I thought of was Jewell Green- the fabulous Miss Frolab, FROLABorator, designer & gorgeous new mom with this beautifully rich Global African pick- the perfect instrument to honor her gorgeous fro. Thanks for being an inspiration in beautiful green!
Amy: Creator of Strung by Amy Bead Earrings
A native of Burkina Faso, West Africa is a proud mom of an autistic child married to a Ghanaian artist. She was educated in a French fashion and design school in the West where she honed her design skills to start up her family business entitled NAIRWAWAN. Her family business offers opportunities for leather and jewelry artisans in her native country of Burkina Faso where she teaches and collaborates with them on her designs- which she now sells in her adopted home of New York City.
Mama G: Head of Production
In Ghana for Product of Global Fusion (PGF)The G may stand for Gloria but it embodies GangStar. Mama G is from the the Awukuga Eastern Region Mountain side of the family -a true mountain girl- the Amma gangsta crew who bring the true power of the honor of Ghana’s roots in the matriarchal legacy of Queen Asantewaa embodied & emboldened thru her fierce negotiation skills- that come with the kindness and heart of a mother who negotiates the art of the deal in fairness to all her children -bloodline or the basic humanity that has created our global fusion of bloodlines -knowing that we are a circular global fusion republic where we all need one another in the desire for mutual profits in our forward movements.
Model: Belinda Baidoo
An international model mom, entrepreneur & trail blazer of models from Ghana who have had successful careers internationally. Belinda first came on the scene after winning Top Model of Afrique in 1998 & then went on to sign with a top agency in New York-known to many as the global fashion capital of the world. Belinda has been seen on billboards advertisements in New York’s famous Times Square along with international fashion magazine spreads & major Ad. Campaigns for international companies such as: Guinness, L’Oreal, Nike, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren,& Motorola along with international publications such as Vogue, Essence, Cosmopolitan, just to name a few. Belinda has now opened up her own modeling agency in Ghana called b2Models, where she continues to mentor & develop Ghana’s international models of the future.
Richard Maitlamd (Jamaica/USA) : http://richardmaitland.com/
Mandela Gregoire (USA/Panama): http://www.mandelagregoire.com/
Susan Thembi DelMoor-Rodriguez
PGF WORKSHOP : DANSOMAN GHANA, WEST AFRICA