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Ozwald Boateng designs first ever womenswear collection

WOMENSWEAR COLLECTION: Designer Ozwald Boateng

OZWALD BOATENG is to design his first ever womenswear collection.

Boateng, who made history when he became the youngest black designer to open a shop on London’s famous Savile Row in 1995, will showcase the collection as a part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance.

The Harlem Renaissance, which occurred in the early part of the 20th century, is considered a golden age in African American arts and culture. It was sparked by the great migration of black people from the South.

Boateng’s collection will be launched on May 5 at the Apollo theatre in Harlem, WWD reported.

In a statement, the designer’s eponymous label said the show will celebrate culture, diversity, music, history and fashion.

Last year, Boateng unveiled his Africanism collection at Arise Fashion Week in Lagos, Nigeria.

Writing about the designs and his inspiration in Vogue he said: “I was always looking at different ways to develop fabrics to communicate that, so obviously I took the Kente cloth which is traditionally Ghanaian, looking at new ways to interpret Kente I used solid colours instead of the multicoloured pattern the cloth is traditionally known for.”

Boateng, who is known for his use of colour in tailoring, also shared the effect he wants his clothes to have on the men who wear them.

“I've always wanted to take men into a place where they felt maybe they weren't comfortable before but realised they could be in the use of colour and how they could wear it; when you use deep rich colours, any man can wear those colours. If it's styled the right way with the right components suddenly something a man thought was unwearable suddenly becomes wearable,” he wrote.

Boateng, who is of Ghanaian descent, created his first collection using his mother’s sewing machine. He has dressed everyone from Spike Lee and Will Smith to Daniel Day Lewis and the British Airways staff. Last year was announced as the designer of airline’s new uniforms, an important element of its centenary celebrations.

In 2006, he was awarded an OBE for services to the clothing industry by the Queen.

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