The founder of the luxury Ghanaian brand ‘Christie Brown’, Aisha Ayensu, is leading a new wave of African creatives making their mark on the world stage. Christie Brown is a purely African fashion label that fits every occasion. The garments express how the texture and colours of Africa combine to create comfort and elegance in every wear.
Speaking with Eve Jackson, Aisha explained that her love for fashion was inspired by her grandmother Christie Brown, a Ghanaian seamstress who never had her own label. Aisha, who studied psychology at the university decided to join the movement of optimism rising across the African continent. “Africans all over the world were being highlighted for doing amazing things and I wanted to be a part of that movement. And, the best way I knew how was through fashion”, she said. Aisha described the fashion scene in Accra as vibrant, and full of endless possibilities. “African designers are making a significant impact on the global fashion scene. Also, Ghanaians are going through a renaissance where they’re excepting themselves and allowing themselves to run free with their imagination and creativity. You see that in our art, music, and fashion”, said Aisha.
Founded in March 2008, Christie Brown has been consistent in producing unique women’s apparel and accessories. The fashion label is inspired by African culture and art to make clothes that are fit for contemporary African women. Christie Brown is considered a pioneer of ready-to-wear in Ghana and across Africa.
Aisha Ayensu is famous for painting the runways with a fuse of colour and culture. Her products range from bespoke gowns, practical yet statement pieces to other innovative accessories from Africa. Christie Brown is worn by celebrities all over the world including Alicia Keys, Beyonce, and Wakanda Forever actress, Danai Gurira. The label is also headlined in the Victoria Albums and museum, the UK’s biggest focus on African fashion.
Aisha noted that materials for her work are sourced from every part of the world but predominantly, from Africa. The fashion company is sited at Korle-Gonno, a deprived community in Accra. Aisha explained that renting space in that area is economical for her business and also helps to provide opportunities for the local people. “We employ a lot of people from the community, so it stands as a beacon of hope. Also, seeing people pass through our doors to learn the skill and progress in their career gives meaning to all that we do”, said Aisha.
Speaking at this year’s Accra fashion week event, founder of Glitz Africa Magazine, Claudia Lumor noted that the fashion week is where fashion labels can make a name for themselves. “It is not just about showcasing talents but also about the business side of fashion and beauty”, she said. She added that African designers now have access to market opportunities, funding, and branding. Claudia urged upcoming creatives to take advantage of the platform provided to showcase their works abroad, sell and expand.
Aisha Ayensu was named Glitz Style Awards' African Designer of the Year in 2018 and 2019. She is passionate about projecting the African story in a way that shows the endless possibilities on the continent.