Accra Mens Fashion Week 16: Debon Afrik vies for Ghana’s menswear athleisure crown

In response to the growing relevance of menswear both as a viable channel of expression for designers and fashion lovers and a bonafide income source for fashion brands, Ghana’s fashion industry pushed for the creation of a fashion showcase exclusively for menswear brands. Thus, the Accra Mens Fashion Week was created. We wrote about the event here. After some logistical delays, AMFW finally held over the weekend (30th of April – 2nd May).

Debon Afrik, one the first labels to show, presents an interesting dilemma.

The label chose to show a purely athleisure inspired collection for it’s AMFW showcase, infusing tribal elements into its clothing with ankara inserts and heavy embroidery. The brand covers all the athleisure staples; sweat shirts and pants, legend tees and hoodies, bucket hats and even the summer shorts that have gained popularity in the last two years, all heavily accented with African inspired wax inserts (a trend that replicated itself with a huge swath of designers that showed at AMFW). It is at first glance, quite interesting.

However when you give the collection more scrutiny, inherent flaws become obvious. Debon Afrik’s Ankara inserts are haphazard and seem to have been made by free-hand, which give interesting shapes on the sample pieces but will be near impossible to replicate. Also if you disregard the ankara inserts, Debon Afrik’s ‘athleisure’ is very much cookie-cutter, with little innovation in silhouettes and construction, two important details that any brand seeking to make headway in a saturated market like athleisure needs to come correct on.

This collection would have benefitted greatly from a little more technique.

Photo Credit: Quasie Asephua Photography

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