By Fatou Binta Gueye
UFFP presents Terra Firma the new collection of Ghanaian designer Mina Evans
A brand new collection full of colors and tribal influences. Mina tells us all about the inspiration and influences for this collection.
“Terra Firma” is a Latin word meaning “firm or solid ground”, the collection intricately incorporates the tie dye technique creating a luxurious marble effect accentuated with beads imported from Czech Republic.
Interview with Mina Evans :
Can you describe your work?
Mina Evans produces classic and elegant pieces with simple cut and embellishments that has become a signature of the brand. Our dress shirt range for men incorporates a simple fusion of Ankara prints.
Who is the woman you target?
We target professional women between the ages of 20-40 on medium to high income that are classic, fun and open minded. The Mina Evans woman exudes confidence. She is intelligent, elegant and knows her style.
What kind of materials do you work with?
We work with different fabrics including raw silks, chiffons, organza, tulle and Ankara prints. Our new collection has seen us explore custom made tie dye and beads.
Your achievements so far?
Our biggest achievement was being selected to create a collection for renowned fabric brand Vlisco which we called “Dazzling Graphics”.
Dreams and goals?
Our dream and goal is to become a renowned brand around Africa and also internationally.
What do you think of ethical fashion? And its place in Africa?
Ethical fashion definitely has a place in Africa. We have to ensure that the people who are producing and manufacturing for us are treated fairly and also that the products/fabrics are ethically sourced to ensure we are protecting the environment.
It is understandable that not all brands can go down the route of ethically sourcing their products. However, we can ensure that we are providing adequate resources and assistance to those who are the backbone of our business.
How do Africans perceive African designs?
I think this perception is slowly changing and I would say more so for the Africans in the Diaspora than those within Africa. Those in the Diaspora are appreciating the craftsmanship and passion of most of the African fashion designers out there whilst most within Africa still consider the designs to be traditional and prefer Western styles.
Have you been in French speaking Africa before, what do you think of their couture?
I have not been to the French speaking part of Africa as yet. I would definitely love to go and gather some inspiration from there. The fashion there is eclectic, vibrant, and bold as well as subtle and simultaneously simple! It has all the right ingredients in my opinion.
Tell us about Terra firma, description of material of dresses?
With Terra Firma, I knew I wanted to use a textile that was not Ankara print but at the same time African. I decided to look into tie-dye and discovered a technique that produced a marble effect. My team and I then went on to test of different fabrics and explore different colour ways. We settled on the browns, oranges and mustard because I wanted the collection to have an earthy feel. We also used raw silks and chiffons as complimentary fabrics.