STUDIO D’MAXSI is a design house owned by Afua Sam. Celebrated as an innovative, sophisticated and edgy women’s wear line for the modern woman, STUDIO D’MAXSI unique designs are for the sexy, classy, funky, chic and confident woman. STUDIO D’MAXSI has featured in various fashion shows including Maryland Fashion Week, DC Fashion Week, Crystal Couture and Fashion Law Week DC. She’s even included her designs in charitable fashion events like Steps to the Cure, Fashion Fusion, Fashion for World Peace, and Pink Jams. Her designs have been seen on Carolyn Malachi (Grammy nominated song writer), Jamie Foster Brown (Sister 2 Sister Magazine), Awurama Simpson (Miss Ghana Universe 2010), on the cover of “Council Magazine” and more.
Mz Mahogany: Who is Afua Sam?
Afua: I’m from Ghana West Africa. I come from a family of six that includes my parents, my two older brothers, and my younger sister. Growing up, life was tough. It became more difficult when my father suddenly died. My artistic side comes from him because he was a musician. My strength and personality comes from my mom. I have always been around some form of art or creativity. Even though I grew up around two talented brothers, weaved baskets and built all kinds of cars with local materials, I didn’t know I would become a fashion designer until my late teens. I’m a family oriented person, fun, and hardworking. I’m very calm and shy but I have a hidden edgy personality. Overall I’m a fun loving adventurous person and I love God!
Mz Mahogany: What brought you to the fashion world and specifically to starting your own line?
Afua: I have always been around some type of art and creativity, so it felt natural for me. It took me a while to step out because I often thought of designing clothes as a hobby. What drove me to become a fashion designer was the random people constantly asking me where I bought my outfit. They’d even put my outfits on the same level as high-end stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom’s. In addition to this, I started my line to use my talent to support causes that I believe in and to also inspire young people.
Mz Mahogany: What was the most difficult aspect in launching your own label?
Afua: The most difficult part was the balance between being a family-oriented person to becoming a business person. Going through the transition from having a hobby and turning it into a business. Also making sure the legal aspect of it all was on point.
Mz Mahogany: Which fashion designers do you admire?
Afua: I admire a lot of designers, like Ozwald Boateng, Alexander McQueen, and Valentino. I love Jean Paul Gaultier because he is super talented, he always has fun with his designs, and he does not compromise. That’s how I see fashion.
Mz Mahogany: Tell me about your ‘Chic Gypsy’ Collection and your inspiration to create this line.
Afua: This collection came about when I traveled to Europe (Paris, Milan, and London) last summer. I travel a lot and get inspired by everything I see. I had so much fun working with “Team International”, they were amazing people. That explains why I chose those colors, fabrics, and models. Designing is fun for me, any day, any time.
Mz Mahogany: Which design is your favorite?
Afua: I have two actually. The first is “The Bra Dress”. The entire dress was made out of bra’s to honor breast cancer survivors.
For my second favorite, and as I mentioned before, last summer I went on a fashion adventure tour in Europe. I designed and constructed this African print couture dress at my good friend’s studio in Milan. We did a photo shoot in Paris with “Team International” including fashion photographer Flavia from Argentina, make-up/hairstylist Rimi from Japan and model Alysson from France. They all live in Paris. It was an awesome time!
Mz Mahogany: What advice would you give a fashion newbie or student, looking to become a designer?
Afua: Make sure the legal aspects of being a designer including your label name are secured. Learn the craft of fashion! For example, learn how to cut fabric, make your own patterns, sew, and how to choose fabric. In order to save money as a beginner, learn your craft! Get inspired but be unique.
Mz Mahogany: What’s next for STUDIO D’MAXSI?
Afua: I will be at the African Royal on March 25th 2012 and the Ota Lambda Omega-Columbia Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority annual scholarship fashion show luncheon on April 29 2012. STUDIO D’MAXSI is the next big thing in fashion worldwide. It’s Unique, edgy, sexy and classy at the same time.
Click Here to see more Studio D’Maxsi at the Fashion Law Week DC 2012 fashion show. For more information on Afua Sam and the Studio D’Maxsi brand, please visit her website at http://www.studiodmaxsi.com