MONAA is a luxury shoe label founded by German born Ghanaian sisters, Afua (left) and Nana Dabanka (right). Living across different continents, Afua is now based in London and Nana works in New York.
Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
MONAA is a luxury footwear label which we created in 2013. Expert artisans in Ghana and Ethiopia beautiful craft our sandals from the finest globally sourced leathers. As a finishing, we embellish the sandals with ornaments reminiscent of our Ashanti heritage.
What is your creative process?
Our inspiration does not only come from Ghana but from the entire African continent. We select a theme for the collection and then translate the vision into colours, materials and designs.
What’s your fashion philosophy – i.e. ethical or/and sustainable fashion?
The motivation behind MONAA was to create a high end brand and we are fortunate to be able to produce in the countries we do. We strongly believe in the concepts of ethical and sustainable fashion. Thanks to the amazing work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, who have taken on MONAA under their wing, this concept is finding increasing global reach. Hopefully, one day, fashion form the continent will simply be considered fashion without any extra labelling!
What is your advice to aspiring designers?
Understand that the process is long and hard, so be patient but never stop pushing!
In your opinion what are some of the challenges facing the fashion industry in Africa?
There is a lack of materials and resources, e.g. technology, equipment etc. Also, there is not enough access to specialised or vocational training which could not only increase the number of artisans but also their skill sets.
How do you give back to the community?
In a small way, we contribute towards local businesses and towards promoting countries in Africa as manufacturing hubs. As the brand grows, we are planning to have an even larger impact.
What’s your price range?
Our sandals retail between US$95-US$140.
Where can we see more of your work?