Timeless Fashion & Colorful Fabric | Defining her brand – by Queen Allotey-Pappoe
Queen Adeline by Queen Allotey-Pappoe is a fashion design brand focused on sustainability and is inspired by the colorful culture and art of Africa. Blending clean tailored lines with colorful, printed textiles from her African heritage, rendered in modern timeless silhouettes, Queen creates clothing pieces which are wearable art, fit to adorn the human body, yet practical and functional. How are you being sustainable?
First and foremost I do not follow trends as a designer because I believe that is one of the core reasons for fast fashion, which has resulted in mass producing fashion at the expense of the environment and sometimes the human lives that are involved.
I create modern timeless pieces which are wearable art in themselves, versatile and trans-seasonal, aiming to bring individuality back and keep clothing longer in our closets. It is my belief that if people slowed down to chose and buy clothing they really needed, and felt connected to in expressing their individuality, then they will enjoy wearing it and keep that piece for a long time thereby reducing waste.
In being sustainable my process involves best practices and innovative design to help reduce my carbon footprint on the environment. There are three main foci in this quest: the impact of my work on the environment, the human lives involved in my business and the preservation of local artistry and craftsmanship. To this effect I often work in collaboration with local textile designers and seamstresses both here in Boston and in Accra, Ghana to create some of my work.
I try to incorporate minimum to zero waste concept in my design process, so that I efficiently use the least resources possible in creating my designs. To that effect, I use minimal fabric, notions and trimmings and upcycle fabric from old collection in my design.
I grew up in Accra, Ghana where the most common textile I wore was a hundred percent wax printed cotton. This is my choice of fabric in creating my designs. I chose cotton because I like to know that it is a natural fiber and it is degradable. I joke with my clients and say “once you find a Queen Adeline design that speaks to you, do me a favor, buy it and wear the fiber out of it!. When it is all done, I know if it should find itself in the ground for lack of proper disposal, I am at peace knowing the piece of clothing is biodegradable”. Most of my customers like that it comfortable on the skin, easy to care for, wears well with time and ultimately biodegradable. It is my goal to use 100% Organic cotton/ natural fibers in the next few years.
Fashion as Wearable art
The use of clothing as a means of expression is an art form from my West African Heritage passed down from generation to generation. This is vital to my design process. Traditionally Ghanaian block printed fabrics had symbols which were called “adinkra”. These symbols on the fabric and their color will convey the message and the mood of the wearer to you without uttering a word. Fast forward to today, most African print textiles found on the market today including both traditional and digitally designed textiles still carry the art form of expression through the prints on the fabric. For me the fabric tells me what it should be made into and I respect and follow that process. In effect every design I make is in collaboration with the textile and subsequently dictates the silhouette, form and function of that piece.
My mission is to inspire confidence in people, to empower them to express their ultimate selves whether at work or play whilst respecting and caring for the environment. Sustainable Fashion Design is one way I do that!
Queen received the Student Innovation Award at the 2017 Celebrate Wearable Art Event and will be here on Cape Ann with her full collection for the first time on April 26th! Grab a ticket now here!