MABM Designs is a luxurious women’s clothing line founded in March 2011 by Ghanaian born Maa Akua Berko-Mensah who is also the brand’s creative director. MABM Designs specializes in ready-to-wear pieces, couture evening wear and gowns that are inspired by the founders rich African couture.
I interviewed Maa to learn more about the brand’s inspiration, challenges and future goals.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to become a designer
Growing up back home in Ghana, I was always interested in fashion. I had an aunt who was a seamstress and I was always around her.
She noticed my interest so would always give me scrap fabric to make clothes for my doll and I always surprised her with the things I’d make. I would cut up old clothes and reconstruct them. I made my first real outfit out of my mum’s spandex pants. It was an envelope skirt and a crop top. I was still cutting up peices and reconstructing clothes after I moved to America at the age of 19, but I didn’t get the courage to start my own line until 2011 when a friend encouraged me to start making pieces. She gave me a piece of african cloth to make something for her. I did and she loved it.
Tell us more about your brand and past collections
My brand was then born and I named it MABM Designs, MABM stands for my initials Maa Akua Berko-Mensah
It’s moslty influenced by my rich culture hence the beautiful colors and bold prints. However each of my pieces has a modern influence to it and I don’t only use African prints. I use all sorts of other fabrics and aesthetics. So far I have had about 4 collections moslty Fall and Summer collections every year.
Where do you get inspirations for your designs?
My inspiration comes from my love for bright and bold colors in my environment and basically I get inspired by designers like Balmain, Vera Wang and the likes.
Have you faced any challenges since launching your brand? If yes, how did you handle them?
Yes, absolutely. I still face challenges now and some of these include getting my brand out there to be known by the public. Getting a tram to handle certain aspects of the business and trying to build a brand that represents me and helps women dress and feel good.
I’m handling these challenges by learning more about the industry and making sure that I’m on top of everything and that my customers are satisfied with each design.
What should we expect from MABM Designs in the future?
Right now I’m working on a Summer collection that I call “Believe” mainly because I find myself in a place where I never thought I’d be and it feels good and I’m expressing that in this collection to encourage someone to go after their dreams. It’s a collection full of beautiful summer dresses and gowns. And very soon I will be coming out with a bridal collection as well.
For more on MABM Designs or to purchase her designs, visit www.mabmdesigns.com