VIBE VIXEN: What made you want to get involved with Koshie O.?
MYA: Koshie O. is an echo of many of the globalizing currents that are simultaneously shaping Africa. I love that the brand possesses a unique mix of style and cultural references.
What has been your favorite part about designing your pieces?
Knowing that something as simple as designing can affect the quality of lives in a positive way has been my favorite part.
We have watched you grow up practically in front of eyes and watch your style evolve over time. Right now, how would you describe your own style?
My style has always been representative of how I feel and what I’d like to project and that can be many things. So, call me a melting pot. I love to play, mixing-and-matching glamour with edge; vintage with a touch of contemporary. For the past two summers, I’ve been in love with a touch of neon. It makes life feel much brighter and carefree.
What role did your musical influences play in designing your pieces for Koshie O.?
Musical influences are always present in everything I do. When going through fabrics and swatches, one of my favorites to listen to was Stephanie Mills “Home,” such a powerful song and reflective of what every home should feel like. One of my most recent songs, “Love is the Answer,” and the intent behind it is also representative of the Koshie O movement.
I understand that you will be donating a percentage of the proceeds to the global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps. Tell us why this organization is so important to you.
There are so many crisis affecting countries and families all over the world. Mercy Corps is an organization assisting affected areas hands on with urgency. Improving the lives of others, I find to be the true value in life itself and that’s why this organization is so important to me.
Finally, what advice would you give other women when it comes their own self image and finding their own style
I find that you don’t have to sacrifice your rent, mortgage or car note to be fly. One look or trend is not right for everyone. First, create your budget and what is safe to spend. If you want a one-of-a-kind look, the secret is in making alterations, subtractions or additions to pieces that are sold on racks or outlets. You can find cool buttons, chains and fabric for scarves in fabric stores and add your own personal flavor to something generic. Most importantly, define your beauty within for yourself and you will usually choose something to reflect your true essence no matter the occasion. In this case, you wear the clothes, the clothes won’t wear you.
This will be the first collection of Koshie O. where customized its prints will be used on the fabrics. The line will be available for purchase in spring 2013. However, sample pieces will be available for shoppers starting in July.