Text: Chhavi Nanda
As the George Kimble quote goes ” The darkest thing about Africa is our ignorance of it.” Nigerian designer Emeka Alams indigenous of former Ivory Coast, is the architect of the eagerly anticipated clothing line, Gold Coast Trading Co. Earlier on in his career Alams worked for Visual Koncepts in which he designed for big names such as Panic
in the Disco, Coldplay, Gym Class Heroes, and several other musicians and record label
s. Subsequent to working at Visual Koncepts, later to visiting his motherland with prior design partner, Yeager Rosenberg, Alams and Rosenberg were overwhelmed with inspiration. In Western culture Africa has been depicted in a melancholic and dismal state, yet the vibrance that exudes from the pours of Africa, West Africa specifically in this case, is staggering and galvanized Alams following project, 21 MC. The infamous indie street wear clothing label 21 MC was initiated with the concept of honor, integrity and creativity. “Essentially, Maroon [21 MC] culture is about trying to maintain and establish individuality, community, autonomy and freedom in the face of a society that wants to strip all knowledge of where you came from and assimilate you into something you’re not.” 21 MC elaborates. As of recently Alams broke out of his shell and start designing, excluding the provisions, for his own clothing line, Gold Coast Trading Co. Cosigned by many musical talents including M.I.A, and Afrikan Boy, Alams is shining brighter than ever. With the essence of nostalgia lingering in Emeka’s designs, he brings a fresh perspective to street wear, which is greatly triggered by his familiarity of African tradition and culture. His new line that was recently shown at Seattle Fashion Week consisting of men’s and women’s street wear with an subtle, yet vivid Afro-centric twist. “I wanted to focus on a colors and prints, but with simplicity and functionality foremost in mind.” Recently, Alams started designing and selling items available for review and purchasing at; http://www.livefromthecoast.com. “This trade has changed our world and reshaped out thoughts. Living by European standards throughout the African diaspora we have forgotten what makes our culture powerful rich and unique.” In order to minimize homesickness, designer Emeka Alams created Gold Coast Trading Co. reviving a sense of self and tradition thereby creating a tasteful, impeccably executed Afro-centric clothing line.