Nana Akua Addo: The Style Goddess From Ghana Putting African Fashion On The Map

Nana Akua Addo: The Style Goddess From Ghana Putting African Fashion On The Map

When it comes to Ghanaian fashion, a few names would always make a statement on the list. One name that seems to always make a mark is none other than German-born Ghanaian fashion icon, Nana Akua Addo.

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Her outfits always make the headlines, and she always makes an impeccable statement when she steps on the red carpet or shows up to either events or interviews.

Her journey from 'failing' at being an actress and film producer to being a global fashion icon. This is the untold story of Nana Akua Addo.

Nana Akua Addo
Nana Akua Addo. Photo Source: @nanaakuaaddo
Source: Instagram

How Nana Akua came into the limelight

In an exclusive interview with, she threw more light on her journey to stardom and being one of the prominent faces in Ghanaian fashion.

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Being on the Miss Malaika platform was her first shot at fame. With the contest being one that is highly competitive, she came out as the second runner-up.

“I had the chance to work with 4syte TV. I had another exposure there. I went to Germany. Back to school. Then I won Miss Ghana Germany. Then I came back to Ghana. Miss Ghana Germany brought me back to Ghana for some few charity works. Ghana was the best place to relocate, then I relocated to Ghana.”

After she relocated to Ghana, she decided to venture into movies. However, acting roles were not forthcoming, and the ones she was offered were not prominent. So, this undermined her acting skills. Due to these shortcomings, she decided to venture into film production.

She produced a popular movie called ‘Wanna Be’. However, shortly after the movie kicked off production, renowned Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, was banned from shooting the movie. Yvonne was a lead character in the movie, hence, slowing down production. As a result of this setback, a lot of marketers couldn’t promote the movie when it was released. On the basis of this, Nana Akua Addo disclosed that she lost interest in movies.

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How did the fashion journey begin?

From being on the cover of fashion websites and newspapers, as well as being the topic of conversations about fashion trends, Nana Akua Addo started from somewhere. The journey has not been easy. However, with determination, hard work, and consistency, she has been able to achieve a phenomenal and timeless brand for herself.

As the saying goes, sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can. After Nana Akua Addo failed at movies, she decided to give the fashion industry a try.

“I have stylists, one in India, one in Philippines, and I have two main ones based in the US. I met all of them when I was in New York Film School. I took their contacts, and they built a theme around my fashion and experiment with what I do with fashion.

She noted that what her various stylists across the globe do is not to compete with her personal brand or who is the best dressed. However, she indicated that she has no clue as to how she comes across as someone competing to be the best dressed.

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She explained that putting effort into her style is to pave way for women, as well as to pave way for African fashion and to be able to put Ghana on the globe. He acknowledged that whenever names of fashion icons from Ghana are mentioned, her name would always pop up.

Where does the inspiration for her outfits come from?

The vision of her team and that of hers is aligned such that the goal is to put African fashion forward, especially Ghanaian fashion. In making that vision a reality, the costumes, and outfits she rocks do not have to be one that is common.

“If I’m always looking the same way everybody else is looking, at the end of the day, you’re not communicating, you’re not pushing barriers. That would be the reason I would also shop where Beyonce would shop, to get the same leverage. So that you have news outlets like, Shade Room, Fashion Bomb, etc. They would post you just because of the effort that you’re making. When it happens, it is a win for mothers, and Ghana as well.”

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Being recognised by international blogs and fashion-focused companies international has nothing to do with being the best in fashion. But she stressed that the thought process when it comes to designing her outfits is about pushing women and putting Ghana on the globe.

“If I really wanted to be the best, I could stay locally, use my local designers and would still be good. We have amazing designers. I still use Yartel. Yartel is fantastic. Sima Brew is amazing. Pistis. We have amazing designers in Africa”

Are Ghanaian designers making it big on a global scale?

With various industries in the country such as music and movie, pushing to be on the global scale, Mrs Addo believes the fashion industry can do the same. She decried how many designers in the country rely on a copy and past mechanism which doesn’t seem to boost the industry. This she said, reduces the leverage Ghanaian designers have on the international market.

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She explained that many of the designers in the country haven't broken bounds internationally because they don't have their own couture lines. This means, that they cannot be uniquely identified with what they create. She cited Duaba Serwa as one of the few designers in the country who has her own clothing line, which is Duaba Serwa registered.

Highlighting some loopholes in the Ghanaian fashion space, she noted that being caught for copyright infringements at the international level is one of the major setbacks for designers in the country due to the frequent copy and pasting of designs.

Another bitter truth she shared was that international fashion brands do not recognise African fashion.

She further stated that in the international market, African fashion is not given the needed value. She explained that the foreign industry does not really pay attention to African fashion and that they wouldn’t want to go and see an African designer or fashion show.

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She hinted that the designers abroad add value to their custom designs based on the type of celebrities they work for. She cited that there are celebrities who wear outfits worth millions of dollars and this raises the worth of these designers. Hence, copyright claims are taken seriously thus also raising the value of the fashion industry.

"If Rihanna wears something, and Beyonce also does a replica of it, Rihanna’s team is definitely going to sue Beyonce’s designer. But if me, Nana Akua, I do it, they wouldn’t pay attention to me. Because it’s like, who is Nana Akua."

There’s a difference between fashion and costume

She also highlighted that there is a difference between fashion and costume. She explained that costumes are outfits that the ordinary person cannot wear on a regular basis.

"Some of the things Lady Gaga wears, these are costumes. These are the things the normal person can’t even rock it. She even takes months to learn how to rock them. Maybe they were created just for stage performances or for photoshoots and video shoots. It is not something comfortable you can wear."

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Achieving all this success sure does come with some level of discipline. She acknowledged that having prayerful parents and a husband intercede for her on her success journey has been a blessing.

She noted that being humble and listening to God has helped her a lot in life. She also advised that in order to attain success, one has to be cautious of their alcohol intake as well as how they are influenced by casual intercourse.

She also hinted that being grounded spiritually is important and that if one does not allow God to direct their path, they will get lost.

"If you think just photo shoots is enough, no, it is not enough. Spiritually, you need to pray a lot. You need guidance. Over two, three million mouths talking about you. That is crazy.”

Nana Akua Addo gets Fans Talking with High Fashion Look on United Showbiz

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Meanwhile, Nana Akua Addo turned up as one of the guest panelists on United Showbiz and got fans stunned with her look.

Nana Akua Addo turned heads on the show with a yellow-coloured haute couture apparel she rocked by award-winning designer, Yartel Clothing.

This came as no surprise as Nana Akua Addo over the years has grown to become a force to reckon with in the world of style and fashion.

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