Fashion & Lifestyle: Urban Fashion Influences In Ghana, The Past & Today!


As hip-hop music gained recognition among the Ghanaian youth so did urban or hip-hop fashion in the early 90’s. Reebok, Karl Kani, Timberland, Kangol, Tommy Hilfiger were some of the foreign brands that were in vogue.

Subsequently, along the way we developed our own hip-hop brand calling it hip life. In response to this trend, our young talented designers rose to the occasion and created urban clothing and accessory brands influenced by the hip-hop culture for the youthful Ghanaian consumer.

A Move From Foreign To Local Brands

The same desire to express oneself using our culture that created hip life paved the way for the young consumer to accept local urban fashion brands.

I can readily recall brands such as PKOG, Cediwear, DOM21, Agasn with Mkogh leading the pack. TV presenters and artistes were seen sporting these brands. Mkogh became a household name with the help of TV series like Suncity.

Demand For Custom Made Urban Clothing

Urban clothing is mainly made up of t-shirts of all types such as lacoste, round necks, hood t-shirts and tank tops. Accessories accompanying these clothes were handbags, wallets, baseball caps and purses.

Then arose the high demand for urban fashion that revealed the wearer’s identity. Pet names were printed or sewn onto t-shirts or on drawstring and mono strap handbags made from fabric and PVC.

This demand was largely met by young talented students who custom made t-shirts and accessories and sold them to their colleagues.

DOM 21 and Agasn are two brands that offered customized urban fashion to students in Accra Academy, St. Mary’s, Achimota and St. Peter’s senior high schools.

Ghana‘s 50th Independence Anniversary

In 2007, Blazing Gear was one of the prominent brands that spearheaded a sense of nationalism among the Ghanaian populace by offering all kinds of tees with images of Kwame Nkrumah, the Ghana flag, the black star and Independence Arch to name a few.

The national colours of red, yellow and green made a strong showing on the fashion landscape.

African Cup Of Nations 2008

The sense o of nationalism spilled over from 2007 to 2008 as Ghana hosted the African cup of nation’s football tournament. It offered the opportunity for vendors to sell left over merchandise from the previous year and get some more to sell.

Today’s Urban Fashion

Initially sportswear created the clothing and accessories for the urban style worldwide but now it’s becoming less sporty and more sophisticated.

In Ghana there’s this trend that’s catching up on our campuses. T-shirts with more feminine cuts and elaborate wax print decoration worn over a pair of slim cut jeans.

Some brands worthy of mention include Renee Q and Obya Couture. For men, tailored dress shirts worn with casual pair of jeans trousers.

Now hip-hop stars are adopting silk suits for their performances and it has started rubbing off on some of our artistes here. The future of urban style is a move from casual sports wear to selecting trendier designer pieces and mixing them with casual ones.


The author: Nana Aba Gilbert-Arthur is a freelance fashion writer, blogger and publicist. She offers low budget publicity services to emerging fashion and style businesses. Visit for more fashion and style news and advice.


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4 thoughts on “Fashion & Lifestyle: Urban Fashion Influences In Ghana, The Past & Today!”

  1. This is real cool documenting Chris and Nana Aba. We need to know our past to embrace our future even in the realm of urban wear. Feeling this article.


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