That Friday Feeling !
Emma Amoafo is a 23 year old Ghanaian brought up in Hampshire who is an amalgamation of brains, beauty, style, charity and creativity – a medical student at the prestigious Imperial College School of Medicine, entering her final year of study, she is also the founder and lead designer of burgeoning fashion house Friday Born Designs.
Ms. Emma has been fortunate enough and wise enough to make the most of her inherent passion. Sewing had been a longstanding hobby, with Emma making and designing clothes for herself in her teenage years. The hobby found itself dulled and eventually lost as Emma began to make headway in the trialling terrain of medical study.
The spark which re-lit the flame which was to eventually birth Friday Born Designs came from a visit to Ghana in 2011, when Emma visited the Bless the Children International Home orphanage in Kwahu to present a donation from her father’s church. During a frank meeting with the Minister who ran the orphanage, a young Emma listened to how the orphanage lived on donations only, with no active support from the government. This story, plus a feeling at the time that studies were smothering her creative talents, sparked an epiphany. Emma decided to start designing and making accessories in January 2012 in an attempt to start giving back to the community back in Ghana, and at the same time reawaken her inherent creative spirit.
A Facebook page was constructed and before you could blink, Friday Born its rapid ascent. The vision of Friday Born Designs was clear – to pay homage to the motherland by using ‘African fabrics disguised in a British silhouette’ while simultaneously supporting the community back home in Ghana. Afro-Caribbean societies across London began to clamour for Friday Born designs to showcase at their gala shows, and Friday Born items were made available on stores such as ASOS Marketplace. The newest addition to the Friday Born family is a brand-new innovative flagship website – fridayborndesigns.com, a vibrant mix of Afromodern-styles and home of its very own blog!
Balancing a high-powered medical degree with a demanding pursuit such as Friday Born Designs has not been easy. Emma’s time-management skill has been cultivated over the years and she has learned to delegate and build a flagship which is the sum of its parts. Initially making all of Friday Born’s clothes herself, she now has seamstresses and tailors in Ghana who help supply meet demand. In the same vein, it ensures a strong bond of co-operation and support exists between the UK and Ghana.
Friday Born Designs has opened some incredible doors for Emma, allowing her to style two music videos (Sneakbo – Her Name, and Lola Rae feat. Iyanya – Fi Mi Le) as well as costumes for the first afrobeats musical to show in the West End, Oliva Tweest! And Friday Born shows no signs of slowing down – an incredible fashion world success story, made even more special by the fact that Emma has never had any formal fashion training.
So if you so happen to be passing through a top hospital this time next year, keep an eye out for a gorgeous young black doctor, clothes trimmed in stylish African print. And revel in the glow of her story that regardless of your academic pursuits, there is always time and space to pursue your passions too!
And what a warm glow it is! That Friday feeling is here to stay.
Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)