25-year-old Adjoa PHILLIPS from Ghana started to talk about her background

(June, 2014. Paris)

I came to Paris three years ago from Ghana where I originally studied business at a university. I guess I just naturally followed the footsteps of my siblings who all went into business. For my family, it seemed to be a more serious occupation than fashion. However, when I decided to change the subject of my studies, they were really supportive. Before coming to Paris, I had never touched a sewing machine or done anything connected to fashion, I just knew how to draw and was interested in fashion, so the beginnings in the French capital were not that easy. But today I love Paris. I’m really happy to be given the opportunity to stay here for another year.

Did you meet with any difficulties while working on your final collection?

Well, yes. Sometime in the middle of the semester I lost my USB key with all my work on it. So I had to start the collection all over again, which made me lose a lot of time. But I must say that I received a lot of support from my teachers at IFA who trusted in me and repeatedly encouraged me to continue working, although a big part of my work had been lost. I really had amazing teachers who were really good to me and I am not saying it just because it’s being recorded! That’s another reason for being happy to stay at this school – I will continue seeing them!

What are you mostly proud of?

I’m really proud of the fact, that for the fashion show, I managed to prepare eight garments, which was more than any other of my classmates. Considering the fact that I started later than the others and I lost so much time, I was proud that I was able to do more than was expected of me for the collection. And right after the show, I was interviewed five times! People wanted to know more about my concept and inspiration. The next morning, I had five different people blogging about my work. It was my Mom who woke me up with a call saying:” I’ve just seen your work online! “ Most of the articles talked about the fact that I used cork for my collection which is quite unusual. Also, I was the only one to have accessories and several people have already asked to buy my wooden bags. So, given that this was my first collection ever, I feel like I have accomplished a lot.

What are you working on right now?

I‘m starting a shirt project. In my collection, there were several shirts and many people told me they liked them and would like to have them. So I decided to make a collection of shirts with different kinds of materials, most of them transparent, just like what was in the show but with different kinds of fabrics on top of them. So that’s what I’m going to work on for a couple of months, before school starts again. I don’t want to do more than eight shirts, as I don’t like to rush things and I know I wouldn’t have enough time.

What are your plans after graduating from IFA?

I’d like to find a good internship. To begin, I would really like to work for several different brands to learn the concept of working with people, before I start a brand of my own. For the moment, I don‘t feel I’m ready, as I’ve been studying fashion design for only three years. There is still so much for me to learn! But I believe having a background in business may help me to start my own, as I have some knowledge of management, marketing and finance. Once the business is established, I would eventually like to open a shop in Ghana.