Gold Coast Trading has always been a source of inspiration for me. Known for fusing traditional african prints with clean western lines, this fresh brand preserves our African culture in an innovative and ever dope style. Gold Coast has been featured in Vogue and countless other influential magazines worldwide, yet the impact the line makes hits closer to home. South Africa to be exact. Specific cultural references to Soweto youth and the burgeoning hipster scene throughout the country can be seen throughout the look book as well as in the designs. I was lucky enough to sit down with Nigerian born Emeka Alams of Gold Coast Trading to speak about his new collection entitled ” The Very Best: Julia A/11,” which features his muse, the lovely Cassie Gibson. The collection consists of a “mzuzu” traditional print organic cardigan and a prima cotten tee. Read on to find out more about this dynamic designer and his collection…
Rharha: Your latest collection seems to be focused on Malawi, what about the country inspires you? Is there a personal persuasion to the country that attracts you?
Emeka: Malawi is beautiful with a kind heart! But the focus of this collection was the group, The Very Best whose Lead singer Esau hails from Malawi. So it’s more of an ode to them and the diverse combination of things that make up the personality of their sound.
R: What is the concept behing the “tropical system” collaboration collection?
E: I was trying to take that genre and break it down to see how it could look as a super organized visual. I was trying to combine layers of sounds, layers of influence and history that could all come back to tell a story. There’s a lot of vibration and sunken bass that moves and kind of bounces around the room, but at the same time remains still by some of the traditional framework on with its origins were built.
R: Is there an interesting story behind naming your latest collection, “Julia?”
E: It was taken from a song by The Very Best called “Julia”, Cassi fits her role well. So I guess you have to learn Chichewa and then to listen to the lryics of “Juila” and you’ll get the reference.
R: Tell us about more about your muse, Mozambican born Cassie Gibson?
E: Cassi is a source of inspiration; she’s been here from day one and every day since. She’s lovely! Her art, travel and stories have always moved me in my design and the overall emotion of Gold Coast. She pushes me to never settle and challenges me to go a bit deeper and to strive for the best. While Cassi’s roots stem from Moz, she has lived throughout Africa and the world, so I get to combine her experiences with mine, expanding my collective knowledge of the continent and the beyond.
R: As a designer, which other designers do you draw your inspiration from?
E: Cassi put me on to Henrik Vibskov, his work is out of this world and that aesthetic is so well done. I’m striving for that kind overall presence.
R: What type of people do you target to wear Goldcoast?
E: Anyone who is a fan of travel, good clothes, cultural trade, music and the reality of Africa today.
R: You seem to be an enigma we do not know much about you. Who is the man behind Gold Coast Trading?
E: How can I answer that so it doesn’t sounds like a personal ad? Hmmm well I just turned 28 the other day so im feeling kind of old! I love to to cook! If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now I’d be stalking Cormac Mahoney in his kitchen for sure! There is nothing like cooking for others and having them enjoy what you made. It’s so simple yet necessary and another great form of art, I love it. Sad fact: my best friend is my blackberry… Honestly though I look at Gold coast trading as a platform to trade stories and experiences through various mediums of art and in that whole equation I obviously have a large role to play, but on the flip side I shouldn’t be the focus. To me a good story is one in which the storytellers themselves are not the focal point but the story. They bow to the story and just kind of let it live and that’s how I approach Gold Coast and its story.