Being the official couturier for a public figure is no mean feat much less the second-lady of a country like Ghana, this and many more are the giant laurels under the belt of award-winning accessories designer, Velma Owusu-Bempah, C.E.O of Velma’s Millinery & Accessories.
Receiving her fashion training in the United Kingdom under the tutelage of the best British instructors at the Central St Martin’s School of Arts & Designs and inspired by her mother, Sarah Crossland, Velma has carved a niche for herself as an accessory designer in the ever-growing fa
While being the only accessory design brand in Ghana for almost a decade, it did not obstruct her vision of creating magnificent hats, bags, and fascinators for glamorous African women even in a space that was considered lonely and frightening.
Since its inception in 2004, the sustainable brand that believes in diversity and growth in the fashion industry has year after year put their money where their mouth is, through collaborations with other fashion brands such as Swarovski Crystals, Ophelia Crossland, Pistis, and Christie Brown.
More often than not donating proceeds of its profits to a charitable course, close to the heart of its founder.
In 2019, Velma is setting her focus unto new and exciting frontiers through the launch of its fashion school. After gathering the right knowledge and expertise in the accessory making department, she is looking to pass the baton to an eager generation of African milliners.
Velma’s Millinery Academy started in October of 2018 and has since seen participants go through stage 1 of millinery education and have passed
“It’s not actually a short-term project,” the eclectic yet demure designer-turned-principal explains, “rather a school which I started last October to teach traditional and modern techniques whiles encouraging students to find their own signature and as well as bringing their creativity into reality.”
Last week, the Academy opened its doors to the public for the Millinery Stage 2 session each weekday from 11 pm – 3
The 2,500 Ghana cedis course is opened to freshmen/beginners and those who are interested in polishing their skills. Whiles stage two is specially crafted for those who are already milliners and would love to build on their millinery skills.
“In order to become a professional milliner, I advise that you take both courses which we strongly believe will make a big difference in taking your craft to another level,” Velma explains.
In a recent World Bank report, African government and state institutions have been advised to invest heavily in the technical and vocational education of its youth due to the potential it has to equip them for the job market.
Aside the new skills participants are expected to acquire, it also affords them the certification and opportunity to create new or multiple sources of income for their household.
According to the Academy’s official website, its courses were designed “focusing on the fundamental skills needed to begin a hobby or a career in millinery.”
The brand’s sophisticated clutches and headpieces are popular among a lot of celebrity and astute figures in Ghana and Africa including the likes of Jackie Appiah, Nana Aba Anamoah, Zynell Lydia Zuh, Anita Erskine, Juliet Ibrahim, Joselyn Dumas, and a host of Ghanaian men since the release of its male section.
She’s also won global plaudits across the globe and also showcased at various exhibitions and events including the 2018 Great Hat Exhibition in the UK, Rhythms on the Runway, Glitz Fashion Week and quite recently at the Royal Fashion show and Banquet held in
Velma is also a bonified member of Europe’s prestigious Hat Academy and has been featured on countless occasions on its official website.
With so many accolades and a holistic education syllabus, it’s safe to say the future is not only for the African youth but for the Milliner as well.
Telephone: +233 262 106 325 , +233 249 106 325
Location: 15th Lane Osu RE, Oxford Street Sarah’s Fabric Building 1st Floor Osu, Accra