Story By: Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria || Sanatu Zambang
The relationship between fashion designers and musicians in northern region is almost nonexistent claims Radio Tanko, a fashion designer based in Tamale. She made this statement when she appeared on Sanatu Zambang Hotspot Live to talk about the fashion industry in the northern region.
According to her, most musicians in the region would prefer to wear boutique clothes than to employ the services of a fashion designer to make clothes for them because they love to wear the foreign brands if even it is not the original.
Musicians think that wearing a local designer clothes means they are doing the designer a favour but Radia Tanko says it is a win for both parties.
‘’Mentioning your designer’s name brings you out. That you have a designer, it brings prestige, and that you did not pick your dress on the truck. ‘’Radiya Tanko
On the fashion industry here, Radia Tanko says we do not have one because fashion entails a lot of departments, like the sketch depart, stylist, photographers, and those who sew, and here we only have more of those who sew.
‘’In this part of the country we concentrate on the sewing. Most people do not know how to sketch.’’Radiya Tanko
When it comes to creativity she states that customers do not challenge them to be creative enough because most people will show them styles on their phones to do replicas of them. She reiterated that, this phenomenon does not challenge them to think outside the box. Just a few people will come and challenged them to design something without given them an already designed clothe.
‘’You can only suggest but you don’t force your idea on customers and finally let the customer choose. The blame will go to you when there is a problem’’. She said
Another issue that limit fashion designers creativity is the culture and religion. Elaborating more on that, Radia said, you might want to design something but because of the culture and religion of the people, you do not put your creativity into action. You restrict yourself from the thought so as to respect the people belief.
For Radia Tanko, Tamale has not reach a stage where fashion designers can organize fashion shows. According to her, fashion shows requires a lot of capital and as a struggling fashion designer, it would be unwise to do that.
‘’We believe that, I buy clothe and send it to my tailor to sew for me’’ and ‘’the whole idea is someone wearing your dress and you taking it back’’.Radiya Tanko
We have not reach a stage where someone wear a dress and you have to take it back and sell it to another person. The whole concept of models wearing dress to advertise a designer’s creation and returning to be sold is new.
Payment is another issue fashion designers in Tamale faced. ‘’The fact that you are in Tamale is the problem. Someone is willing to take material to Accra and pay 200 cedis but will want to pay 60-70 cedis for the same clothes’’.
‘’I am not here to serve everyone, if you think I am expensive and you cannot pay then you go your way but if you think you want to pay fine.’’