Nana Tamakloe, born in Ghana in 1982, has left an indelible mark on the fashion industry, transforming it from within.
His journey commenced in the UK, where he served as a model agent, establishing Confidence Models as the premier high-fashion black model agency in London. This venture became instrumental in scouting and nurturing some of the most talented black models of the time.
After six years of immersion in the fashion circuit, working closely with designers, show organizers, photographers, and influential figures, Nana redirected his expertise toward elevating the Ghanaian fashion scene upon his return to his homeland in 2011. He expanded Confidence Models to Accra, Ghana, with a commitment to ensuring that black models entered the market with the same positive aspirations as their European counterparts.
However, sustaining jobs for Ghanaian-based models proved challenging, prompting Nana to recognize the substantial work needed in Ghana’s fashion landscape. His primary goal became pushing African fashion to the forefront of popular culture. In pursuit of this vision, he established FashionGHANA.com in 2012, a groundbreaking media house documenting the history, events, and culture of both Ghanaian and African fashion.
Beyond being a media house, FashionGHANA.com doubled as an eCommerce outlet, enabling Western enthusiasts of African culture to purchase the soon-to-be-trending African print designs worldwide. In an era preceding the ubiquity of Instagram and social media, FashionGHANA.com emerged as a global window into African people and culture. The Facebook group swiftly amassed 1 million followers in three years, becoming the most popular blog in the country.
FashionGHANA.com revolutionized the representation of African lifestyles and fashion activities, extending the visibility of fashion in Africa. It evolved into a comprehensive platform, offering insights into events, designers, fashion trends, and more. The platform expanded to include an online shop, designer PR services, and social forums for networking.
In 2016, Nana launched Accra Fashion Week, steering Ghana’s fashion show culture in a new direction. The event garnered international attention, hosting over 15 nations in its inaugural edition and over 30 countries in 2017, a feat unprecedented in Africa. The objective was to initiate fashion shows with a business-centric focus in Africa.
Taking innovation further, in 2018, Nana introduced the #ShopTheRunway project, transforming the Accra Fashion Week website into the world’s first eCommerce fashion week platform. This allowed spectators to seamlessly purchase showcased outfits with a simple click.
FashionGHANA.com and Accra Fashion Week have maintained their status as the most popular African fashion blog and fashion event online, respectively, according to WebsiteOutlook.com and Alexa.com rankings. In 2023, FashionGHANA extended its impact with the launch of a physical store in Accra, Ghana, and the imminent introduction of a TV wing to the FashionGHANA.com franchise.
Nana’s transformative influence on the fashion landscape in Ghana and Africa was acknowledged in 2022 when he was honored at the Memphis in May Festival in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, for his profound impact on Ghanaian culture. His tireless efforts have truly redefined the scope of fashion in the region.
To date, Accra is now acknowledged as one of Africa’s biggest fashion capitals. More models of international standards are being used due to Nana Tamakloe, almost half of the models that are working internationally from Ghana were discovered by Nana. Ever since the first inception of Accra Fashion Week, other shows began exploring alternative runways outside the conventional straight platform stage. Shows will soon open their doors to the concept of hosting buyers. These are only a handful of changes executed in the Ghanaian fashion within the short period of his involvement.