Since “Suakoko” means place of new beginnings in Kpelle, a West African dialect, it’s only fitting that designer Charlene Bendu Dunbar is constantly reinventing her brand and expanding into many new projects. Since taking part in AFWNY 2011, the designer has had an influx of requests for a menswear line and even accessories. Charlene told us, “I’m ready to dress the fashion forward, progressive man!”
Aside from her menswear collection, which will be available on her online boutique in February 2012, Charlene would love to start sourcing more garments from West Africa to help grow the local economy, and leveraging local African artisans more in the design process. “I’m always amazed with the prints and design details that come from home and I’d want to partner with a collective of artists on the ground and bring more of their ideas and craftsmanship to the forefront,” she said.
As for her own plans, the fashion-forward designer plans to ring in the New Year in with skinny pants, a sparkly, off the shoulder top, and confidence…not necessarily in that order.
Photo Credit: Ladyee Boutique