Yao Zeus Mohammed is a fashion designer/social entrepreneur from Togo, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Having lived in a remote refugee camp for over 16 years, Yao has encountered both a diverse array of life experiences and a variety of cultural background. With a unique perspective, he decided to do what would make him truly happy, sharing the richness of African culture with the world. And through a vehicle of African inspired fashion line Mawogan, he does exactly that. MAWOGAN fashion is essentially about introducing and celebrating the beauty of rich African culture. We see elements of African nature, indigenous animals, jungle and traditional African heritage.There are vibrant colors and trendy patterns –a seamless interplay of Africa meeting the West.
Implicit in his designs is the notion of giving back to the African Continent. Yao Zeus Mohammed uses traditional African fabrics, created by artists in West Africa. These fellow artists are from Togo,Ghana,Ivory Coast and Nigeria, At home, they handcraft beautiful shoes; accessories, earrings, bracelets and necklaces from traditional African patterns. Every piece that Yao Zeus Mohammed sells uses these same African fabrics and designs. In this way, the Mawogan line brings economic prosperity to these artist in West Africa while also adding to the diversity in Vancouver.
But supporting fellow African artists is not his only philanthropic mission. It is Yao Zeus‘ mandate to protect, respect and share African culture through art and tolerance.
“We believe that preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures. Our line is about promoting tolerance, and encouraging a harmonious, positive balance between cultures.”
Despite an ingenious interplay between Africa and the West, Inspiring change in the world through fashion is proving to be a difficult task at hand.
“As a new small brand, we don’t have a high level of recognition or a storefront where we can directly connect with our customers. What we do have are creative outlets such as fashion shows, magazines, and local advertisements. We want to take each opportunity to showcase our work and build trust with our clients. In this way, we hope to promote the themes of art and tolerance.”
“Right now we have an e-commerce store where people can check out our complete collection and also shop online.
We are also on Facebook and people can visit our page.”
“We want you to be amazed and inspired by our clothes; clearly taken from love, struggle, perseverance, and heritage but created with the passion that only comes when it is straight from the heart.