Born on the 11th of March 1992 in Accra, Ghana, Papa Oppong Bediako is a fashion Illustrator, fashion Designer and a new-age artist. Papa’s fashion journey kicked off at a very early age. As a young boy, he had an uncanny interest in Barbie dolls. He simply loved the little lifeless figures and spent a lot of time playing with the popular fashion dolls. His parents and frankly, everyone around him thought this was really weird behavior as dolls are seen as more of a girls favorite thing to play with… when his parents wouldn’t buy him Barbie dolls, Papa would draw his own dolls on paper and this was where his love for illustration began.
Papa went on to study visual arts in Achimota School, majoring in textiles, literature and jewelry. This properly equipped him for his fashion studies four years later at Ghana’s Radford University College. At Radford University, Papa studied BA Fashion design and gained extensive knowledge in both the local and foreign fashion industries.During the four year fashion degree program at Radford University, Papa engaged himself in several extracurricular activities which helped elevate him to new heights and helped expose him to the African continent and the world at large.
Papa Oppong has designed RTW looks for West African Fabric giant Woodin, collaborated with world renowned crystal company: Swarovski, illustrated for makeup giant MAC cosmetics, organized and styled a fashion show for Adidas and worked with several African brands including Christie Brown, Studio 189, Nadrey Laurent and Opheilia Crossland. The young Designer has also gained a lot of praise and accolades from media giants such as CNN (African Voices) and Forbes, the latter naming him as one of 15 young Africans rebranding the continent alongside other major talents such as Nigeria’s Davido and Wizkid.
In 2015, Papa Oppong was selected as one of 7 designers for the Washington DC Fashion Foundation’s Incubator at Macy’s. The year-long internship program saw Papa learn about the American fashion industry and networking. In 2016, through the very same program, Papa Oppong was chosen to present his collection and illustrate live at the Smithsonian National Museum Of African Art in Washington DC. Something the young Designer had only dreamt of.
Papa Oppong was honored at the 2016 Fest Africa USA festival for his outstanding contribution to the African community in USA. The young Designer was also honored at the 2017 PANAFEST Youth Festival as one of 2 young people helping to promote creativity in Africa. The young designer is also listed in a new-age African fashion Illustrator directory called: “Fashion Illustration Africa: A New Generation” by Tapiwa Matsinde.
Currently, Papa Oppong works as a freelance fashion illustrator and designer, art director and creative consultant in Ghana – West Africa. Known for his theatrical shows/ productions and his love and respect for pioneers such as Alexander McQueen and Viktor & Rolf, the young designer seeks to show the world that Africa is a goldmine of talent and opportunity and can be as influential in fashion as the West is.
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