Aisha Ayensu is the founder of the fashion house “Christie Brown”. The Ghanaian designer is known for having designed outfits and stage costumes for celebrities such as Beyoncé, Tina Knowles, Alicia Keys and the Ghanaian actress Jackie Appiah…
Christie Brown is one of the current leading fashion houses promoting African culture and fabrics. It was during her final year of bachelor in psychology in Accra that Aisha Ayensu decided to launch her brand, born out of her passion for fashion, nurtured by her grandmother, a dressmaker. In 2008, at only 21, she created the luxury fashion house and named it after her grandmother, “Christie Brown”, with the ambition to represent African women differently. “I decided to launch this brand because at the time, everyone was talking about the rise of Africa, and I needed to be part of that movement,” she tells Afrique Femme. Having no technical knowledge to sew or design a single pattern, she enrolled at the « Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design » in Accra where she learnt the technical aspects of fashion designing.
Based in the Osu district of Accra, where she opened her showroom, the Ghanaian reinterprets traditional African know-how, notably in her creations, values fabrics such as Wax, Kenté, Batakari… and incorporates them into contemporary silhouettes. She designs customised clothing, but also accessories inspired by African culture and art. “Christie Brown is inspired by the countless artisans and visionaries who came before it, from the women who sell intricately woven and printed fabrics from crowded market stalls, to the seamstresses who expertly cut out patterns freehand,”says the brand on its website.
In 2009, she attended the « Arise Africa Fashion Week » in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she met the top international fashion houses and was crowned “Emerging Designer of the Year”. A year later, she took part in the « Arise Prêt-à-porter Paris Fashion Week » in 2010 and was the only Ghanaian brand represented at this event.
Aisha Ayensu is known for designing stage clothes and costumes for Beyonce and her dancers, namely for the « Mrs Carter World Tour » in 2014. She also dressed famous African actresses such as Jackie Appiah, and conceived outfits for actors in TV series such as a “City of Africa” by the Ghanaian film director Nicole Armateifo.
She received several awards and accolades, including the “Best Fashion Designer” award at the Africa Prestigious Awards in 2018; as well as the “African Designer of the Year” award at the Glitz Style Awards in 2018 and 2019. She was also included in the 2016 Forbes « 30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs » in Africa.