2011 is off to a good start! We had the pleasure of
interviewing Sheila Boateng, fashion designer and CEO of N’kya Designs.
Originally from Ghana, she currently resides in London, UK. The name N’kya is
pronounced Nekaya , and derived from the word ‘Nkyia’ meaning
‘greetings’ in the Ghanaian language ‘Twi’.
Vakwetu: When did you discover your love for designing? What made
you want to become a fashion designer and start N’kya D-Signs?
Sheila Boateng: My story is not as cliche as that of most
designers, am afraid. There are no designers in my family and i did not grow up
sewing clothes for my dolls…lol
I realised my passion for fashion at university studying for
a degree in biomedical sciences. It all started off with me modifying t-shirts
using Adinkra symbols cut out of wax prints. This then led to me designing
dresses for people I knew, who then encouraged me to start up the label.
Vakwetu: What is the concept behind N’kya D-Signs?

Sheila Boateng: All of
our garments are made by our team in Ghana so in a way we are giving back to
the community by providing jobs.
Vakwetu: Who is your favourite African designer and your favourite
fashion designer overall?
Sheila Boateng: I am currently a big fan of Deola Sagoe! Her
designs are amazing and her influences are not just African based which, make
the clothes appealing to all. Tom Ford is my favourite designer in general. He
knows what women want!
n'kya designs, ghana fashion label, africa
Vakwetu: What inspires your designs?
Sheila Boateng: I am inspired by my childhood both in Ghana and in
London, by the lifestyle of the people and also by general day to day
Vakwetu: What kind of person are you designing for?
Sheila Boateng: Our aim is to produce clothes for the mature confident
woman who is daring and not afraid to try things out. Everything with the N’kya
label oozes, sexiness, sassiness and style!
Vakwetu: Where can fashionistas purchase your designs?
Sheila Boateng: N’kya is currently only available in the UK but we are
working on getting our garments stocked in Ghana and a few other countries. Our
website is being revamped and clients will be able to order online and get it
posted to them wherever they are.
Vakwetu: What is a fashion designers best accessory?
Sheila Boateng: A muse! Its always a great insight to look at the style
efforts and lifestyle of one person to influence a collection.
n'kya designs, african print dress, africa
Vakwetu: What is your goal in tems of your fashion label. What do
you ultimately want to achieve?
Sheila Boateng: We aim on making N’kya an international label with
stockists all over the globe! We would love to produce collections that are
appealing not just to Africans but to all women regardless of their
Vakwetu: What is your view of the current African Fashion
Sheila Boateng: The African fashion industry has come a long way and is
now more internationally recognised than ever! There are a lot more magazines
and websites dedicated to making the fashion from the continent accessible and
this is just great! Seeing designers such as Marc Jacobs, Stella Mcartney and
others using Africa as an inspiration only goes to show how much of a potential
they believe the continent has in the international fashion world. Theres still
a long way to go in regards to making the clothes accessible to people but I
believe we are on the right track.
n'kya designs, african print dress flared, africa
Vakwetu: What advice would you give anyone trying to pursue a
career as a fashion designer?
Sheila Boateng: I would first of all let them know its a lot of hard
work which takes time and dedication but if they are really passionate about
this field they whole journey will be nothing but fulfilling! I would say go
for what you feel is right and not what the media says should be worn by
everyone 🙂
n'kya designs, wax print dress, african fashion

n'kya designs, wax print gown, african fashion
Find out more about N’kya Designs by visiting their website www.nkyadesignsuk.com
or for any enquiries contact Sheila on +447940470323.


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