As Americans, we are a nation of diverse cultural traditions. That synthesis of cultures is one of our great gifts as Americans–taking disparate elements and weaving them into a coherent whole.
As we’ve mentioned before, so much of what we consider classic in terms of American style has its antecedents in other cultures.
Ada Kwube is the brainchild of Houstonian Chekwube Emebo. A native of Nigeria and a geologist by training and profession, she set out to design women’s clothing that would combine classic style with the wax cotton print that is ubquitous in West Africa.
That vision is audacious one. But the results are nothing short of stunning.
After a couple of years of planning–pattern making, fabric sourcing and finally finding a local manufacturer who could help realize her vision–Ada Kwube was launched earlier this year. At present, Chekwube offers three dresses for sale; other items are in the planning stages.
Although there’s a company in Ghana that produces the wax fabric to her high standards, obtaining the cloth through normal distribution channels has proven a challenge. So, for now, she sources the wax cotton from an enterprise in the Netherlands.
The dress we bought for Frannie is called the Aisha. It has a high waisted, dupioni skirt, a fitted navy bodice and wax print detailing on the peter pan collar.
We’ve featured a number of items on Classic American Style, items from neophyte artisans and from established corporations alike, but this may quite possibly be our favorite. It’s at once classic and at the same time completely sui generis. Walk into a room wearing this, and you will be both classically stylish and guaranteed not to be treading on anyone else’s sartorial toes with a similar frock.