Ghanaian brand Kua Designs is doing a pop-up tour in 5 cities

Founder and designer Ruby Buah poses with her designs. Source: Kua Designs / Kua Designs

Art and creative designs have a way of doing things right in the world. Sometimes a beautifully designed room can take your breath away. Looking at Ruby Buah’s creations can have that effect. Sharing his passion with a global audience, Buah launched Kua Designs.

A former analyst at Coca-Cola, Buah began looking for a creative outlet several years ago and discovered jewelry making. After a few years, she decided to take her hobby to the next level by enrolling at the Fashion Institute of Design in New York. She then returned to Accra, Ghana to start a family and open her shop.

Her collection includes clutches, pearl jewelry and clothing. She says her designs are “born out of the joy of being able to reuse and create something beautiful out of everyday African print fabrics.”

In addition to the collection, Buah launched Kua Cares, an initiative that trains and employs visually impaired women in jewelry making. Named after his mother, Kua stands for “Keeping Us Authentic”.

Now Buah is bringing his designs to the United States on a five-city tour. She kicked off the festivities in Atlanta on Saturday June 25, followed by Los Angeles (July 9), Miami (July 16), Washington DC (July 23) and New York (July 30).

What prompted you to get into design?

Growing up in a typical middle-class family in Ghana in the 80s and 90s, art and creatives, in general, were treated as an afterthought. So I really didn’t give myself permission to fully explore that side of me.

Fast forward to a few years later, as a young adult in the United States making my own decisions, I decided to nurture that side of me. I quickly gravitated towards designs that reminded me of my home country. When I finally decided to take the plunge and make fashion my new job, I decided to tell the story of my culture through my designs. Ghanaian culture is vibrant, timeless and moving. I couldn’t resist sharing this with the world.

What made you decide to choose these five cities for your pop-up tour?

I chose these cities in part based on where most of my online orders come from. Additionally, these cities have a healthy population of professional African Americans and African immigrants and these are the people who primarily gravitate to my brand. In the future, I will go to other cities.

Despite being cut off from their ancestral heritage in Africa, black people in America have often sought out African art, jewelry, and clothing. How is your brand helping to bridge this gap for people in the United States?

When you own a piece of Kua, you own a piece of my heritage – West African heritage. My pieces give my African American clientele a cultural identity and connection to their roots in Africa because my designs are made in Ghana, and there is a strong use of African symbols and patterns in my designs. My Africa clutch for example is very popular because just by looking at it, it lets the world know that the bearer of the bag is unabashedly proud to be associated with Africa.

What else should people know about the line and your inspiration?

It is important to me that the person wearing Kua knows that through their sponsorship they are promoting sustainability and independence in Ghana, as our products have a direct impact on a family there, our employees, some of whom are visually impaired, to the women in our local market from whom we source.

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