The Guaranty Trust Fashion Weekend is a consumer-focused fashion exhibition and capacity-building event that aims to promote enterprise within the fast-growing Nigerian Fashion Industry.
As a young girl, she enjoyed computer-based dress up games like Stardoll now she is an extension of that young girl who loved playing fashion games. Today she is Baboa Tachie-Menson, a digital fashion designer and this time around she gets to design the clothes and the models.
During her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, she discovered digital design and loved it. She was especially interested because of its low impact on the environment and steered her boat in that direction. Briefly working in the digital department at Levi’s, she decided it was time to go home to Ghana and build something of her own.
At 25, Baboa launched digital fashion powerhouse, Balm Labs.
While adapting to living in quarantine, Balm Labs was launched in March 2020 as digital fashion studio providing virtual solutions for the apparel industry. Due to the global health crisis, and the fact that very few Africans were dabbling into digital fashion, she wasn’t sure how her company’s services would be received. Much to her surprise, the response was unbelievably positive for Balm Labs. “There’s no company to look up to or collaborate with so, I decided that I was just going to do what I love and then see what happens. It was a really good decision, and it’s all worked out. It’s just been an outstanding experience.”
The work hasn’t been without its challenges, of course; however, Baboa loves working on digital fashion and plans to continue on this path. In her words, challenges are much easier to overcome when you love what you do.
Balm Labs currently consists of a team of four with plans for expansion. 3D design is the primary service provided by Balm Labs, and they have worked extensively with Senegalese fashion label Tongoro, Christie Brown as well as others. From time to time, Baboa also consults with an online brand and designs a few pieces for them every month.
The digital designer is not afraid to dream big; she wants to accomplish multiple things in the fashion industry. Baboa says, “, I want to think of me when I think of fashion” and she is getting there using technology.
Baboa believes that the future is wearable digital fashion. In a few months, digital clothing designed by Balm Labs will be available on Dress- X, an eco-friendly, sustainability-driven eCommerce platform for digital clothing.
How exactly does Dress-X’s digital clothing work?
The customer selects the desired piece of digital clothing, uploads a photo of themselves using specific guidelines, and completes the payment. The shopper and then receives the final product, an image of themselves with their digital garment overlaid and ready to be shared online.
“Technology could be the tool to achieve zero waste in fashion,” says Baboa. She further explains that digital fashion would be great for bloggers, and it’ll eliminate international barriers and shipping time as well. With clothes being digitized, it’ll create a new avenue for marketing and the absence of a need for shipping will reduce carbon emissions as well.
Nigerian designer Lisa Folawiyo is Baboa’s style icon, and she hopes to work with her someday.
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