Hemma creates fresh, elegant collections using authentic hand-woven Kente, a textile rich in African royal tradition. Kente began to flourish in West Africa in the 17th century and still remains prominent representing social prestige, luxury, and cultural sophistication. Each garment is uniquely handmade from intricately hand-woven Kente imported from Ghana. By incorporating the same techniques used to dress Ghanaian nobility for centuries, Hemma allows each client to exude royalty. By investing in quality pieces that last a lifetime, the lives of Ghanaian school children are also impacted. A percentage of all proceeds will be donated to a West African middle school where the designers instructed classes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Backstage Pass - Hemma

Tips for a Successful Photo Shoot:
  • Rehearsal, Rehearsal, Rehearsal: Have a full run through a few days before the shoot so that you can physically see what needs to be done, changed or added.
  • Try to build a positive relationship with your photographer, models, and studio staff before the shoot, things will go much more smoothly with everyone's cooperation. Definitely meet with everyone before the shoot.
  • Have the photographer check out the studio before hand, since they are the experts many times they may have objections or suggestions to a studio and its equipment.
  • Make sure the studio has the right lighting for your purposes.
  • When it comes to props, clothing rentals, shoe rentals, backgrounds etc, remember KISS
  • Choose accessories for each of the looks before hand and separate each into distinct packages so they are ready to be put on when needed.
  • On the day of, the designers and staff should get make-up and anything else done first and as early as possible, before the models come in. After that there will be very little time for anything but running around.
  • Stay in constant communication with your photographer so that he/she maintains your vision.
  • Give your models supportive feedback through out the shoot, it's no surprise that they performe better after this positive reinforcement.
  • Have interns, friends or family help. There is always so much to do.
  • Have photos for your make-up artists and hairstylists of the look you are going for so that you ensure that they maintain your vision.
  • Have quiet music in the background to set a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Have Food Finally be sure to maintain positivity and smile...Its going to be a long day but will I assure you fly by.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Fittings

During the whole process of preparing for the shoot, we assumed finding models would be the easiest part. We handled other priorities like studios, photographer, and the looks first. How hard could it be to find models anyway?
It was definitely harder than we imagined. We first tried calling a list of the agencies and some of their rates were way over our budget. We found a couple of agencies to go with and when we finally settled with one, the models that showed up looked nothing life their portfolios!
So we moved to another tactic, searching on the internet. Model Mayhem was the best, you get to see the portfolios of models from all of the agencies and set up a casting with them directly. Our first two fittings went great, and I can't imagine doing it any other way.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

College Associates Make the World Go 'Round

Maureen Brito has been interning with Hemma throughout Winter break and the Spring semester 09. She has been a huge help and Hemma couldn't have done everything without her! She helped us prep for Hemma's first photo shoot as she already had experience working in the fashion field. The 3 of us chose the props, models, accessories, shoes and the dozens of other things that go into a shoot! Having an intern work for your company is vital to the growth of any new business. It's an added hand, mind and opinion; seeing as how the owners of a business will probably be a bit bias, an intern gives the company a fresh, outside perspective. It is a team effort to build Hemma up into the high-end, luxury brand that it deserves to be and we are getting closer with each day! Interns for Hemma learn what Cindy and I learn beause they get a first hand look into everything we do and plan. It is a very interactive and cooperative experience, not like the usual paper pushing internships. The more Hemma rises, the more we all do. A few ways we went about finding interns:
  1. Posted a listing on Craigslist
  2. Posted a listing on several fashion school websites. You can register as an employer and post ur offer on the institution's career center website.
  3. Ask within your network. We were lucky enough to snatch Maureen up from my friend Adonis, who's in the film industry as a rising star due to his amazing talent in film making and directing. He knew her and set up a meeting for us. The rest is Hemma history.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Holidays with Hemma

On December 22nd, Edna , my sister, and I dropped by Star Lounge located under the Chelsea Hotel. Taffi, a friend of ours invited us to her holiday party before she left the country, we had a ball. Its a nice low-key spot with good music, DJ Mary Mac was great.