11.10.2016

Gone in Ghana

Superbalist.com adventures to Accra to shoot a vibrant summer campaign

Words: Talya Galasko | Photography: Rudi Geyser

Superbalist.com sets the scene for its latest summer campaign, shot in Accra, Ghana with locally cast models at the forefront of a narrative spotlighting the vibrancy of African youth culture. Under the guidance of Style Director Tammy Tinker, the same team that brought the Senegal-shot And On We Go! campaign to life takes Superbalist on a new adventure. The imagery captured reveals an exuberance and youthfulness that almost interrupts the old-world architecture and bustling beachfronts of Ghana’s coastal capital.

Warm colours, eye-catching prints and sultry silhouettes from days gone by decorate a campaign referencing the international trend of old Havana style – only this time, in a uniquely African setting.

We caught up with the team about their time in Accra, and got the behind-the-scenes scoop.

What was the inspiration behind shooting in Ghana?

“The aim of shooting in different African cities is to shine a light on the diversity of African youth culture,” Style Director Tammy Tinker explains. “When briefing the fashion trend of ‘Cuba’, Rudi [Geyser] immediately said that Accra has the most incredibly diverse locations, and a thriving art scene. And he was right!”

Art Director/Stylist Charl Edwards also points out how the team wanted to follow up the Wes Anderson-inspired campaign with something that was both punchy and relevant. "We chose Ghana because of Accra's growing fashion scene," he explains. "The coastal town of Accra became the perfect backdrop for scenes and clothes inspired by the Cuban runway trend. Labadi Beach and the streets of Jamestown provided the perfect mood and energy for our Cuban-inspired shoot."

How did this shoot differ from other, regular shoots?

“Although we had a lot of the ideas before we went, there was no possible way of knowing what to expect before we arrived,” photographer Rudi Geyser tells us. “There’s not much information available – at least not as much as there is with other places. In this way it felt unexplored, but also created a feeling of exploration and spontaneity.”

How did you go about scouting locations, and which was your favourite?

“Our fixer's name was Nice One. Not a typo... “Nice One”,” videographer Peter Verster Cohen explains. “And I realised I say “nice one” in my day-to-day conversation more than I thought. He was a local in Jamestown, which allowed us to roam free and find some great spots. Jamestown is a suburban area that has beautiful coloured walls. It’s where I shot most of my story.”

Charl Edwards also discusses the spontanaeity of the shoot. "For homeware we actually scouted and found one of our locations on Instagram when we arrived in Accra," he explains. "It's the beautiful studio and living space of Molly Keogh, founder of Osei-Duro, the clothing label. For fashion we shot in Jamestown, hopping in and out of our van whenever we saw the perfect setup or scene. Labadi Beach was a visual feast of the most random yet surreal moments; also the appropriate end for our campaign shoot."

How would you describe Ghanaian style?

“Ghanaian style has no rules. The women are elegant as opposed to ‘cool’ – and the men are just cool!” Tinker explains.

Rudi Geyser also points out the up-and-coming fashion subculture that seem to be brewing among the youth. “The creative scene is really fresh,” he elaborates. “They don’t wait for anyone to tell them what’s cool and what’s not cool – they are the creators of cool.”

What were the highlights of the campaign shoot experience for you?

“The honest truth is that Ghanaian people are some of the friendliest people I have ever met,” Tinker explains. “Having many communities come together to make the visuals and video happen was an incredible experience The people were so warm, so welcoming. We were also graciously hosted by the lovely Kempinski Hotel. Before we left we thought we had an idea of what our stay would be like, but the hotel exceeded our expectations. So modern, so incredibly beautiful.”

This one’s for the mastermind behind the video. Peter, your narrative for the Wes Anderson-inspired campaign was completely unique. What's the inspiration behind the film this time? Could you set the scene for us in one or two sentences?

I think inspiration always comes from a little reflective conversation I have with myself: “Don’t make this boring!”,” he laughs. “I tried to make the film accentuate the fashion rather than the fashion accentuate the film. It’s a good formula that forces you to try be a little weird and push the boat out.”

 

With special thanks to Kempinski Hotel Accra #kempinskiaccra for their generous hospitality.

Photographer: Rudi Geyser 

Videographer: Peter Verster-Cohen 

Style Director: Tammy Tinker

Art Director/Stylist: Charl Edwards 

Producer: Nicola van der Linde

Art Direction: Amber Rose Pretorius 

Campaign Writer: Talya Galasko 

Models: Karen Abib, Richmond Ekow Barnes, Prince Tona, Roland Paul and Julee Bocoum

Hair and Makeup: Hamid Mamoud

With special thanks to Kempinski Hotel Accra #kempinskiaccra for their generous hospitality. 

https://superbalist.com/thewayofus/2016/10/06/the-travelling-showroom/788
https://superbalist.com/thewayofus/2016/10/07/the-festival-folk-pt-3/785
https://superbalist.com/thewayofus/2016/06/14/welcome-to-wes-africa/643