Behind the Brandss(BTB) is a YPKI series highlighting young people powering brands & businesses killing it in their fields. Today’s episode spotlights Simisa, a custom ladies fashion brand run by Dela. Dela, the sole owner and designer for Simisa shares her journey as a fashion creative with YPKI in the second episode of Behind the Brand.
I came across Simisa after I asked a friend for the best shops selling dresses. She recommended Simisa for making limited customs; simply put, no one would be wearing my outfit when I step out. Simisa is made for all shapes of women, labelling every type of body as subtly sexy and beautiful. Let’s hear what its founder has to say.
Yvery Anthony: Hey Dela, we are going to go straight to the matter. Now, tell me about yourself and your brand.
Dela: Right right but before that how is your name pronounced?
Yvery Anthony:Ivory, as in the elephant tusks…yep that is where my name originates from.
Dela: Great, great. So, back to your question. I am Dela, a final graduate of Radford University. I studied fashion design and I graduated last year. I was already making clothes for my friends. A lot of them complained that during hangouts and parties, people wear the same dresses they do. You know, you’re out and there’s a girl or two wearing what you’re wearing.
That is how it all started. I started the brand in my third year. Back then, I wasn’t sure of the direction the brand was going in. The goal is to be bigger the biggest luxury retail shops in Ghana and as such it’s the factor that inspires the kind of fabrics that we use . That is what inspired the fabrics I used. I want to give a very subtle and sexy look. I started the brand with less than 200 cedis.
Yvery Anthony: Wait, what?! Wow.
Dela: Yep! It is essentially one little girl’s dream.
Yvery Anthony: That may have been how it started but it’s not little now. I spent almost 10 minutes on your Instagram page and fell in love with the details of your designs. Tell me more about your collections, your designing and what goes into all of this?
Dela: The collections I’ve released so far are the Basics, Paisley, Red and Viper. There was also my three-way top. Apart from the collections, We have made other customs for clients based on their needs. A lot of my inspiration comes from the fabric. Fabric sourcing is my main inspiration, then I look on my mood board to see what elements go into it. The first collection was the basics.
SIMISA VERSATILE BANDEAUS COLLECTION
When I kicked-off the brand, I sewed all the pieces but now I have a production team assisting me with the orders. There are customs and already-made. Prices ranged from GHS 180 – GHS 300 (this will change this year).
SIMISA RED COLLECTION
Yvery Anthony: No way! That is so affordable.
Dela: yes, it is. A lot of my clientele are young working women that is why my prices are affordable. Staying true to the market is what I am all about. I can’t overcharge customers and have peace of mind. Staying true is what has made me sell out on all my collections.
SIMISA MESH COLLECTION
SIMISA MESH AND PEIZLI COLLECTION
Yvery Anthony: And that, ladies, is how we do it! As a designer making customs, what are some hurdles you’ve overcome, or are still overcoming to reach your targets?
Dela: Owww girl. Fabric sourcing in Ghana is a whole issue. Because the fabrics are unique when the collection is sold out, it is sold out! Availability of fabric is an issue because the kind of fabrics I want to work with are very rare.
I also wanted to incorporate the local fabric processes like tie and dye. I tried making a fabric tie-and dye but the fabric tore in the process; they aren’t strong enough. Production is also another challenge. I want my production team working in my studio but everyone always has something doing.
SIMISA WAVE COLLECTION
So my goal for this year is to have the team together working. You know, drawing energy and ideas from hanging out? That sort of thing. I’m working on releasing more collections this year and creating a website.
Yvery Anthony: I really hope that works out because what you’ve managed to do with your team apart is fire. I can’t imagine what you’ll accomplish when everyone is together.
So this is something I just have to ask all creatives, what are your words to young designers out there?
Dela: Sheesh…Stay true to yourself. Don’t be influenced by what is out there, trust your growth. Don’t let anybody rush you. Even in terms of designing, do not evolve based on someone else’s brand, or based on what the masses are doing.
Simisa Viper Collection
Yvery Anthony: I truly enjoyed this interview Dela. I love the details on your designs and I’m looking forward to the secret pop-up you mentioned without elaborating on. Definitely putting my coins together to make an order from you. You guys should too. Here’s a link to her Instagram.
Dela: Thank you too Yvery and all the best to you!