Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Nana Boateng

I try to make this blog more about style than fashion. Nana Boateng is a fashion designer with a very well developed style. I cannot really speak about his designs because I haven’t seen any but when I met him the other day he just struck me as a guy that loved life and used his clothing as a way of expressing that joy. The clothes he is wearing in the picture above real capture the bold, vibrancy of his personality.

Nana spent his early years in Ghana but grew up all around the world (Rome, London, New York) and has such an honesty and refreshing enthusiasms for being in America and beginning his career in fashion. I asked him if his cousin ,Oswald Boateng, had been a big influence on him growing up. Surprisingly, Nana said his biggest sartorial influence was his uncle. He remembers his uncle’s collection of exotic fragrances, how he had his shoes all made in Germany, and when it rained his uncle would wrap his shoes and walk barefoot through the streets of North London.

Isn’t funny the little things we remember from childhood that end up having a huge influence on our lives?

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38 comments

  1. Anonymous

    March 22, 2006 at 9:28 am

    When I first saw this photo, it was like, WOW!!
    This guy looks fresh and amazing in every way: from the fab zoot-suit-y green jacket to those marvelous yellow shoes and a classic white shirt!
    It’s great to see color worn in such an upbeat,self assured, original way. It looks very new.
    Cannot WAIT to see his new line!

  2. LA Guy

    March 22, 2006 at 10:09 am

    This is easily the coolest cat you’ve photographed. I can’t wait to see his line either.

  3. Get Smart

    March 22, 2006 at 10:12 am

    Probably my favorite photo you’ve taken so far. I appreciate that he doesnt have the studied “proper” look that everyone tends to adhere to in gauging what’s “properly dressed”. Love his look, and I am looking forward to seeing his line. Might have to make room in my closet for another Boateng family member!

    • dcinDC

      October 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Exactly! While he is not traditionally “properly” dressed, I say that he is without a doubt WELL dressed. And you can go outside the box with color and cut – but it still has to fit – unlike the jokey Thom Browne (I can’t find clothes that fit me) look that I, thankfully, have not seen for a while here. Perhaps it is finally fading… goodbye… LOL! That, or Scott has just gotten tired of hearing from those of us who just refuse to get it and refuse to stop telling him about it.

  4. ceepeeindeecee

    March 22, 2006 at 10:46 am

    “Isn’t funny the little things we remember from childhood that end up having a huge influence on our life’s?” ::: this is so true !!! there are so many men who still carry mental style cues from their fathers (significant male rolemodels etc). when i was a kid in the 70s my dad wore ONLY fred perry polo shirts, and ive adopted his love of that shirt. not to sound like a brand snob, but i dont own any other brand of cotton pique polo.

    i admire mr boatengs color sense. “bring back the dandy” i say! the shoes are totally killer!

  5. noyoucomeon

    March 22, 2006 at 10:50 am

    those colors…
    they look beautiful on him.

  6. Sevcom

    March 22, 2006 at 11:45 am

    By far the most stylish dude on your site. Rivals the Old Man Style gentlemen.

  7. mighty_isis

    March 22, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    He looks great! Love that he’s not afraid of color.

  8. Alexa

    March 22, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    Love this. That coat is amazing, truly. And I just admire the way he can pull this look off without looking like he is trying too hard. This suits him really well. I love it. Fantastic shot. Well done Mr. Sartorialist.

  9. DeeDee

    March 22, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    I love your blog. I read it everyday and can’t get enough. I live in Anaheim, CA and the fashion out here is definitely different from that of NY. I should send you pictures of the most current and casual fashions of L.A. and Orange County.

  10. SwanDiamondRose

    March 22, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    damn! this man looks amazing

  11. Anonymous

    March 22, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    I like the pic and all, and the color combo is nice, sure, but I think if I this guy walking down the street in the yellow shoes, I’d snicker a bit. Bright yellow shoes with a bright green top coat? Can say The Joker?

  12. Anonymous

    March 22, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    “…when I met him the other day he just struck me as a guy that loved life and used his clothing as a way of expressing that joy.”

    This is a beautiful compliment, the absolute best! May this be said of all of us.

  13. Anonymous

    March 22, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    Does anyone know where he got his jacket from…it’s amazing!

    • dcinDC

      October 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      From what I’m reading, I imagine he designed it.

  14. R

    March 23, 2006 at 10:08 am

    one of my best friends, also named nana (a popular ghanian name), is from ghana and i know that their traditional clothing is always so vibrant and eye-catching. i must say this is one of the best pictures, if not THE best picture i have seen on this site. truly an original sense of style. does he design for us girls or is it menswear he’s into?

  15. Bulelwa

    March 23, 2006 at 11:45 am

    Totally Agree. He is Uber Stylish. Love it!

  16. Anonymous

    March 23, 2006 at 1:06 pm

    uber obnoxious

  17. W2

    March 23, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    I think he looks like he’s trying too much. Gifted (?) designer or not, this outfit is a bit to the “costume” -side of things.

  18. Alexa

    March 23, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    Personally I think some people can pull things off that others can’t. I don’t know why that is but I have seen it enough to know it’s true. If I walked down the street in this outfit, it would look like a costume. On him it looks fantastically stylish and appropriate. I think what is particularly unique is that despite the fact that you don’t normally see colors like this, he manages to put them together in such a way as to make them look mainstream enough to wear without being a joke.

    One other thing that I love so much about this outfit is the crisp white shirt he has on. That is just gorgeous.

  19. Anonymous

    March 23, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    “Isn’t funny the little things we remember from childhood that end up having a huge influence on our life’s?”

    Nana Boateng is indeed a beautiful man.

    And did you mean *lives*? “life’s” is possessive, not plural.

    And you already know that I love your blog.

    - AthenaNY

  20. Anonymous

    March 23, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    He’s bluffing if says Ozwald (with a ‘z’) Boateng hasn’t influenced him. That kind of vibrant use of colour is Ozwald’s signature, hands down.

  21. The Sartorialist

    March 23, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks Athena!

    I didn’t say he was not influenced by Oswald – he says Oswald has been more of a role model but Nana gets that special look in his eye when he talks about his uncle

  22. alexandre

    March 24, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    “Nana Boateng is a fashion designer with a very well developed style. I cannot really speak about his designs because I haven’t seen any but when I met him the other day he just struck me as a guy that loved life and used his clothing as a way of expressing that joy.”

    What a nice thing to say!

  23. Tempress

    May 7, 2006 at 11:34 pm

    Saw Nana’s designs this weekend at The Brooklyn Fashion Weekend, he was, arguably, the best desinger there!! His mens line was phenominal, charismatic and bold.
    I expect big things in the future for him. Yes, and up close he was a sweetheart

  24. Anonymous

    April 30, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Everything about this look compliments this man. From the tailored fit to the confidence exuded by the colors. As a woman of many fashions I definitely have an eye for beauty and this is it! If I had the chance to see him walk down the street in this outfit I would have had to stop for a second look. :)

  25. Anonymous

    August 6, 2007 at 2:39 am

    he’s very sexy. i love to see a man who wears colors!

  26. Anonymous

    August 8, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    If color combinations could kill. . .

  27. Jenifer - Young, Gifted & Black

    August 28, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    I went to school with Nana (Leroy) in Rhode Island…very creative and insightful when it comes to fashion…he often spent more time on the corner than the classroom…but that was to show off hsi fashion stylings!

    Nana is a Nupe and I was Miss Kappa the year he went over…good to see him doing his thing!

  28. Anonymous

    January 29, 2009 at 4:35 am

    when i first veiwed this site and seen my blood cousin nana displayed i ran to the phone to call my ummi and grandma about this interview thank you for that it mad the family happy to see him succeed.now the world can share our love and joy through his fashion designs

    loven you nana..lil cuz kwame.HARLEM NYC.

  29. Anonymous

    August 17, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Awwww Nana that's very nice but are you talking about your uncle my dad,if it is am showing him this blog..love you

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    November 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Handsome man! :)

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    December 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Very good article, I was very lucky to read it. Thank you.

  32. danny2hands

    February 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    man he looks cool! love the colours! wish i had the balls to wear stuff like that!

  33. Sunburn Treatment

    June 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    This style works for you, but i've been getting into the shaggy kind of look, more along the lines of hipster style. I'm liking it.

  34. viagra online australia

    July 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Thanks mate… just dropped by. Will look for BIKE STN when we get to Seattle. Still in Buenos Airies.

  35. Akay

    November 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

    move over versace nd prada. the boateng family rules

  36. julian

    July 20, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Nah !

    Too much, too ‘try hard’ and too brightly coloured and obvious for my taste

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