Fashion designer Bee Arthur has been making quite a statement with her label B’ExotiQ. The flamboyant fashion guru is of mixed Russian-Ghanaian heritage and she certainly translates this diverse background into her expressive designs. She has been designing for over a decade and was even honored in 2001 with the prestigious KORA Fashion Award in Sun City, South Africa.
Bee Arthur grew up in Ukraine where she had to rely on her own creativity to express her individual sense of style. She become skilled at finding unconventional ways to embellish her clothing in order to stand out. She studied art here and later moved to Ghana to pursue her BA in Sociology and Spanish. She also speaks fluently in Spanish, French, and English.
Her diverse cultural background undoubtedly influences her eclectic sense of style, enabling her to create exciting and distinct designs. Bee claims that her funky style is a result of her free and open-minded lifestyle. Rather than limiting herself, she appropriates motifs from all over the globe in her fashion expressions.
Finding influence all around her, Bee rarely limits herself to just one type of fabric. Instead, she will design one look that incorporates linen mixed with Malian mudcloth, which is then embellished with African wax print covered in netting and sequins. These result in spectacular high fashion looks that can be seen on the streets of Ghana or in any metropolitan fashion capital.
Bee has eagerly accepted the challenge of helping to create a name for African fashion. The first step in this process was to properly represent Africa in her clothing. Having achieved this through her designs that draw from traditional African styles, the next step was to win over the fashion industry.
African fashion has been featured coming down many international catwalks and Bee was determined to show that fine quality is available on the continent as well. This remains one of her primary missions in her growing line of clothing.
Although Bee has developed a large market for her clothes in Africa, with both African and European customers, she has a bigger goal in mind. She is determined to shift the mentality of Africans who have long considered Europe to be the only source of high-end fashion.
A huge challenge for Bee is forcing Africans to stop considering their continent as inferior. She encourages Africans to support their country and buy from local designers.
With her designs, she hopes to make this diversity and beauty more apparent. The reliance on Europe to provide fashion trends is outdated in Bee’s opinion; especially in a country that is flourishing in so many ways.
Her mission to gain empowerment for her country goes beyond just fashion. In 2006, she joined USAID to support
a project aiming to take young girls off the streets of Northern Ghana.
Her charitable cause helped the girls by getting them involved in sustainable income tasks. Her particular project taught the young girls the art of weaving traditional clothes to be sold to contemporary African designers and decorators.
Bee Arthur certainly represents the positive new face of Africa. She proves how an amazing attitude and fun-loving spirit can achieve great things. Through her passion of fashion, she has let her uplifting outlook for a better future spread.
*Get inspired and do fantastic things with linen! This designer proves that there is no limit to your creativity. Have fun and mix things up! Let us know how you plan to get funky with your supply (or next order) of linen by leaving us a comment. Stop by our Facebook page to take a look at other great ideas that involve linen.