At his pre-spring 2024 presentation in Los Angeles, Ghanaian designer Kwame Adusei showcased impeccable, summer-ready fits that drew upon his West African roots.

Kwame Adusei’s Pre-Spring 24 Collection Seamlessly Blends Heritage With Modernity

At his pre-spring 2024 presentation in Los Angeles, Ghanaian designer Kwame Adusei showcased impeccable, summer-ready fits that drew upon his West African roots.
April 17, 2024
article by Mari Alexander/

photography by Mari Alexander

Displayed on a mannequin inside Kwame Adusei’s light-filled store on North Doheny Drive, there’s a pair of jeans that immediately catches my eye. 

It’s not necessarily the fit, impeccably tailored as it is. It’s not the unexpected flap near the back pocket, which hangs like a tongue, revealing the raw denim inside. It’s the brand patch on the waistband. Embossed on a rectangular leather tab, two cities merge: Los Angeles, United States, and Accra, Ghana. On the right, you can see the sword-like architecture of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Ghana, where the revolutionary leader and his wife are laid to rest. In the middle, you’ll notice the swooping curves of the Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and on the left, the Black Star Gate, a key monument that represents Ghana’s independence in the 1950s. 

“I decided to [fuse] both worlds,” Kwame tells me during his pre-spring 2024 presentation — a quiet late afternoon affair he’s planned at his Los Angeles store. The designer is deeply in touch with his Ghanaian roots. It’s where he cut his teeth in the industry while helming his ready-to-wear label Charlotte Prive. It’s where he lived before moving to New York and then very shortly after, to Los Angeles in 2019. Just a year later, he launched his namesake brand, which became an almost-instant success, racking up a roster of celebrity clientele from Kylie Jenner to Lori Harvey. 

On the rightKwame Adusei’s Los Angeles store was transformed and reconfigured for the presentation, which showcased the designer’s more summer-ready, hip-revealing silhouettes with a distinctly L.A. twist.

That leather patch — or really, what it depicts — is the beating heart of the designer’s ethos: a mix of heritage and modernity. “If you look closely, I’ve avoided a lot of seams,” he says, pointing up and down the pant leg. “You see, it doesn’t have a side seam.” Making a garment without visible seams almost always results in a more comfortable, more fluid, more customizable piece of clothing. That’s something he learned from mining his roots. 

To achieve a seamless construction, in Ghana, much of the traditional garments are draped and wrapped. “At any ceremony, we have different outfits,” he says. “Everyone looks different, but everyone is wearing the same type of fabric. Let me show you.” He reaches for his phone and starts scrolling through image after image showing traditional West African clothing. “It’s really beautiful. It just shows you how people are able to get creative — and I kind of translate that into the clothes that I make.” 

At the presentation, one body-conscious black dress boasts a sleek, understated silhouette, twisting gently to cradle the waist before flowing to the floor. There’s not a single unnecessary fold — and zero seams in sight. On my right, displayed against a metallic background that’s crinkled like a life-sized, crumpled-up piece of paper, two black dresses boast gathered fabric detailing and high side slits that are equal parts subtle and eye-catching. 

I immediately think of Kwame’s most striking — and most popular — pieces, called the Karma dress. It’s a backless stunner, with an attached shoulder scarf wrap that you can wrap around your shoulders, head, or arms any way you want. The rumble and sweep of fabric is absolutely breathtaking; it’s like Kwame has given it a beautiful life of its own. 

This wear-it-how-you-want versatility is an integral part of Kwame’s design language — and so is gender-fluidity. In Africa, clothing isn’t typically assigned to a specific gender, and Kwame has adopted much of the same approach to his tailoring. “All of our pants can be worn by … whoever,” he says. “We tried to get a fit that […] doesn’t have any specific gender.” Case in point: the brand’s Kapli pants — a pair of slouchy, front-pleated black trousers. I look around the store, and everyone from Kwame’s team is wearing them. (One of them tells me that she’s worn them for seven days straight.) 

On the rightLightweight fabrics like jersey and mesh — finished with hand-wrapped, lace detailing — were introduced to the collection.

Along with genderless pieces, the designer also creates silhouettes that complement and celebrate the female form. One of the through-lines between Kwame’s collections is a cleverly constructed plunging neckline. We see this on a four-button waistcoat, a balloon sleeved blouse, and a cropped blazer. What’s genius about the fit: The neckline scoops around the bust without the risk of leaving you unsupported, the fabric is folded just at the right place, and the whole thing just couldn’t be cut to be more flattering. 

And that’s really part of Kwame’s brilliance. A well-fitted piece of clothing is often transformative; he knows that. It’s also something that mass retail — garments hastily churned out in factories — doesn’t provide, but an independent designer with a deep understanding of the human body can. Since the beginning, Kwame has remained steadfast in his commitment to provide that kind of tailored-for-you experience. The goal is to look good — and feel even better.

“A fashion brand is only successful when it’s treated as a family business,” he tells me, referring to how the late Alber Elbaz approached his creative director post at Lanvin from 2001 to 2015. I nod in agreement and recount the warmth and hospitality I felt when I first walked into Kwame’s store a few months ago. “Everybody is different, so I’m like, ‘Try this — how does it make you feel?’” The answer, at least from my experience, is: confident, sexy, comfortable, like a better version of myself.