Monday, September 30, 2013

Style Influence: Ozwald Boateng

Todays Story A Man’s Story
The Journey of Ozwald Boateng


A film about the passion one man has for his work, for his family, for Africa; all the while being stretched too thin to hold on to it all.

Director Varion Bonicos gives us an inside look into a 12-year journey of the famed Ozwald Boateng. Everything looks so glamorous on the outside, while Boateng globetrots, attends fashion events, conducts fashion shows for both Givenchy and his own Label, is married a beautiful woman and has two children who completely admire him. The highly inspirational documentary divulges Boateng as he pours his heart and sole into his work; and even when the world comes crashing down on him he continues to push forward.

The London Brute learned and mastered his design skills while working as the youngest and first black tailor on Savile Row, in Mayfair, London.  He became known for his exquisite tailoring as well as for his personal taste in fashion. He always dressed to impress in perfectly fitted bold colored suits, and his client list is that of some of Hollywood’s best dressed celebrities: Will Smith, Jamie Fox, Keanu Reeves, Don Cheadle, Daniel Day Lewis, Laurence Fishburn, Michael Bay, Wolfgang Puck, and the list goes on. His career hit a peak when he was awarded “The Best Men’s Wear Designer” at the 2000 British Fashion Awards. His most admired designer Georgio Armani complemented him as being one of the best tailors of our time. Clients have referred to Boateng as being the epitome of classic British tailoring, temperamental, and having an extraordinary African use of color. Boateng doesn’t stray far from his parents’ African roots. In 2007 he coordinated a fashion show in Ghana with the help of many successful American Businessmen and some African American celebrities. He even went so far as to contact many world leaders to get assistance in his charity, to expose the help that African countries need.
                                                           Ozwald Boateng Collection Spring/Summer 2011

This film really continued to tug on my heart while watching a man who is passionate about so many things but struggles to keep everything together. He is constantly beating himself up over every detail and puts so much pressure on himself to be perfect. The viewer is given a complete backstage view of a high-end fashion show. During his earlier years working as a designer for his own label he is a complete control freak. While on stage he is happy and full of energy while he directs his models on the catwalk, but back stage he is a total stress case, yelling at everyone and sulking in his dressing room. This is a reflection of what was going on in his personal life. In the end he is left with two failed marriages, a booming career and a thriving new store on Savile Row. Anyone who has hit rock bottom and needs an uplifting story should see this courageous film. Boateng teaches us that everyday is a new chapter and it’s what we do with it that counts.

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