Ones to Watch – B’Venaj

July 16, 2014


This week the Nolcha Fashion Week: New York team had the chance to interview independent fashion designer Vanessa Teye of B’Venaj.  B’Venaj will be showcasing their SS15 collection at Nolcha Fashion Week: New York for the first time this September.

B’Venaj’s vision is to go beyond merely designing and selling clothing but to help their customers find the beauty in themselves in a way that is unique and appropriate for that individual.

Why did you decide to become a fashion designer? Ironically, my mother was a fashion designer, I grew up around, pins, pieces of fabric threads and other notions, so it didn’t surprise me that at age 13 I had decided on my life long career to be a fashion designer.

What’s it like being in the fashion industry? I love what I do as a fashion designer, being creative, facing challenges which keeps me motivated to learn more, it is an interesting choice of career. I find it fulfilling to see customers glow in B’venaj, It gives me confidence.

How would you describe your brand? B’Venaj is an eclectic brand, which exhibits freedom, through the use of fabrics such as chiffon end, the likes as well as the use of African print, emphasizing a feminine nature in a vintage African perspective.

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? I am yet to experience it, but for now having the opportunity to empower young entrepreneurs during an event I attended in April of 2014 called the young achievers empowerment summit hosted by one of miss Ghana USA’s pageant finalist, Shadia Otto to speak on empowerment and encourage young entrepreneurs. For me it is a blessing and one of my greatest highlights to have done so, since I want to leave a legacy and have an impact on others who look up to me as a woman and a fashion designer.

What is the inspiration behind your collection? The inspiration behind the ‘Papillon’ collection summer 2014 specifically the use of scallops as seen in most of my designs basically emphasizes the free nature and movement of a butterfly which is an iconic symbol to my brand. In relation to the reality of life, the scallops as used in my designs metaphorically describes the ups and downs of life and staying positive in spite of life’s fluctuations.

Describe your ideal consumer. The everyday woman who likes to feel free and comfortable in what they wear yet stylish, sophisticated, decently sexy and confident.

What is your favourite piece and why? What I call the scallop Maxi dress, it’s a dress up dress down type of attire which can be worn to pretty much any event, it’s one of our best sellers and a must have from our Papillon collection.

If you could have any celebrity spokesmodel, who would it be and why? Beyonce! She is a powerful woman in every sense of the word, she comes across to me as one who is humble yet fierce in her fashion sense and above all I think she would look amazinggg in Bvenaj.

What store would you love to have your clothes in? Nordstorm, I don’t know why but I just always in vision Bvenaj in one of their stores.

What does 2014 hold for the brand? Apart from our new collection which we recently launched in June of 2014 (Papillon 2014), our next big project yet is Nolcha Fashion week September 2014, which I’m thrilled to be a part of.

I am a lovable Ghanaian girl from Accra who loves to eat and make people laugh, especially my family lol. I am all for empowering women to be themselves and stand up for their rights. Fashion is my thing and I hope to Be an ambassador for empowering women through fashion.

The Nolcha Fashion Week Ones to Watch feature is a weekly interview highlighting an independent fashion designer that is making moves in the fashion industry. Whether from a runway show in New York City or discovered by our globetrotting team we are proud to be a platform of discovery supporting innovative independent fashion.

If you are an independent fashion designer interested to be featured in the Ones to Watch interview series please email with more information about your brand.

Nolcha Fashion Week: New York, founded by Kerry Bannigan and Arthur Mandel, is a leading award winning event held during New York Fashion Week hosting independent fashion designer runway shows.