Talented Ghanaian fashion designer and illustrator, Papa Oppong Bediako has made history by becoming one of the first recipients of the inaugural Fashion Trust U.S. Awards.
The Trust U.S Awards is a non-profit organization whose aim is to foster emerging designers by connecting them with resources including funding and mentorship.
The fashion designer who is currently based in New York City received the Graduate Award for his outstanding performance as an MFA graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Oppong, 31, who shared the moment on Instagram said he was “overwhelmed and filled with joy like never before.”
“Where do I even begin? My heart is full. Firstly thank you so so much to the entire team, board, and ambassadors [email protected] this is such an incredible honor! I am overwhelmed and filled with joy like never before,” he wrote
He will also receive a $25,000 grant as part of his prize.
Read the full post below:
“Where do I even begin. My heart is full. Firstly thank you so so much to the entire team, board and ambassadors of @fashiontrustus this is such an incredible honor! I am overwhelmed and filled with joy like never before. When I decided to apply to this award, I was in a pretty dark space in my life where I felt like I was doing a lot but not moving forward. I was trying to find a solid design job in New York City, trying to jumpstart my brand in America and working on my immigration status -I was beyond stressed. I thought to myself… why not just give this thing a shot…
To my mom… mommy I love you so much! I am so grateful for your never ceasing love and support. You have given me room to be myself, to create and to be confident. To Professor @fitfashionmfa thank you so much for guiding me through my graduate collection process…you believed in this story from day 1 and helped me achieve these results -this is a celebration of you!
To all the collaborators on this project. The artists, the dreamers…thank you for allowing me to rope you in on this journey. Thank you for being so patient with me and my vision.
To the local artisans in Northern Region of Ghana: thank you for weaving these intricate textiles. The story was perfect because of your skills on the traditional loom. I celebrate your artistry and your craft.
To Matthew, Shika, Gene, Edy, Kevin, Connie, Lily and everyone who’s been by my side on this incredible ride, thank you! I love you all so much and there’s so much more to come!
And to everyone who played a role in making this dream flourish -thank you! I’m blanking right now but just know that I love and appreciate you all.
In memory of my grandma who passed a week before I flew out to begin my MFA program at FIT: Margaret Amoafo.
Thank you! 🙏🏾♥️✨”
Papa Oppong is the 2017 PANAFEST Youth Festival winner for his work promoting creativity and has partnered with MAC Cosmetics, Woodin, Swarovski, and Adidas on projects in the past.
He also provided illustration, concept, and styling services to several homegrown design brands such as Studio 189, Christie Brown, Pistis Ghana, and Ophelia Crossland