Teenage blogger brings high fashion to Hampstead
Looking the epitome of suave in his dark tailored suit, matching tie and handkerchief peeking out of his breast pocket - it is easy to see why Kwaku Kyei-Darkwah is making waves in the young fashion blogosphere.
The 17 year-old pupil from UCS school in Frognal, Hampstead, landed a coveted internship with stylist Charles Ampadu by offering his services via Twitter, and has even styled Didier Drogba’s sister Danielle for the footballer’s wedding in June.
“Danielle goes horse riding with my half-sister and she was talking about how she didn’t want to go shopping for her dress,” said Kwaku, taking another sip of his steaming hot chocolate in a Hampstead caf�.
“My half sister called me up and told me Danielle needed a dress and I immediately ran down to her apartment and she told me the colours she liked – orange and gold.
“I went out and picked up three dresses from Prada, Gucci and Matthew Williamson. She loved them and hired me.”
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Kwaku was partly inspired by the work of his father, who helped organise the Miss Ghana pageants, and he is known to his legion of Twitter and blog followers as Mr Darkwah.
He is now bringing his fashion experience to Hampstead by staging a glamorous catwalk show at his school later this month.
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Will Beedle, a former UCS pupil who now works for upmarket fashion chain All Saints, will be making bespoke suits for the runway show.
Spanish designer Olivia Tarpey has also agreed to produce corsets and gowns for the models.
Some of the world’s top sporting stars, including golfer Tiger Woods, Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi, and former Arsenal player Dennis Bergkamp, have donated signed shirts.
The money raised from the show - aptly titled UCS Presents Icon - will go to the Equatorial College School in Uganda, a charity the school has close links with.
“I really enjoy charity work,” said Kwaku. “At the risk of sounding clich�d, I enjoy knowing that I am doing something that is going to make a difference. So I thought why not bring the two things I really love together.”
Some 250 guests are expected to fill the school’s large 19th century hall, which will take on a golden autumnal look for the evening.
“We are going to have golden branches, twigs and leaves all around so all the models will be walking in this fairytale world,” explains Kwaku.
Blogging about other designers’ runway shows is one thing, but being the artistic creator in charge of your own show is a far grander project. Is he nervous?
“Yes. This is the first show I have worked on that is the majority me,” said Kwaku. “But if you are nervous it is a sign that what you are working on could be very, very good.
“I’m not interested in putting on a poor imitation of a fashion show. I have seen how they are done and I want this to be the real thing.”