Deborah Ababio speaks : " I have always been a strong believer in supporting others in any way I can; physically, mentally and spiritually – whether it’s the people I look up to and admire, or by leading an example for others by sharing my experience, knowledge, compassion and empathy. powering females particularly is important to me.
I was thus extremely humbled when I was approached by the sustainable and ethically conscious fashion brand, Hannah Sophia England, to help raise money for the vulnerable young people’s charity, The Prince’s Trust, and to support specific initiatives, including Women Supporting Women.
The project – which sees six other amazing women, including Chloe Delevingne and Isabel Getty, come together to design looks benefiting the Trust – was inspired by brand founder Hannah Sophia Jarvis’s late friend, Ellie Wells. “Ellie’s story was cut very short as she struggled with her demons,” Jarvis told me. “I want to honour her life and fulfil her legacy by trying to make a positive difference. We will be donating 100 per cent of profits from the collection to the Trust. My mission is to support women and I feel strongly that circumstances shouldn’t determine opportunities.”
I couldn’t agree more. Jarvis asked me to design a dress that I would feel empowered in. Typical of me, I went above and beyond and gave Hannah six different design options that put my fashion degree to good use and sparked my love for sketching again. Working closely with Hannah herself – from finalising the design to fabric shopping on London’s Goldhawk Road – was a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with a fashion brand and starting with this one dress gave me so much joy.
We decided on a gorgeous lime green and rich deep purple silk satin, which took me back to my days buying colourful fabrics at Dalston and Walthamstow markets as a teenager. The dress would be a reversible wrap dress – a signature Hannah Sophia England design – to give it a more sustainable element. Hannah recreated one of my favourite African prints to celebrate my Ghanaian heritage, and the final product turned out beautifully.
For the photoshoot with the other collaborators, I finished the look with my signature slicked-back high bun with a braided ponytail, which always makes me feel empowered and ready to face anything." - Vogues Deborah Ababio
You can view and purchase all seven designs and donate to support The Prince’s Trust at Hannahsophiaengland.com.