Ozwald Boateng OBE is an English fashion designer of Ghanaian descent, known for his trademark twist on classic British tailoring and bespoke style.
Boateng, whose parents emigrated from Ghana in the 1950s, was born in 1967 in Muswell Hill, North London.
Boateng was inspired by the immaculate suits his father wore, and received his first suit from his mother aged eight: a double-breasted in purple mohair. At fourteen, he found a summer job sewing linings into suits.
Mentored by Tommy Nutter, the success of the Paris show in 1994 enabled Boateng to open his boutique on Vigo Street, the south end of Savile Row, in 1995.
Boateng’s contemporary approach to menswear design helped to forge a new appreciation for Savile Row, and draw in a younger demographic. Boateng’s moved fully into Savile Row in June 2002,.
In 2005, Boateng was honored with a major 20 year retrospective event at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition recognized that Boateng had by combining the highest standards of execution with a fresh, vibrant design philosophy, successfully captured the imagination of both the media and the public.
In 2008, Ozwald Boateng’s new flagship store and headquarters are launched at No. 30 Savile Row, on the corner of Savile Row and Clifford Street. The signage and interiors were co-designed with British-Ghanaian Architect David Adjaye Boateng
“The fact that I am now in the old Anderson and Sheppard store means a lot to me. Before I even opened my store on Vigo Street, I never dreamed that I would have my own flagship store in place of tailors that represent the cornerstone of British Tailoring and Savile Row.”
LVMH President Bernard Arnault appointed Boateng Creative Director of Menswear at French Fashion house Givenchy. His first collection was shown in July 2004 in Paris, at Hotel de Ville. Boateng parted with Givenchy after the Spring 2007 collection.
“Anyone can wear any color. The question is about finding the right shade. There is a momentary trend to dark colors because when the financials are not that great, people go for black, navy and grey.”
“I had a suit made for me when I was five. It was double-breasted, mohair and purple. My mother was very particular about clothing – it always used to have to go back into the plastic and it used to drive me insane.”
“Tailoring was considered to be a world that was very traditional, and basically going out of fashion. Fashion designers did not have a real link with tailoring or tradition, so I fused the two worlds together.”
I’m ready to do womenswear. You’ve always got to be inspired by something new – women have so much more shape and I’m about finding what to engineer around those shapes.
“Boateng is hands down the best and with a client list that includes Will Smith, Jude Law, Jamie Foxx, Prince Charles, Mick Jagger and Daniel Day Lewis, it’s easy to see why.” Jennia Fredrique -Editor in Chief Crown Life Magazine