While strategizing his next move to becoming one of fashion’s greatest designers, Alhassan Toure has a celebrity portfolio as deep as a his Ghanaian roots. Toure’s Clothing has styled the likes of Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface, Russell Simmons, Usher, Wiz Khalifa, Jeezy, Trey Songz, Chris Brown and more.
Unlike the average 10-year-old, Toure was predestined to be a fashion designer – countless days and nights watching, learning and assisting his father with garments, sewing and designing became priceless moments for the young style savant-in-training and his father. Soon after making his move to the ‘fashion capital of America,’ Toure’s love for design and the Hip Hop culture introduced him to entirely different path of endless opportunities.
As the saying goes; ‘I was at the right place, at the right time’ and while Toure was working at Apollo Signature he came in contact with rapper Raekwon the Chef and everything else is history.
Check out the exclusive interview with Alhassan Toure, one of fashion’s most gifted designer/stylist on the scene as he shares with Row A Seat 1 his fascination with leather, the inspiration behind the latest collection and the importance of giving back to Ghana … Have a seat, the show is about to start!
Row A Seat 1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Alhassan Toure: When I was about 7-yrs-old, back home in Ghana.
Row A Seat 1: At the age of 10, you already knew that you wanted to be a designer like your father. What lessons and/or secrets have you learned from your father that has made you this amazing designer?
Toure: My father taught me at an early age to be discipline and how to master and perfect cutting with his secret techniques, his symmetry is the best.
Toure: I was inspired to use the African fabric that I had lying around my showroom. One day I just woke up said, I want to use this fabric but add a twist to the fit and cut. These African fabrics also helped me tell my inspirational story of me ‘Coming to America,’ which was the theme behind my fashion show 2013. (My Dream of creating pieces for some of my favorite entertainers/artist in America.)
Row A Seat 1: Leather is definitely a challenging fabric to master, what’s your fascination with incorporating leather in your designs?
Toure: I always was fascinated with leather, the different colors and textures, and the way I’m able to manipulate the leather to create these amazing designs. Someone told me once, that it seems like i make love to the leather, in essence I am … LOL!
Row A Seat 1: When I’m designing I feel …
Toure: When I’m designing I feel creative, alive, inspired and blessed.
Row A Seat 1: Explain the gazelle and why did you chose it as the company logo?
Toure: I decided to choose the gazelle as my company logo, which is the “African Malian Gazelle.” I was born in Ghana, however both of my parents are originally from Mali. The Country of Mali, which is in North Africa, uses the gazelle on our Govt. Passport. I wanted to carry the legacy of my country and my people by using the African gazelle, which also represents the nomadic and farming life of the Fulani and other ethnic groups in North and West Africa.
Row A Seat 1: Are you involved with any charities in Ghana? If so, which ones and how do you raise awareness for them?
Toure: Yes, I am involved with a non-profit organization that was started by my cousin and uncle called SOTC (Survival of the Children), which helps Ghanaian orphan children. I help monetary wise and with clothing as well. This is my country of birth which supports my movement was well.
Row A Seat 1: In what ways have your relationship/brotherhood with Raekwon helped you as a businessman in the fashion industry?
Toure: Meeting Raekwon was a blessing in so many ways. Raekwon actually gave me my first opportunity to style him as well as the entire Wu-Tang Clan. He also gave me insight on connecting with other artists and companies in the music industry. He always made sure I would not settle for less, and has always treated me fair and supported all of my projects thus far.
Row A Seat 1: What inspires you to create as a designer?
Toure: I’m an artist; so different things such as living and working in the Fashion Capital of New York inspire me. Waking up in the morning, music inspires me walking around the city, shopping for fabrics and meeting people are some of things that inspire me to create.
Row A Seat 1: As a designer and stylist, what advice would you give to future or upcoming designers/stylists about the industry, networking and being business savvy?
Toure: My advice would be to remain patient and to do your homework. You must sacrifice, be very focused and have a plan. It would also be nice if you have a good eye and great sense of style. Also, try working with established and upcoming stylists in the industry, for editorials and TV product placements. Fashion is a business and you treat it as your business, check out the competition and try to have price points that make sense for your target audience. Try to do much as you can independently until its time to seek investors. Remember nothing happens overnight, and never give up if you believe in yourself.
For more information on Alhassan Toure and Toure’s Clothing, check out the site here and don’t forget to follow him on IG: touredesigns or Twitter: touredesigns.