#Sentimental: Writer Nana Brew-Hammond Honors Ghanaian Artisans & Clothes That Inspire Her To Live Out Loud


Who: Nana Brew-Hammond—Ghanaian-American Writer and Author of  Powder Necklace.


What: Lace dress made and purchased in Ghana

The sentiment: I don’t know what you call it, but in Ghana it’s a type of lace that we call Anago lace which is like Nigerian lace. I don’t know what kind of lace it is but I’ve always loved it because I feel like it’s not standard European lace. It’s just cool to me. It’s very delicate and it has a cool pattern. It’s bright and I love color.

I had it made in Ghana. What I love about this outfit is that it makes me feel like a bird of paradise. It’s so bright and it has these sleeves. It’s just so dramatic. When I was thinking about [this feature] I asked my sister, ‘what means something to me?’ that’s how my sister and I are. One of the reasons I thought of this is because I’m such a shy person.


I’ve always been sort of introverted and quiet and nerdy in that way. But when it came to fashion, fashion was really something that I could feel like I didn’t care if people looked at me. I could be expressive and it helped open me up, so whenever I see this I’m always like, I love this dress because I could just sort of ham it up.



It means something to me also too because it’s from Ghana and when I think about Ghana and fashion in particular, one of the things that I love about it is that there’s so much genius there. The fact that someone actually made this lace by hand…wow. It kills me because people don’t understand. When I hear about Italy and France and all these places that are the epicenter of luxury I’m like, there are artisans who are just toiling away. [People] knock these off like nothing and they’re getting no credit for it. I feel like there’s such an opportunity to give these artisans a credit for creating these one of a kind luxury pieces. So it just kind of all together, this piece reflects so many things that I like and I’m about.


For our “Sentimental” series we photograph women we admire wearing something sentimental to them. 

Abi Ishola
Abi Ishola


Abi Ishola is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Beyond Classically Beautiful, the acclaimed photo series turned multimedia platform. On any given day, you can find her tucked away in a perfectly lit Brooklyn coffee shop working for several hours. Then she dashes off to pick up her daughter from daycare. Abi is also a TV Producer, a proud FIT Alum, Nigerian-American, and a soul searcher.


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