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The Woman with an Edge: Coccolily by Naana Tennachie Yankey

Ijeoma Balogun

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From our recent fashion features on Bella Naija, its so amazing to see how African designers all over the world are excelling. We recently discovered another young African designer, this time from Ghana, who is doing tremendously well in Canada.

About the Designer: Naana Tennachie Yankey was born in Ghana. Her formative years were spent in the United Kingdom where she attended boarding school and later ventured off to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

While living in the US, Naana made a dramatic switch from business to fashion, to cultivate her creative spirit. Her longing to be part of the fashion world came to fruition when she apprenticed with Marc Jacobs in New York.

Naana later moved to Montreal to study Fashion Design at Academy of Arts and Design in Montreal, Quebec and then worked under Eve Gravel, before starting to sow the seeds of her own line, Coccolily.

My Review: Coccolily is a couture and evening wear line. Naana’s designs play on female sexuality in an intriguing way. She maintains a feminine centre with her pieces but gives the woman a bold dimension as there is an edge to them.

Her most recent collection mirrors her design aesthetic. She features cocktail dresses and separates mostly in black and mixes things up with white, pastel pink, red and floral patterns. The collection exudes sexiness with the sophisticated reveal of skin with lace insert details and ultra sexy plunging necklines and cut-out details on the bodice.

I am a huge fan of the separates in this collection. I like the way she styles them; juxtaposing tops with very feminine details with PVC leggings and patterned tights which emphasizes the dual dimension her designs seek create for the woman and their flexibility as these tailored pieces can be worn in a way to channel a woman’s desire to be sophisticated and edgy.

My favourite piece in this collection is the black top with a plunging neckline and  feathered peplum detail. It’s a perfect example showing the flexibility of her designs. This top works the way it’s styled here and can with a pair of tailored trousers or a pencil skirt.

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Naana Tennachie Yankey

Naana will be showing her collection at the Fall 2010 LG Fashion week (March 28th 2010-April 3 2010)

Visit the Coccolily website HERE:

Credits: www.coccolily.com, photography by Anthony Turano

15 Comments

  1. chika

    March 28, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I love them all!!!!!!!

  2. Sugabelly

    March 28, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Another African designer that insists on using white models even though Black models are BEGGING for even just one single job. Whatever.

  3. anon

    March 29, 2010 at 12:29 am

    No one is behooved to use anyone, regardless of their skin color….

  4. Bola #1

    March 29, 2010 at 3:19 am

    i just love the clean cut

  5. Bola #1

    March 29, 2010 at 3:29 am

    i say audition for project runway canada!

  6. THE AMAKA

    March 29, 2010 at 6:06 am

    sugabelly don come again ooo!! lol
    but i do kinda see your point.

    the collection is okay. but it was really weird scrolling down looking at the clothes and when i got to the dead bottom this black face appeared out of nowhere.
    you would expect to…never mind.

  7. TEEKAY

    March 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    TELL EM SUGABELLY..
    Very disgusting thing…as if unless they use white models,they cannot “sell”.
    How sad that white people drag their feet before using black models,and even the black people sef do the same.
    It is a DAMN shame.
    I don’t even bother myself again.
    Now people think i am crazy when i try as much as possible to ONLY buy from designers who are known for using black models.And i don’t mean just one model on the runway kinda thing.I mean fashion houses that have used black models in major campaigns.Call me crazy,but i can tell you at the top of my head those who favor blacks and those who don’t.
    Might sound stupid or extreme to some,but to me,i say WHY should my money go somewhere i am not wanted?
    Recently i was at a “major” shopping mall.
    And i needed a certain thing,while walking through i got accosted by one of the skin consultants,when i checked their products as they had what i wanted,i then asked if it had been tested on BLACK skin as the little glossy pamphlet only had white faces staring at me.
    The sales girl turned red and said in all honesty,she didn’t think so,i then went further and asked her if she would buy stuff from say,a skin service that targeted “ethnic” people.she said no,i then asked WTF she felt the need to accost me to come and spend my money on the product she was fronting.??
    I know she thought i was crazy,BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?
    I COULDN’T CARE LESS….
    WHY should i spend my money on all this big names that do not include MY TYPE in their marketing,testing etc..WHY?

    i say screw them all..i take my money where i am wanted.

    And good luck to you Coccolily—as for me,a dime of mine would not go towards your clothes.

    😉

  8. cynthia

    March 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Fashion designing is a business ooo peeps and we all know who drives that business!

  9. az in...

    March 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    LOL! I’m loving u teekay and I’m loving ur boldness. I should try that one of these days cos to me that is subtle racism but maybe coccolily doesn’t have any slim pretty black friend and this white friend is doing her a favour. and maybe where she is in Canada is predominantly white so she needs to attract them. Anywho I’m sure she’s heard all that’s been said cos she’ll definitely be coming to this site to check all that’s been said about her line. As a matter of fact I think “anon” who replied sugabelly is coccolily… hehehe

  10. mimiz

    March 29, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    if she had used ur white stepsister or best friend u wudnt have minded im sure.
    yes she white,but she cud b african,nd even if she isnt, i dnt hear nebody cmplain dat white designers shudn use black models.
    i saw this pic of a light skined black model,nd under it sum1 said d designer shudve used a real african woman instead.
    ppl r ppl,no matter their race.

  11. Sugabelly

    March 30, 2010 at 5:05 am

    If she had used my white stepsister I would still be against it. And I would have advised my step sister or best friend not to do it.

    If people are people no matter their race then why are so many designers reluctant to hire black models? Using your argument we can also reason that all the white luxury designers should use only black models since people are people and it doesn’t make a difference anyway.

  12. THE AMAKA

    March 31, 2010 at 3:30 am

    OMG!!! GIRL YOU ROCK!
    you’ve just inspired me.
    thanks a BUNCH!!! 😀

  13. anon

    September 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    abeg, you people need to take a chill pill with the race thing, im sure that comment was written by a frustrated model…anyway, she does use black models so next time you want to start trying to comment on someones work ethic do the research first…tssswwww.

  14. Coccolily

    May 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you so much Bella Naija for this post. And thank you everyone for your comments.
    This is Naana, the designer of Coccolily. I just now read all your comments and I understand where everyone is coming from. I live in Montreal, Quebec and its very hard over here finding amazing black models. As this is a business, we need models who vibrate and express the sensuality of the line. My last fashion Week that I did in September 2010, I insisted on using black models. I worked hard to find some in my region and in Toronto. I hired a beautiful Sudanese model, as well as beautiful Senegalese Model and another good model from the Bahamas. I do support Black Models. We only hire very good models irrespective of color. Whether white or black they have to be good models and not just for their color. I welcome anyone’s feedback as it helps me grow as a designer. I wish you all the best and God bless you all.

  15. Julius S. Etsey

    October 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Hello Naana, i have a nephew who is into footwear making, but no one to promote his his creativity of his footwear designing. Please is there a way that hjs product can be advertise or be promoted in Canada? Advise please, and God bless you.

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