1981 was conceived in 2012 by Nana K. Brenu in his quest for equilibrium between two highly contrasting genres of style.
The first being his Ghanaian heritage characterized by vibrant colors and bold prints in contrast to his modern minimalistic design sensibilities that is highly influenced by modern art, design and architecture including the main principles of minimalism.
In his relentless approach to conceive a harmonious relationship between these two contrasting worlds, 1981 became the creative medium for him to exploration of dialogue between contrasting ideas and philosophies. The idea that a modern design ethos and a rich and vibrant Ghanaian heritage can harmoniously coexist highlights the notion of contrast reflected in each seasonal collection.
In a departure from the use of bold prints and colours typically associated with African designs, 1981 is influenced by the impact of the complex simplicity of the monochromatic geometric designs of traditional Ghanaian symbols. Although traditional by conception the designs have a very original, and modern feel.
The highly original and unique design philosophies of 1981 are based on the notion that design should reflect who you are, where you are from and where you have been. In other words clothes are the storytellers in the journey of our lives. This concept is reflected through Nana’s Ghanaian background, design studies and work in NYC and Milan. He sees design in terms of contrast and draws inspiration from the world of modern art, design and architecture. Nana is intrinsically drawn to the purity that exists in modern design which focuses on elements such as: details, textures, the quality materials, craftsmanship and the finishing. In his words, “It’s about refinement of the design until its true essence emerges, a notion based on the fundamentals of minimalism. It the beauty in that rawness and simplicity that appeals to my design sensibilities”.
Though attracted to the muted natural tones usually associated modern design, the touch of bold colours in contrast, reflects his vibrant Ghanaian heritage.
1981 is about always striving to create some “new”, a creative vehicle striving to achieve a balance between conceptualism and a practicality.