Friday, 13 July 2012


Bee Arthur is an adventurous and flamboyant fashion guru whose label B’EXOTIQ has resonated across the African continent and beyond for over a decade. Bee was born in the port city of Odessa in Ukraine – a city famous not only for its melting pot of cultures, but also for Ballet and Operatic singers and Art. Her heritage is a cocktail of diverse cultures: Russian, Polish, German and Ghanaian. Growing up in a Communist Soviet Union was a psychologically and emotionally “violent” experience for a person of mixed heritage, Bee was always reminded that she was “exotic”, “unusual” and “different”.
In this interview with All African Fashion , Bee talks about her new collection, some fashion etiquette and more.

AAF: What inspired you to be a fashion designer and at what point in your life was this?
BEE: I have always been an artist. I only gave in to Fashion after university in the year 2000 when I realized it was my calling. I won the KORA Fashion Award in 2001 in Sun City and I decided to put my ambitions of getting into the UN or Foreign Affairs on hold and  dedicate myself to creating fashionable and elegant clothing for a cross-section of people from across the world. I studied marketing and knew where and how I could create a niche for myself. I have no regrets after 16years of designing, ( I designed unofficially between 1995 and 2000). But it’s good to know I have a degree to fall back on should I ever get tired of designing. That’s my Plan B. (smiles)

AAF: How do you describe your work as a fashion designer and what does it entail?
BEE: Primarily, all designers are artists. Our job is to make people look good and/or feel comfortable and confident. So i am an aesthetician and an architect.

AAF:  What do you enjoy most about your career as a fashion designer?
BEE: I get endorphins swimming my brain each time I am in the creative process. I always get huge smiles from people when they see or wear my clothes plus, I get paid for that! moreover, I enjoy immense  traveling to meet other very creative people from other artistic  spheres – dancers, poets, sculptors, painters, actors, designers ,make-up artists.  All these wonderful people I meet help broaden  my mind and my vision,  and through symbiotic exchanges, we inspire  and learn from each other.

AAF: What challenges do you encounter in your career as a fashion designer?
BEE: Mostly laziness, indiscipline and unreliability from Ghanaian workers, but now I have a great team. The occasional stress I get from customers comes with the terrain, and that is not peculiar to my domain. I have mastered the art of dealing with ‘unreasonable’ customers. I give every customer preferential treatment and demand same.

AAF: Tell us more about your latest collection?
BEE: My latest collection has pink accents. Pink infuses life into any dull colour. It’s the ultimate colour of femininity.
 I took an entirely Pink Collection to Malabo Fashion Week 2012 in April and it got great reviews in International media particularly Brune magazine, Paris . I used a lot of wax prints which are highly trendy currently.

B'ExotiQ by Bee Arthur in Brune Magazine, Paris

B'ExotiQ by Bee Arthur in Brune Magazine,Paris
 See pictures from Bexotiq collection at the Malabo fashion week.

Bee Arthur and her model
Credits: All African Fashion, Bee Arthur.

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