The Araba Belle androgynous capes are inspired by Ghana’s coast

Accra-based fashion brand DoNeal was inspired by the people and landscape of Ghana's Cape Coast.

Founded in 2014 by young designer Neal Davids, DoNeal creates clothes and accessories inspired by Ghanaian craft and real-life scenarios, and which respond to the demands of the local consumers. The Araba Belle range, which launched this week, is a collection of 10 androgynous, ready-to-wear cape-like garments. 

The inspiration for the collection comes from the fante inhabitants of Ghana, who lived on the coastal Cape shores amongst the crabs and batholith rocks. The townships along the coast were heavily influenced by western styles, colonised several times and adjusted each time to change. They inhabitants were resilient souls. A native of Ghana’s Cape Coast is flexible by nature, beautifully weird and stylish, says the designer of the characters in his lookbook. 

“There is togetherness, shyness and bliss,” says Davids. “They consider themselves minimal and earthly with a subtle twist of style.”

The Araba Belle collection explores the aftermath of colonial infiltration on the Cape Coast, also known as the Cabo Corso. The colours are interpretations of the sea crabs and white rock and the feel is tribal. The earthy tones of orange, dull green, brown and dark purple also reflect the landscape.  

Creative director and designer Neal Davids. Photography by Josh Sackey of 60Seconds Photography. makeup by Hamid Vijay. Models: Nana Akwasi Agyeman, Derek Ayi, Percy Okine. 

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