Adwoa Aboah On Being Herself (But Still Stealing Her Mum's Style)

Bibi Cornejo Borthwick / Farfetch
Farfetch, the online retailer that collates our favourite brands from boutiques around the world, has relaunched, and with its new look has brought us Farfetch Communities. Asking some of the coolest – and most sartorially switched-on – people to select their favourite pieces of the season, we'll get to know the likes of Chloë Sevigny and Riz Ahmed a little better through interviews on how they get dressed, what inspires their style, and the wardrobe staples they can't live without.
Next up in Farfetch's spotlight is fashion's wunderkind Adwoa Aboah. Between walking for everyone from Fendi and Miu Miu to Burberry, and running Gurls Talk, her digital platform for women to discuss mental health, she's taking the industry by storm by being unapologetically herself.
Here's what she had to say on authenticity, her plans for protest via direct action, and stealing her mum's style...
My mum and dad have amazing style. They have quite a uniform, which is something I sort of envy…
I would say my style is quite confused, which is sometimes quite similar to my personality, actually. It’s very emotionally based. Weirdly, when I’m sad it probably gets more colourful, and then when I’m quite neutral, I suppose it can be a bit boring. But it’s cosy at the end of the day. I’ve definitely taken parts [of my style] from both of them – whether it’s my mum’s crisp, white shirts or my dad’s matching tracksuits. They don’t set rules for themselves in terms of how old they are, or the jobs that they do.
I had a lot of godparents growing up. One in particular, set designer Michael Howells was someone that I really looked up to…
They all taught me so much. Manners is something that’s been ingrained in me by godparents, aunties, uncles, and my mum and dad. I’ve made many a mistake but like, writing a thank-you letter or clearing up the table, these were things that were drilled into me. What I find really interesting is I didn’t really listen to the things that they taught me until I came into a different part of my life; then I realised how important those things were.
My first cover that I did with Tim Walker for Italian Vogue, that was the first time that I really had a huge sense of pride…

I am myself through and through. And if that can set an example for others on their journey, then I think that that’s as good a message as any.

Because I saw myself. It didn’t feel like I’d been changed or made to look a certain way. I really saw myself in it, and that made me feel really happy. I think my role in [the fashion industry] is just to be, like, fucking authentic… to be unapologetically myself. I am myself through and through. And if that can set an example for others on their journey, then I think that that’s as good a message as any.
I definitely think I have a massive responsibility; one that’s maybe been given to me and the other, which I’ve taken on myself…
I have a responsibility [because of] the things that I’ve gone through and the things that I’ve learned. I feel a massive sense of responsibility to give back. And in terms of the industry – I don’t just think it’s just the fashion industry – I think all massive career types have a role to play in putting out a greater message and a greater meaning. And you can do that by the clothes that you make or the people you work, or the imagery that you put out.
I started Gurls Talk a few years ago, off the back of my own journey.
It came down to creating a safe space where all topics had the ability to be shared. Whether it be periods or boyfriends, or sex, or mental health – anything that I didn’t necessarily think I was told [when I was younger]. I wanted to create a space where we were going to advocate talking about those things. It started as an online platform and now we do events. I think this year we’re going to do a lot more action work – whether that be government policy change or research-based projects. It really is my favourite thing in the world.

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