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Best fashion designer to watch: Afriyie Poku

Staff Pick

In Afriyie Poku's native homeland of Ghana, the word oberima is like saying "gentleman" or "you're the man." So it's fitting that Poku would name his new luxury collection Oberima Afriyie, considering the young designer's mission to redefine the modern gent. Though the look book is still under development for a 2014 debut, his menswear designs have already earned top honors at Peroni Style Atlanta's 2012 show and Charleston, S.C.'s 2013 Fashion Week. His personal style skirts a fine line between effeminacy and masculinity, which carries over into his designs. Bearing a strong 19th-century influence, his line features such fancifully constructed items as high-waisted riding pants and double-breasted morning coats. But he keeps it edgy and contemporary with additions like shendyt pants, derived from Egyptian waist wraps. It's a progressive look for 21st century menswear, but surely you can pull it off if you're the man. www.facebook.com/afriyiepoku.

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