Blakely Faces: Koby Ohene - Greige Studios

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June 4, 2024

Blakely Faces: Koby Ohene - Greige Studios

Koby Ohene
Designer | Greige Studios

Koby Ohene is a London based creative and the owner/designer of jewellery brand Greige Studios. With a focus on crafting quality pieces which reflect his Ghanaian heritage, Greige Studios provides ‘beautifully aesthetic everyday pieces’ This strong presence of meaning coupled with Koby’s values of prioritising relaxation and peace in his personal life, gave us lots of topics to discuss. We caught up with Koby in Hackney, East London.

Hi Koby, great to meet you today. Tell us a little bit about yourself?

‘I’m 27 and I’m from Wandsworth. I grew up in London, but I spent a few years in Ghana from the age of two up until about five. Both of my parents are Ghanaian, they grew up there and then emigrated here. Having a blend of those two cultures has been very beneficial. Although, coming from an African background I didn’t think that fashion would be something I could do, as you’re sort of expected to follow a certain path’

How did your journey into fashion come about?

‘It wasn’t until I finished uni doing business and finance that I realised and said to myself, yeah, I’m not going to be an accountant. Since then I’ve moved around for a few jobs, but right now I’m working at Business of Fashion as a business development manager. So, I’m enjoying that’

Why fashion, what does that mean to you and where did you find your passion for it?

‘I trace it back to my older sister, she used to dress in a certain way, and I’m like, “OK cool, I want to dress in that type of way,” Then I just took it further. Even my school uniform, I’d have it tailored so it fits me nicely. It really just evolved and developed from there’

Let’s talk about Greige Studios, how did that come about?

‘I first came up with the concept four years ago, but what it is today was inspired by a ring that my friend brought back from Senegal as a gift. I started making content and doing styling videos which featured the ring and people kept asking me, “Where’s this ring from?” Then I started to think, maybe I should focus on jewellery, because I love wearing rings. That’s really how it was born. I started creating jewellery inspired by West African culture and incorporated West African symbols into the designs. For example, the onyx represents the black star on the Ghana flag’

Is this a solo venture, or do you collaborate with others?

‘I don’t make the jewellery myself but it’s something that I want to learn. Greige was accelerated when my girlfriend took me to a jewellery making class for my birthday. I loved it so much, and from there I realised I have to do this. I was desperate to start so I contacted a friend who introduced me to someone who makes jewellery named Amanda. We put our heads together and designed the jewellery to what it is today. I now do all the design myself, along with the socials and eCom. There are designs in the works that I want to bring forward and show everyone the creations I’ve made’

Are there any other materials that you want to experiment with, or is silver and onyx the identity now?

‘Silver is definitely the identity for now because gold is so expensive to produce by the gram. As a small start-up there’s no need for me to go into gold just yet. Ghana was previously called the Gold Coast, because there was so much gold produced there. So I think it really makes a lot of sense for us to go into that in the future’ 

What’s on the horizon for Greige over the next couple of months and what are you working on?

‘I’m designing as much as I can and trying to push the brand forward. When you’re an early stage start-up the main thing is always cash flow and jewellery can be expensive. I already have ideas that I want to bring to life, and I’m doing whatever I can do to grow the collection as quickly as possible’

What advice would you give to others who might be like you, have a concept in mind, but haven’t taken the leap?

‘If you’re passionate about it, then at least give it a try. Don’t worry about your age, or other people's achievements, if you’re really passionate and dedicated, then just take that leap. That risk might pay off’

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