Mai-Gidah is the London-based contemporary menswear brand by Ali (Alec) Abdulrahim, a Ghanian Belgian working in London.
Mai-Gidah is typifed by the modern but very personal nature of the designs. Each collection reflects the designer's personal path through life. The goal is to find an equilibrium between the contemporary and the classic. While exploring new ways of cutting old patterns Mai-Gidah is about creating new, interesting silhouettes, allowing traditional ways of masculine dressing to exist alongside modern men’s styles. Innovative and experimental patterns are developed for each individual piece. Although the garments may appear simple the actual construction is the result of a long process. Bold cuts, juxtaposed fabrics and refinement through elegant detail are recurring themes in the collections.
Mai-Gidah launched after Ali graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. Benefitting from the famed Belgian fashion education and the undeniable influence of the Antwerp Six and the Belgian fashion-scene.
The knowledge and techniques he gained while studying are complemented by the way he blends the emotions and memories he carries with him since his childhood into his collections. Ali’s experience of growing up in Ghana with his sister, who presided over a small sewing-atelier, and later in Belgium working in a theatre-costume atelier are still reflected in dramatic cuts and the play with textures and colours he uses in his designs.
Ali’s aesthetic has been heavily influenced by his exposure to a range of cultures and traditions; born and raised in Ghana, lived and studied in Belgium and now currently working and living in London. European customs and codes in art, fashion and architecture are fused together with traditional African dress & culture. These cultural differences and similarities as well as the ways people respond to the world outside have introspectively lead Ali to reflect on his own roots, adding a deeper layer of expression to his work.
The integration of all these elements are at the heart of Mai-Gidah: a label dedicated to quality, craftsmanship, experiment & innovation.