One to Watch
One to Watch: suakoko betty
Charlene Bendu Dunbar: Creator of suakoko betty
Have you ever discovered a brand and become completely obsessed with it? Like, love at first sight? This is the scenario that best describes my affinity for all things suakoko betty. This summer I rocked frocks by the talented Charlene Bendu Dunbar every chance I got. In fact, designer and illustrator Veronica Marche recently created a piece dedicated to me and my crush on this brand as part of her “Favorite ‘Fit” series (pictured below).
Launched in 2007, suakoko betty (pronounced SWAH-ko-ko) transforms authentic West African wax and resist-dye prints into dresses and separates that are flattering and current.
“suakoko” means place of new beginnings in Kpelle, a West African dialect and is also the name of reknown female warrior-chief in Liberia. Translation: we bring fresh, lead-don’t-follow thinking to African-inspired design.
suakoko betty is available at the beehive store located in Atlanta, Georgia. You can also get your “betty” look from their online inventory (S to XL) or by selecting fabric from their design room and providing your measurements. Their tie-dye fabrics are hand-dyed in Liberia and limited quantities of each print means you’ll get a unique garment. All garments are hand-made in the USA.
Designer Charlene Bendu Dunbar lived in Atlanta and her hometown, Monrovia, Liberia as a child, so her point-of-view draws from both traditional African and American influences. Charlene has an engineering degree and earned a bachelors degree in Fashion Design from American Intercontinental University in Buckhead. She has worked with Reco Chapple of House of Chapple and was named the 2010 Designer of the Year by the Liberian Entertainment Awards.
To learn more about the fabulousness that is suakoko betty click here now!