Velma Owusu-Bempah

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Velma Owusu-Bempah
Velma Owusu-Bempah.jpg
Velma Crossland

13 January 1981 (1981-01-13) (age 39)
EducationSt. Mary Senior High School
Alma materUniversity of Ghana
Years active2005-present
Parent(s)Prof Leonard Brighton Crossland (father)
Mrs Sarah Crossland (mother)
RelativesOphelia Crossland

Velma Owusu-Bempah (born Velma Crossland, January 13, 1981) is a Milliner, accessories designer and fashion instructor from Ghana.[1] She is the Creative director of her self-named fashion brand, Velma's Millinery and Accessories and the principal of Velma's Millinery Academy.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Owusu-Bempah is the daughter of Ghanaian archeologist and academician,[3] Leonard Brighton Crossland and his wife Mrs. Sarah Crossland. Velma started her formative years in Accra with her grandmother, parents and other siblings including her younger sister, fashion designer, Ophelia Crossland.

She attended the St Mary's Senior High School (Ghana) in Korle Gonno and later enrolled into the University of Ghana Business School to study marketing.[4]

After completing her University education, Owusu-Bempah joined her mother, a Ghanaian fabric merchant and industrialist in her business. She was later advised by her mother to pursue her passion in millinery and accessories. Owusu-Bempah was admitted to the Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Designs, an affiliation of London College of Fashion, where she studied Millinery, Bag designing and Communication.[5]


In 2005, Owusu-Bempah established her eponymous brand as a hats and accessories designer which has seen her making pieces for notable personalities in Ghana and beyond. Ghana's First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Senator Florence Ita Giwa, Second Lady of Ghana, Samira Bawumia, Nicole Ari Parker, Anita Erskine, Sandra Ankobiah, Juliet Ibrahim, Shirley Frimpong- Manso, Joselyn Dumas, Kofi Okyere Darko, mother of Beyonce, Tina Knowles Lawson, and many others are considered part of her high-profile clientele.[6]

Her designs were showcased at the London Great Hat Exhibition in 2018.[7] She also collaborated with her sister Ophelia Crossland at the Swarovski Expose in Dubai by making a matching ensemble for the outfit.[8] Her brand has also collaborated with several other designers including Christie Brown, Tiffany Amber, Nineteen 57 By KOD and Abrantie the Gentleman.[9]

During the visit of Charles, Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Ghana, Owusu-Bempah was made the official accessory designer for the fashion show and banquet held in their honor.[10][11][12]

In 2018, she launched her fashion academy, Velma's Millinery Academy to train young and upcoming milliners in Ghana.[13]

Owusu-Bempah was among the creatives who collaborated on the "Remember Me" project by Ghanaian photographer, Francis Kokoroko, Rania Odaymat, and The Fair Justice Initiative. The project highlighted twelve Ghanaian women who have been sentenced to life in prison at the Nsawam Prisons. Her headpieces were used as part of props that were used to replace the prison outfits. Their portraits were exhibited at the Make Be exhibition at La Maison in October 2018 with a coffee book published to help create funds for inmates.[14] She is currently a tutor at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison where she offers courses in hat-making for prison inmates as part of the Fair Justice Millinery Initiative.[15][16]

She mentions Rachel Trevor Morgan as a milliner that inspires her greatly.[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Accessories designer of the Year, Glitz Style Awards 2018[18][19]

Ghana's Most Outstanding Woman 2019 (GOWA) [20]


  1. ^ "It feels good to design for Samira Bawumia – Designer". Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  2. ^ Abedu-Kennedy, Dorcas (2017-03-15). "It feels good to design for Samira Bawumia – Designer". Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  3. ^ "Benjamin K Nutor | University of Ghana –". Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  4. ^ Quashie, Richard (2017-03-15). "Meet Velma Owusu Bempah, one of the designers behind Samira Bawumia's constantly mesmerising style". - Ghana news. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  5. ^ "It Feels Good To Design For Samira Bawumia – Velma Owusu". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  6. ^ "Meet Ghanaian milliner and luxury handbag designer, Velma Owusu-Bempah". Pleasures Magazine. 2018-02-04. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  7. ^ "Velma Owusu- Bempah For Great Hat Exhibition In London". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  8. ^ Online, Peace FM. "Ophelia Crossland For Swarovski Fashion Exhibition In Dubai". Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  9. ^ "ARISE Fashion Week 2019 | Tiffany Amber". BN Style. 2019-04-22. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  10. ^ "A royal visit to a land of princes". 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  11. ^ "Prince Charles arrives in Ghana for 5-day visit [Photos]". Citinewsroom - Comprehensive News in Ghana, Current Affairs, Business News, Headlines, Ghana Sports, Entertainment, Politics. 2018-11-02. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  12. ^ "Edward Enninful Joins The Prince Of Wales And The Duchess Of Cornwall In Ghana". British Vogue. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  13. ^ admin (2019-03-07). "Ghanaian Accessory designer, Velma Owusu-Bempah is passing the baton to a new generation of African milliners via its Fashion Academy". Bra Perucci Africa. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  14. ^ Maienschein, Jane (1994), "Remember Me", Nature, 367 (6458): 29, Bibcode:1994Natur.367...29M, doi:10.1038/367029a0, retrieved 2019-10-10
  15. ^ admin (2019-09-13). "Accessories designer, Velma Owusu-Bempah and the Fair Justice Initiative are teaching prison inmates how to make hats". Bra Perucci Africa. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  16. ^ Otoo, Lilipearl Baaba. "Australian High Commission extends support to Fair Justice Initiative | Business & Financial Times Online". Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  17. ^ Posted by Hat Academy on July 17, 2018 at 4:00pm; Blog, View. "Velma Owusu-Bempah Interview". Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  18. ^ "Glitz Style Awards 2018: Complete list of winners". Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  19. ^ "Glitz Style Fashion Photographer of the Year receives a Nokia 7 Plus From HMD Global". Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  20. ^ "Velma Owusu-Bempah crowned 2019 Ghana's Outstanding Woman". Retrieved 2020-01-15.