GURLS TALK has teamed up with Embellished Talk, an online platform that explores the different works of textiles designers. Founded by Rebeckah Kemi Apara, she has picked four other designers and hand embroidered 20 t-shirts in various sizes. 100% of the proceeds from the t-shirts will go to the Baytree Centre; a women's and girls charity that supports social inclusion through educational programmes and activities.
Rebeckah Kemi Apara
Textiles Designer, Founder of Embellished Talk and Creative Director of the Embellished Gurls Talk collaboration.
Hand embroidery is always therapeutic for me. It allows me to calm down and breath, as much as I love Instagram I need a break from staring at a screen. Being able to create a piece of textiles boosts my confidence and gives me self-esteem. Every time I finish working on fabric I feel a sense of accomplishment which makes me want to do more. I love the fact that I've been in control of my own confidence and haven't relied on validation or praise from anyone else. Embroidering the Gurls Talk t-shirts has been incredibly surreal. I’ve had a girl crush on Adwoa for a long time. When I was growing up, being from Africa wasn’t considered attractive or “cool”. Whenever I told people that I was half Ghanaian and Nigerian they would be surprised and say “oh, you don’t look African”. The first time I saw Adwoa in a magazine I felt so happy, the moment I knew her name was Adwoa I knew she was Ghanaian because it’s a typical Ghanaian name. Whenever I see different people of African descent accomplishing things I feel so proud and it makes me think, eff you to all the people that thought Africans weren’t attractive or worthy.
I wish Gurls Talk existed when I was a teenager growing up. I had so many questions, curiosities and insecurities that I couldn't articulate. One big curiosity was about boys and sex. I strongly believe women and girls should talk about sex on a daily basis. It's a weird thing and we need to know more about it. Gurls Talk is a place where girls feel comfortable to talk about any issues without being judged; from uncomfortable sex, being shy, to growing up with a strict father. Our spectrum of emotions and feelings are wide and we're allowed to express them. I think men and boys should read Gurls Talk so they have an understanding on how we feel; maybe there’s a dad, boyfriend or brother who wants to understand the girl in his life much better.
If you’re interested in learning more about hand sewing and textiles Rebeckah’s running a clutch bag decorating workshop on Thursday 18 May at WAH Nails London. You can book a ticket here.
Photographer and Assistant Creative Director of the Embellished Gurls Talk shoot.
Gurls Talk to me is freeing. It's not planned. It's unscripted. It's raw. It's a way to bond and connect with your girls on different levels. Gurls Talk is a chance to get things off my chest, no matter how big or small. Gurls Talk is the best talk to exist, it's between mother and daughter, sis to sis, woman to woman.
Photographer and Creative Director of the Embellished Gurls Talk shoot.
Gurls Talk for me is the route to free all the thoughts and feelings created by suppression. In this, comes a chance to open people's minds to other people's experiences as well as our own in order to grow stronger and create positive changes. This is extremely important to me as someone who has felt unable (and still does at times) to say what's on my mind without the fear of being attacked because apparently, it "shouldn't" be coming from a "lovely girl" like me. Or it's apparently too vivid, sensitive, disgusting etc. for some to accept me discussing it confidently.