Long speeches and a gathering of enthusiastic students smiling about prospects are conspicuous features at every matriculation and congregation.
These events at higher learning institutions are never complete without that iconic photo of one’s self frozen mid-air with caps flying high.
For every graduate, this is evidence of the sweat and toil of long years slaving away to get a degree with the hopes of securing a better future.
These special garments have been part of a longstanding tradition in academia depicting the achievement of pertinent milestones reached in the field.
It’s also donned by principal officials including faculty heads during as a sign of respect and reverence of status.
They range from Chancellors, Council Chairs, Vice-Chancellors, Pro VCs, Registrars, among others.
Many of these regalia are sewn with precise detail within the gowns, caps, and hoods to bring out the aura of each ceremony.
“The rationale is to bring something special to the grandeur of each event that is meant to be memorable,” says Cecil Duddley Mends.
Mr Mends is the CEO of one of the top brands stitching the aspiration of these achievers into reality, CDM Fashion Couture.
He is a fashion designer of 12 years standing whose gowns have been worn by top personalities including The Gambian President Adama Barrow and President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio.
His products are of top quality which rubs shoulders with European and American standards.
On the news team’s visit to his premises in Accra, his workers were putting finishing touches on a fresh set of robes to be delivered to a tertiary institution withiin the Greater Accra Region for another upcoming ceremony.
This is a routine at the facility, working around the clock to deliver client’s work because, as he puts it, integrity is key in the fashion business.
The gowns encompass undergraduate, Masters, Ph.D. gowns and specialized ones tailor-made for the said occasion.
The Covid-19 pandemic created a gap in the academic calendar. Universities across the country were shut down and graduation for the 2020 academic years postponed while others took a virtual turn.
In both scenarios, the celebratory academic regalia was mostly at the losing end.
Cecil says during most of last year, large-scale patronage by educational institutions was on the decline.
Instead, individuals would occasionally rent the regalia to take photos to immortalize their graduation, which may have been attended virtually.
However, as the world adjusts to the ruins of the pandemic, CDM Fashion Couture is revamped as ever.
The business has embarked on innovative strategies to surmount the challenge.
But he has one piece of advice for stakeholders and consumers of Academic regalia.
According to Cecil, Ghana has talented fashion designers to sew authentic gowns for their purposes.
He indicated that there is no need to look outside the country’s shores for clothing that may not stand the test of time, and at very compeititve prices.
Mr Mends believes his company is committed to not only meeting but also exceeding all customer requirements, thus ensuring a 100% quality target that is carried throughout each step of the manufacturing process.
For more gowns, visit: www.cdmgowns.com
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