Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How it all began.....

Hey Everyone!! and welcome to the brand new blog page of
Côté Minou.

My name is Maryanne Enanga Mokoko and I am starving architecture student at the real HU–Howard of course. Myself and my sister from another mother, Stephanie Mouapi (aka Da gurl NiNI –yes another HU reppin’) are the designers of Côté Minou. Stephanie and I love and respect for the most things and people in the Arts; such as music, dance, movies, design, drawing, literature, craft and of course FASHION. This, we are intrigued, involved and inspired by.

We are true Cameroonians and Africans at heart who are just trying to make it! We were both born in a town called Bamenda and raised in the city that never stops playing Makossa—Douala. I’ve known Nini since I were in diapers! We went to the same primary school (nursery and middle school) and parted when it was time for our secondary education (junior high and part of high school). I went to the same secondary school my mom attended and so did she. They later went on to the same college called CASS Bambilli and so did we (at HU).

See Stephanie and I were always interested in creating designing for others to wear. We were both exposed to the art when we were younger. My grandma could make clothes and so did Stephanie’s aunt. We always dreamt we will grow to be stars (Dream big and you will land among the stars)...or something like that. When we were younger our moms tried to make stars out of us (as we are sure yours did too). Ooooh! They took pictures all the time, every time. But we certainly didn’t mind always striking a different pose either. We feel quite comfortable doing this kind of thing. Lol! I can also trace my fashion history with Stephanie, when our aunt Agnes would always buy us twin outfits and take pictures. I was miss pink in the tutu and da gurl Nini was in blue. Oh dem days.

.......Fashion to me is a matter of personal taste as we say in Cameroon "ya style". It requires confidence to make others believe it is worth it. So with our style synchronized and our confidence high we started on what first seemed to be a risk.......

We decided to take the step to embark on this Côté Minou venture last year. We wanted our clothes to be mostly made out of African fabrics or other pattern type fabrics. They would be designed in ways we believe are modern. We trying to realize our dreams and by God’s grace we are on our way and it sooo worth it. We both came up with designs, picked a few for our "first batch" and began the process of making the clothes. It was fun, you know, the whole process....buying the cloths, assigning its fabrication and seeing the end product. I’d have to admit though; somewhere in between it was kinda scary. But HEY! we are still here.............

Our debut was to be featured on the Howard University African Student's Assoc.(ASA) Fashion Show entitled "Noire" (French for Black) March 2nd, 2007. I participated in the ASA shows in the previous years as a model (much fun). This time, my participation would be even more daring as myself and Stephanie would feature our clothes one of the scenes for the show. We hope they liked it as much as we did. From the onset people gave us hints of appreciation that kept us going. Hmmm....... a little relief there!

Preparing for a show sure was a lot of work. Combining with school, work and personal life it was not easy but somehow we kept on going because we were so in love with it. It felt like another class...but not just any class. This one was the kind you love to go because it is fun....Yeah we know those ones are hard to find.

The day of the show was hectic unlike the days right before. I had two tests and Nini had to go to work. We were so stressed and I was seriously crossing my fingers that we don’t forget anything and that all goes well. What were we even worried about?? When we both got in Cramton Auditorium (the venue for the show) we suddenly became extremely excited. We were internally screaming like some little children...Yep! Uhhun nobody saw it because we didn’t want others to think we were crazy.

Preparation for the show was fantastic. The model’s hair and make up was Da bomB! And we almost cried when we saw the models in our clothes backstage. It was Bellisimo! Vraiment tres jolie.... We peaked during the runway when they were struttin’ and we were very proud. Our friends said it was really nice and original. They really loved it Oh! They better! What are friends for? Lol just kiddin’ .....they really liked it. We couldn’t fully see our scene because we wanted to stay back stage to dress the models. We would rather be liable for our own clothes, so we take responsibility if something were to happen to them. After our exciting scene was done, we celebrated the whole shabang as we watched the other designers.

Four participants from the S’RAA fashion show ASA hosted last year in cramton were designers this year, except for maybe Ifueku who had designed for the ASA shows before. Yes Cranberry’s Doreen and Joan Caven and their accomplices had a glam line too. Miss Aghogho Sowho (aka HU most horrest Nigerian!) LoL... had her exquisite T-shirts from her SouL BoutiQue line. I love her mind... very creative. The show went by so fast. Trust me !Y’all that were there....It had a lot going but somehow did not seem long as i thought. Neways, everyone’s scene was pretty nice. I don’t know some of the designers names but you should definitely get the video to see it or see it again. I will.....

Oh may we add that the ASA fashion shows at Howard University are well known for their diversity in entertainment. Even better than last year they had Howard ASA dancers-"Omoge Dancers" who killed it at the end and those Roosevelt High School steppers....BEAUTIFUL. Well at the end of it all we were FULL (you know–-->satisfied).

Much love and thanks for your support.

Maryanne and Da gurl Nini

Here are pics from the show....
More updates to come;-)



  1. This is simply great and of a different horizon.How can I get to know about your shows so öi can make it, if around the corner. Please let me know :

    Keep the good job up!!!

    Susan Enjema

  2. AnonymousMay 05, 2008

    Ditto!!! I am very interested in the clothing you design and I would like to know more. Please let me know:

    Thank you.

    Karell Adou

  3. AnonymousJune 02, 2008

    I saw some of your worl on Blackharald and I love it. I would love to come to the show, but already have prior plans, what I would like to know, do you sew privately, and if not do you have a website that I could go to to order your work, I have three weddings and your design is what I want to be in. Thanks for your promptnesss.


  4. u guys are great keep the great ork


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Spin the globe and let it take you to the shores of Côté Minou. A modern twist to traditional African couture. Designed by Maryanne E. Mokoko and Stephanie T. Mouapi are pieces that can be worn by any woman to any event and at any time. From day to evening, casual to professional. Rich in pattern and versatility !