Hair accessories are having a huge moment in the fashion world. For example, during Fall 2019’s Denver Fashion Week, local designer Rachel Marie Hurst paid tribute to this spunky trend by pairing her designs with oversized decorative hairpins. Accessories like headbands, scrunchies and barrettes are classic for reining in a nostalgic yet stand out addition to any outfit. These timeless accessories are now the new staple to spruce up a bad hair day or a typical top knot.
A local online based company called The Bopa encompasses all things whimsical and trendy when it comes to hair accessories. As for the unique name, founder Dardoh Skinner used her West African roots as inspiration.
“The name is a cheeky reference to my culture. My parents immigrated to the US from The Gambia in West Africa and in Wolof, the language people speak in The Gambia, bopa means ‘head’ so I thought it would be a cute name for a company selling hair accessories,” Skinner explained.
By day Skinner works as a lawyer and is the epitome of elegance and poise. Seated with coffee in hand and sporting her olive-colored headband, she spoke on what it was like opening up her own business and the victories that came with it. One being recently featured on Refinery 29 as “The Plush Hair Accessory You’ll Want To Buy In Every Color This Fall”. She also secured her own pop up at J. Crew this past holiday season. The Bopa as described by Skinner is to “evoke a sense of whimsy, femininity, just being flirty, care-free, and fun.” Skinner buys all her products for her online boutique while curating a collection that is feminine and stylish for adults. Her products consist of velvet and beaded headbands in rich winter colors. As well as stunning decorative barrettes and bobby pins that either come beaded or in shimmering golds, and hair scrunchies in floral print or muted spring colors.
While on the topic of hair, she also spoke on being a black-owned company and how black hair is perceived in the fashion world or in general. Women of color have only recently seen their hair accepted and celebrated on and off the runway. The Bopa hopes to continue to push that forward.
“As a woman of color myself, I want other people of color, and people with different hair types and textures to feel comfortable wearing all types of hair accessories, whether they are barrettes, headbands, scrunchies — all of it! A lot of people think of a Blair Waldorf type when they think about hair accessories but truly, anyone can wear them! We are a very inclusive brand and want every person who wears our accessories to feel beautiful and to feel like themselves.”
With all of the accessories being handpicked by Skinner herself, one can trust that a lot of thought, care for quality and a trained eye were put behind every product accounted for.
The Bopa has a very exciting year ahead as the summer collection debuts in late spring. Skinner’s major goals are to continue to expand her business, and get more of her accessories in local stores and boutiques in Denver. With her recent success already, one could vouch that these goals will be waiting happily around the corner.
All photography by Madison McMullen.