Last week, I attended and assisted during the program of my friend Fadieye called Elite Senegal 2018. ELITE is an acronym and stands for Entrepreneurship, Leadership and IT Exchange. During one week, we had over 40 girls that study sewing at CAIF and gave them workshops and trainings in entrepreneurship and leadership. Not only that, we had a guest speaker every single day. Meaning that every day, a designer came to share their experiences with us. How cool is that! The students had the opportunity to ask them all sorts of questions. Last post, I talked all about ELITE Senegal 2018, today, I want to share with you the cool Twisted Talent designers we’ve met during the event. Let’s get our next shot of raw talent!
All the designers that came through during ELITE Senegal 2018 are considered Twisted Talents. They were all rolemodels for the students, they took their personal time to share experiences and it was insightful. The students had the opportunity to ask all kinds of questions they might have. Even though the message was basically the same, it was still nice to have a confirmation or emphasis. The common messages were to never stop dreaming. You do not need an education in fashion in order to make it. Other than that, you do not need to be rich in order to start. I think a lot of people think that if you have no money, you cannot succeed at starting your business. Even though, most of the designers that spoke have proven differently.
The first Twisted Talent designer I want you to meet is my great friend Fadieye from KABIO. I have known Fadieye since I started my internship at Tigo in 2015. Fadieye studied to be a Telecommunications Engineer and therefore she works at Senegal’s second largest Telecommunication NEtwork, Tigo. Not only does Fadieye work at Tigo, but she has her own Fashion brand KABIO. She started her brand without any capital nor investment, she just took a leap of faith, and look where it ook her. Do you think Fadieye knew that in 2018 she would have successfully organized an event that lasted a whole week? No, but she did it any way, and I am so proud of her. You can find all about KABIO on Facebook, where you’ll find me rocking her clothing! Don’t forget to follow KABIO on IG: @kabiosn
Fatima Zahra is the not only the brain, but also the beauty behind So’Fatoo. Fatima started So’Fatoo about six years ago, and today she is thriving! Not only does Fatima have her own clothing brand, but she also works at the Ministery of Women. How cool is that?! During her talk, she shared all different kinds of experiences with us. This ranges from her lack of studies in fashion, to her experiences during fashion shows in different countries. Even long after she was done with her talk, she stayed and talked to us about different experiences and her overall journey. You know what? When I introduced myself, she knew about Senegalese Twisted! I was so excited!! All in all, So’Fatoo was just amazing, so humble and genuine. At the end of the week, she even came to see us! You can check out her clothing on Instagram, or Facebook.
Next Twisted Talent designer: Koko and Touty. They were both great speakers. and they were both wearing their unique clothing. Which I loved so much, in that way, you can show the students your unique style. Touty and Koko were bombarded with questions about their brand, their journey and business. The students were definitely impressed by both of them, as they were at the 2018 Dakar Fashion Week show. What I loved most is that they both have such a different style. Koko is known for mixing grand boubou’s with brodé. While Touty is known for having all sorts of Yéré Olof, that are easy to wear in the heat. You can follow Touty on Facebook and Instagram. Koko is mostly active on Instagram.
Our other Twisted Talent designer was Adama Paris: of course. The queen of fashion in Senegal was present. She seemed a bit reluctant to share her experiences with us, but eventually, she rocked the audience. Mostly, because in the end we have to realize that there are young girls in the audience that look up to us. I’m glad Adama Paris took our her personal time to attend the event. Her talk included how she started her brand Adama Paris, how she started her own TV channel and how Senegalese culture sometimes clashes with our dreams. You can follow Adama Paris on Facebook and on Instagram.
The last (but not least) Twisted Talent designer was Audrey from The Reyn. I’ve met Audrey for the first time last November, when she came to Senegal for the second time. Then, we did a shooting for The Reyn on Gorée Island. I loved that Audrey showed up to share her experiences with us. She came back to Senegal to further expand her brand and focus on working closely with artisans. I can not explain how proud I am of Audrey. I’ve seen her growth since her brand was called Uzuri Couture, which I fell deeply in love with. I honestly love seeing people growing, expanding and foremost, changing. Audrey is definitely a Twisted Talent you will see much more of in the future. She is a source of inspiration, and I will definitely enjoy her presence in Dakar. Of course you can find Audrey on Instagram and The Reyn as well.
This was it for ELITE Senegal 2018, it was a pleasure to have assisted to this great event. I want to deeply thank Fadieye for personally asking me, believing in me and allowing me to do this my way. Tu es vraiment géniale! Ajaarama et jërredieuf (thank you). Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel and follow me on IG: @senegalesetwisted and @sntwistedphoto for photography and video’s. Check out my Facebook page @SenegaleseTwisted. See you in my next post :).