Burkina Faso Fashion Designer: More to the Nation than Conflict

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OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso – Vibrant African clothing, both traditional and contemporary, has enlivened the catwalk at Burkina Faso Fashion Week.

Designers say they are working to make the West African country a rising fashion hub, undermining its reputation for recent coups and ongoing clashes with Islamic extremists. Some ceremonies were staged on a central street in the capital, Ouagadougou, where residents lined up to see model strut designs for women and men.

The small West African country is hosting its third Oga Fashion Week – the first since the epidemic was delayed. Amid jihadist violence linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups, a four-day colorful show ended on Sunday, killing thousands.

In the capital, when there are frequent power outages, models and designers use their cell phone lights to do makeup and straighten hair.

About 35 designers, selected from around 200 applicants from West Africa and Europe, showcased their clothing in the capital, Ouagadougou. For the first time, most designers, about 75%, from Burkina Faso, said event director Alex Jabsonre.

“Burkina Faso is one of the few African countries that has a lot to offer in terms of fashion … that’s why I set up this project to unveil Burkina Faso designers and get them recognized internationally,” she said.

In many designs, Burkina Faso’s traditional, hand-knitted Faso is made from Dan Fanny cotton, worn by celebrities, including singer Beyonc এবং and fashion designer Stella McCartney, according to Jabson. According to the United Nations, the country is one of the top 10 cotton exporters in the world, accounting for an average of 3% of global exports since 2000.

Korotimi Dao, fashion designer and founder of Koro DK Style, says that in recent years, fashion has evolved in the country so that people have become more clothing-conscious.

“Fashion week is not a challenge, it’s an opportunity to hope that everything will be all right again,” she said.

Since 2017, the European Union has provided $ 10 million to the Ethical Fashion Project, which has created hundreds of jobs for marginalized women and helped professionalize the textile and creative industries by connecting Burkina Faso producers and designers with prominent fashion and interior designer, Wolfram Veter. The European Union’s ambassador to Burkina Faso told The Associated Press.

Mallika Chowdhury, founder and director of INDOI, a UK-based women’s apparel brand, said: “We need to celebrate, revitalize and maintain local crafts where designers and manufacturers work together so that we move towards a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry.”

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