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This Is the Senegalese Fashion Brand BellaNaijarians Need to Know Now

BellaNaija Style

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New designers pop up everyday and quite a few of them are undoubtedly talented. We’ve had our eyes on quite a few up and coming brands and we will be highlighting some of the major on-the rise- brands you need to know in the Discover series.

The DIARRABLU woman is a dreamer, a bold dreamer, an unrealistic dreamer, a vivid dreamer.

Diarra Blus SS19 Ndar

Answers by current CEO and Creative Director Khoudia Dionna

On why she started her line

The lines was started by my daughter Diarra Bousso in 2013 with the goal to empower local artisans in Senegal while rebranding Africa. I took over the brand in 2017 after she decided to go complete her Masters’ in Mathematics at Stanford University. Diarra’s vision when she launched these brands was to share positive stories about the continent with a vision to change the African narrative for the rest of the world to look at our continent from an asset-based lens.

Akon in Diarra Bousso

On the favourite celebrity she’s dressed

We have enjoyed working with Akon with our leather goods line Diarra Bousso (db) . He now owns 2 db bags, one of which he designed himself with sustainably sourced white alligator skin. We would love to work with celebrities such as Michelle ObamaRihanna or Lupita Nyong’o. These women have not only gracefully showed the world that women can have it all, beauty and brains but have also stood for missions bigger themselves around education and social justice which truly align with our values.

 

Who is the Diarra Blu woman?

The DIARRABLU woman is free. Freedom in our world is fundamentally centered around dreams. The DIARRABLU woman is a dreamer, a bold dreamer, an unrealistic dreamer, a vivid dreamer. In our universe, the freedom to dream is more important than their actual viability. We believe that the infinite possibilities that can be accessed across dream levels are what motivates a positive disposition. The DIARRABLU woman is a traveler, an explorer, a risk taker and an idealist. She is intellectually curious, bold, fearless and effortless. She is a polymath. She is magic!

@thediarrablu

On style inspiration and her personal style

Since I took over the company after Diarra’s departure , I have been really inspired by the idea of convertibility / versatility in fashion. Diarra’s design inspiration came from the world of Mathematics whereas mine tries to combine all her previous work and seeing ways to add an element of versatility into it. I am always thinking about the next variation, the next combination. As a mother my approach to design is protective with a focus on the consumer. It has also been very exciting learning about social media, understanding the modern consumer and getting inspired by their digital universe.

Diarra Blus SS19 Ndar

The DIARRABLU woman is a traveler, an explorer, a risk taker and an idealist. She is intellectually curious, bold, fearless and effortless. She is a polymath. She is magic!

How would you describe your label?

Our various lines target different audiences and showcase our rich Africa from different lenses.

The Diarra Bousso label focuses on artisanally produced premium leather goods in exotic skins and 22 carat gold accessories and priced in the $1500 – $15 000 USD range. the Diarra Bousso bags represent the epitome of African luxury, rooted in craftsmanship from our leather artisans and jewelry makers to our exotic skins such as sustainably sourced ostrich and iguana from around the continent.

The DIARRABLU label tells a story about travel, modern art and mathematics. The brand shows an Africa that is rich of wanderlust, art, patterns and geometry worth celebrating. Artisans are exposed to thinking mathematically through the use of math concepts and/or algorithm in the creative process of designing. The latest collection, SS18, explores the mathematical process found in the Fibonacci sequence whereby numbers are replaced by fabrics and each look follows a recursive algorithm.

The DIARRABEL label is a ready to wear line focused on wax prints in contemporary cuts for the everyday fashion enthusiast who wants to look proudly African.

What do you believe should be the foundation of every woman’s wardrobe?

We believe that every woman should own a bold necklace, colorful moussor (headwrap), basic black or white dress and nude heels. The range of outfit combinations that can be done with the 4 items above is quite large.

Who: Current CEO and Creative Director Khoudia Dionna

What: Luxury leather goods and contemporary chic ready to wear.

Where: Diarra Bousso leather goods are exclusively available in the design studio in Dakar. (Note: there is a 6-month wait list on the ostrich leather bags and an appointment can be made on our website). The DIARRABLU label is available in our store in Dakar at Eden Garden Spa and online on our website www.diarrablu.com with worldwide shipping. Follow them on Instagram  Facebook, Twitter: @thediarrablu

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