FASHION - Haute Couture by OUMOU SY from Senegal

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African art, textile patterns and colorful scenery have inspired many artists all over the world in their various works of art. The fashion industry has also incorporated African impressions in their designs. Though, there are very creative African fashion designers within and outside of Africa, only a couple of them are known within the international fashion business. In fact, there is no African fashion designer with a significant recognition or market share. But an African lady from Senegal is gaining popularity with her elegant haute couture. Her name is Oumou Sy.
Oumou Sy

Oumou Sy does not have a formal education. As a child, she liked the feel of fabrics and she was always playing with the material in any form her fantasy allowed. She later developed interest in joining, stitching and sewing pieces of fabrics together to create works of art. Her interest grew stronger. She developed her capabilities further and started making dresses, which today, has developed into a successful fashion business. Her collections have been showcased at international fashion shows in Europe, Asia, Africa and USA.

Apart from creating high-class fashion designs, is very active in development programs in her home country. She founded a school of design, which provides training for Senegalese in diverse areas of product and fashion designs. According to Oumou Sy in a discussion podium during the Masala Welt-Beat Festival 2004, the graduates of the school are highly rated by employers in Senegal. Some of the graduates also find employment in the design industries outside of Senegal. She was introduced to the Internet technology by her husband and got hooked to it. She slowly learnt about the possibilities of the technology and was fascinated the first time she saw her photo online.
From then on, she decided to learn how to use the computer despite the fact that she has no formal education. She learnt how to use the modern technology and thought, 'If I am able to use the computer, then others without formal education should be able to learn how to use the computer as well'.

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As a woman of action, she started the first Internet Cafe in Dakar. Motivated by the success of the Internet Cafe, she collaborated with her husband to start a project intended to create Internet awareness and its e-learning advantages in Senegal.

Through her relentless efforts in promoting African culture, traditions and products, Oumou Sy has gained significant acknowledgements from both government and private institutions. On the invitation of organizations, she has taken part in discussion forums and organized workshops at which she taught participants the art of fashion design.

Afritopic 2004
Related links
Oumou Sy - Fantastic Show



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