Press Enter / Return to begin your search.
I love hearing about brands that seek innovative ways to make a difference in the world and was immediately captivated by the story behind Le Dessein, no ordinary fashion brand. Based in the US, Le Dessein uses fashion to educate and empower young girls in developing countries and has a goal of educating 10,000 girls in ten years. And, what is different about the business model is that rather than simply creating a collection and selling the clothes, they have chosen to make the girls they support an active part of the brand. This is achieved by embroidering art sketches created by the girls into the clothing collections. By doing this not only do you get to support the provision of education -25% of the profits go towards their annual tuition- but you also get a personal connection to the brand’s ethos and more importantly the girls themselves get a boost to their self-esteem in knowing their sketches are out in the world, being worn.

 “When the girls witness consumers wearing the garments that they helped design, it creates a sense of ownership that directly affects their self-esteem” – Eric Coly, Le Dessein founder

 

Drawing Embroidered on Women's top - Le Dessein

[image credits: Main, Le Dessein Rayee Dress – FrenchMorning.com; top, Drawing Embroidered on Women’s top;
bottom, La Jacket detail – Le Dessein]
Le Dessein was founded by Senegalese designer and entrepreneur, Eric Coly. A former investment banker, Eric one day decided to follow his creative calling and do what he really loved, and create a brand that made a real difference. Crediting his mother’s love of fashion for influencing his own interest in fashion, the inspiration for the company came from growing up in a matriarchal family, where each generation has inspired the other into education and bettering themselves, starting with his grandmother who attended college in 1930’s West Africa, and then his mother who instilled the family values in the her children, and now Eric using Le Dessein to help educate young girls from disadvantaged communities. Le Dessein is currently supporting young girls at the More Than Me Academy, a non-profit educational organisation working in Liberia.

 

Additional details:
For further information about Le Dessein and to purchase visit: www.ledessein.com
[Image credits: All images belong to Le Dessein , except for the first image which was sourced from Frenchmorning.com. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
  • Instagram Image
  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive