When 20-year-old Pathe Ouedraogo left his Burkina Faso village in 1969 in search of a better life in neighbouring Ivory Coast, his dream was to return with a bicycle and a transistor radio to prove he had made it.
He was too thin to work on a cocoa farm, so took the chance to learn how to make clothes instead – a decision that propelled him to fashion stardom. “The most accessible job at the time was to be an apprentice tailor,” said Ouedraogo.
The man mostly known as Pathe’O is now celebrating a 50-year career during which his signature casual shirts and dresses in vibrant African prints and fabrics have graced the shoulders of celebrities and political luminaries including Nelson Mandela.
His big break came in 1994 when South African singer Miriam Makeba bought four shirts from him as a gift for the former South African president. Mandela wore one and mentioned Pathe’O’s name when asked about its origins during a trip to Paris.
The publicity sparked a rush of orders and sales that emptied his shop and propelled him to the forefront of the fashion scene.
He met Mandela in 1998. “It was a meeting that changed my life,” Pathe’O told Reuters. “In the village we would hear about Mandela and Apartheid and all the rest, I never thought I’d be a tailor, even less dress him.”
He marked his five decades with a glitzy show and the launch of a new boutique in an upmarket Abidjan neighbourhood, whose walls are adorned with pictures of him with famous people including Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote and Morocco’s King Mohamed VI, and presidents including such as Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Alpha Conde of Guinea wearing his shirts.
Pathe’O now sees his mission as doing more to promote African fashion.
“Africans themselves are still adverse to wearing what is made in Africa. That’s the real problem … This is the real fight today,” he said.
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UPCOMING TOP EVENTS!
Volta Fashion Week, Awards and Honors will be happening this year from 10th-12th February at the serene Holy Trinity Spa and Hotel in the Volta region Of Ghana. Having an array of spectacular designers from both Ghana and other parts of Africa showcasing. This year’s event is fused with a special massage package for VIP guests. Ticket cost ranges from 50 cedis for students, 100 cedis single, 150 cedis double, 1000 cedis VIP and 1500 cedis for VVIP.
The International Fashion Festival in Togo (FIMO 228) has established itself for nine years now as a benchmark fashion event that promotes the talents of designers from all over the world. Like every fashion event, FIMO 228 reflects the art in fashion and all the cultures of the countries represented by the designers present. Presently on the FIMO 228, creators, models, photographers, journalists, national and international media. But it does not stop there. Each year, FIMO228 is part of a logic of commitment to solving the problems of our society. Thus, the 10th edition of FIMO 228 has the social theme “Fashion is committed to protecting the environment” and the artistic theme “Féérie”. Now the dice for the 10th has been rolled;
All-African Leather Fair (AALF): the trade show organizing by The Ethiopian Leather Industries Association
(ELIA) from the first edition in 2008 up to 12th successfully. AALF brings together tanners, footwear and
other leather goods manufacturers, in addition of equipment and technology suppliers, chemical and
inputs suppliers, manpower training institutions, trade promotion organizations, etc from all over the
African companies and organizations are expected to constitute the largest attendance. The Fair is a
specialized one designed to promote the African leather industry and to enable it create an interface with
its partners within the continent and around the world. There is side events included occurring parallel
with the show Panel discussion, Fashion show, Fashion Zone, Leather Talent show.
Due to the Global market situation and the pandemic impact the leather sector in Ethiopia and Africa at
large heavily affected. It is expected that the upcoming AALF trade fair will play its role in motivating the
sector in market expansion, facilitating inter Africa business relation .Investment Attraction, Technology
transfer and etc… To motivate the sector The government starts school shoe and bag project under the
initiation the manufacturing sector “Let Ethiopia produce “ “ Ethiopia Tamret“ as the sector dependent
on inputs such as chemical, accessories and component supplier will be expected in wide participation.
Considering these AALF2023 will Have new components fashion show will be including some Africa
countries participations, Fashion Zone(where many designers will participating by showing the Fashion
trends) Talent show (leather products creativity, any innovation creativity in the sector ) in addition to this
Ethiopia Leather journal upgraded to Africa Leather journal (sector based studies ,research and potential facts for Africa will be published inspirational descriptive motto also included .
DIRECTION COLLECTION: OUT NOW!
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