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Nadège Balima When did you think of becoming a designer? As a child, I’ve always been attracted to all forms of art, I liked making beautiful things and to me, dressing up was a way of showing who I was in a beautiful way. Professionally, I turned to a completely different industry (engineering) and fate brought me back into the industry by a series of unexpected circumstances. I decided to just go with the flow. How is the fashion industry and business climate in your market? It’s one that is very dynamic, requiring constant communication and staying up to date on the latest trends, colours, styles as well as always innovating to keep the customer coming back and wanting more. Fashion designing is a very competitive market to break through, what are your challenges? To me the biggest challenge is copycats. People who appreciate the originality of one’s work and instead of getting inspired by it will simply copy. When the copy is well made, it can become a strength for both of us as they may be attracting more interest and clients into the market, but when it poorly executed, this can represent a huge loss in the marketing investment already made as the client base can become confused, not knowing how to distinguish the original from the copy and devaluing the product altogether.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Innovation and a larger selection. Currently, we only offer fabrics from West Africa, but we are working to expand this selection to the whole continent and hopefully someday become the biggest retailer of traditional African fabrics in the world. We are also wanting to make the fabrics more accessible by working in collaboration with local designers and supplying quality clothing made from local fabrics. What best describes your style of designing? Traditional African fabrics, sustainable materials, innovating tradition. How do you put your colours together to create such unique designs? I normally do test runs of different colours and patterns to see what comes of it. Sometimes some colours we had never imagined together work really well with certain patterns. At times, we may also inspire ourselves or a cultural trend, a landscape or a particular event.

Profile for Fashion4Africa

Fashion4Africa Digital International Women's Month 2021 Edition  

This edition focuses on creative African Women from different parts of the World from London UK, Burkina Faso to South Africa. Women inspire...

Fashion4Africa Digital International Women's Month 2021 Edition  

This edition focuses on creative African Women from different parts of the World from London UK, Burkina Faso to South Africa. Women inspire...

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