Beyoncé And Naomi Campbell Wear Clothing From The Senegalese Brand Tongoro.
Beyoncé before and after Sarah Diouf. Founded by the now 36-year-old woman four years before her, Tongolo grew at a similar pace to new Senegalese labels before 2020. Then, at the end of July 2020, Beyoncé’s feature-length music film, Black Is King, was released, and everything sped up. Amid pink flamingos, American celebrities may be seen here wearing black and white pants labeled Tongoro.
The film aired on Disney+ and reached over 11 million viewers in just two days, strengthening the still-secret brand and driving sales.
Dakar’s passion for fashion in the midst of a revolution
In the hallway of an apartment building in Scat Arbum, a contemporary building in Dakar, where designers have offices and clothing workshops, a statue of the Queen of Pop Music stands alongside a statue of American pianist and singer Alicia Keys. can be seen side by side. Or British supermodel Naomi Campbell.
This is because Sarah Diouf uses clothes, fabrics, cuts and volumes to tell the story of the region, which is why these VIP brand ambassadors quickly joined the company. She claims that his clothing designs represent “moving Africa” and that is what attracts her most devoted audience.
Living in Paris at the time, the young woman had a hunch that an African Renaissance was still underway, but contact with the “creative Dakar” helped her refine her proposal.
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In the early 2010s, the man, who considers himself to be a “child of Africa,” said, “African textile frenzy is enabling the reuse of traditional culture and encouraging the emergence of contemporary African designers.” ‘ said. Born in Paris to a Senegalese Central African mother and a Senegalese Congolese father, she was raised in Ivory Coast.
He’s inspired by the frenzy surrounding Africa and its exports, and his enthusiasm for what the continent produces, but it will take him some time to find his true calling.
By “embodying the pride of Africa”
She started her career as a communications specialist in 2009 and founded a webzine called GhubarA. The webzine she calls “a space to promote African and Arab artists in the world of art, culture and fashion”. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing and Communication Management from the Sorbonne University of Paris. She continued her 2015 with her serial in Black, a lifestyle magazine discussing African fashion and beauty. She enters the fashion industry through this back door.
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She is slowly embracing the idea of developing a Made in Africa brand and sees it as a platform for expertise on the African continent.
“For many years I have wanted to embody the pride of Africa in my precious creations,” says Sarah Diouf.
As a result, she is a writer and director of stories promoting sub-Saharan Africa through her collection. Fashion seemed to her an appropriate vehicle for this story, imposed on her like fabric.
She moved to Dakar in 2016. That’s when she fell in love with the ubiquitous street tailors in town who worked tirelessly to create the unique clothes everyone ordered.
Sarah Diouf finds this untapped talent ‘glamorous’ and uses it to feed her label. She soon surrounded herself with her four tailors, and her workshop made one to her 200 garments each month.
She pulls essentials from her closet, like long-sleeved, broad-shouldered dresses and wide-legged jumpsuits. A noble item that respects freedom of movement and improves ease of movement.
Sarah Diouf bases her visual identity on monochromatic prints of flowers and other patterns drawn from traditional African imagery. Two Malian portrait painters, Malik Sidibe (1936-2016) and Seydou Kheta (1923-2001), known as the “Fathers of African Photography”, were the inspiration for this design.
Tongolo, which means ‘star’ in Sango, the language of the Central African Republic, quickly adopted the design. Sarah Diouf has recently increased the color spectrum of her work and the variety of items she produces according to customer requests.
She also adds highly stylized contoured head jewelry and large earrings to the colors that bring variation to the basic textiles. These accessories will enhance your hairstyle and improve your head posture. “The fusion of the cultures I grew up with pervades my brand,” said the designer, who seeks to emphasize “the presence of subtle Senegalese poetry” in her clothes.
Challenge to local production
I want to make attractive and highly complete clothes in Tongoro that can be worn anywhere in America, Europe, the Middle East, etc. In addition, the English-speaking company now makes 60% of its sales in the US, ahead of the UK and France, due to efficiency gains.
The company’s main markets on the continent are South Africa, where it will soon expand, and Nigeria, which is far ahead of the slowly developing Senegal.
All Tongoro works are sold exclusively on the company’s website, thanks to Sara Diouf using her marketing expertise to develop the company’s digital business model.
She wonders why you should limit yourself to physical stores when you can reach more consumers around the world online. Since 2022, Tongolo will also be available on the luxury goods market Net-a-Porter, a distribution channel that introduces Tongolo to new customers in the Middle East.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the inability of the brand to produce two 1,000-item collections per year, the collaboration, which was due to start in 2020, has been postponed for two years.
Increased production continues to be difficult in Senegal. Like any fashion designer in the country, Sarah Diouf had to guide a tailor to sponsor. She plans to gain autonomy in Senegal and set up a larger clothing division to increase production to 500 garments per month. She is also looking to establish a partnership with a Senegalese textile company, where she already employs 100 tailors.
“There is no fashion industry here because the industry is not formalized, but rather an ecosystem that we have to adapt to,” she laments this unrealized potential. But Sara Diouf has made her determination to persevere, and she believes other artists will be inspired by her story.
Providing content: globe echo &NFH