Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, a private equity executive and founder of Côte d’Ivoire-based investment firm Birimian Ventures, is set to publish “Iconic Africa”, a text focusing on the business of fashion on the African continent.
“This book is a plea for the recognition of designers and for African countries to take control of the creation of value in the fashion and creative sector. At a time when the challenges of development and climate come together, the African continent is today more legitimate than ever to transform on-site the raw materials that it already produces,” said a release shared by Kouassi-Olsson.
Meanwhile, Birimian Ventures will host events at Milan and Paris Fashion Week in September, showcasing the craftsmanship of a collective of African brands.
With backing from the Ministry of Culture and Francophony of Côte d’Ivoire, Birimian will present a collective at Milan Fashion Week comprised of three brands that have formed part of the company’s incubation programme over the past year: Ivorian labels Lafalaise Dion and Renwa, and Chez Nous of Tunisia.
In Paris, Birimian will host a showroom-exhibition at Galerie John Ferrère under the theme “Heritage and Exceptional Craftsmanship: Contemporary Expressions of African Creativity”. The event is intended to allow wholesalers and buyers to examine the work of designers and creatives from across the African continent and the diaspora.
12 designers representing six countries will exhibit their work, while Birimian will also present the work of celebrated fashion photographers Nuel Bans and Nuits Balnéraires. The space will also host the work of several young designers mentored by Ivorian artist Jean-Servais Somian.
The African Fashion Hub Punching Above Its Weight
Côte d’Ivoire is home to fashion businesses focused on international investment and regional trade that one might expect to find in larger countries on the continent.