Monday, October 24, 2011

Printsy Prints: Radice by Rabi Diop

N'deye Rabietou Diop

“Who knows when we will be able to buy clothing against corruption or against violence on women and children?” N'deye Rabietou Diop chooses a passage written by Senegalese writer Ken Bugul to introduce herself and her work as a designer. We met up with her in Milan at KOKO, for the presentation of Radice, her first collection. Rabi’s path starts in Senegal, a native country that has a cultural heritage recognized around the world, where she develops a talent for painting that takes her to become the youngest contestant at Dakar's art Biennale in 2000. The leap from art to fashion is given by the research on Senegalese tradition, on the review of her own roots and the desire to give back prestige to the foundations of African values, reshuffled by colonization.

Rabi Diop first of all confronts herself with Wax, the precious fabric that is typical of central Africa, but is created in Holland, due to the tangible inequality of production equipment. But, moving to Italy, she is also became influenced by the western style, which can also be seen in her first official collection. In the history of humanity the first encounter between Africa and Europe brings with it wounds that can never be forgotten, the contemporary link has to give back respect and enhance the beauty and the affinity of these two worlds.

Rabi Diop makes this union concrete with very colorful clothing, produced in Senegal to support local productions, but expressively designed to be worn also by European women. In describing her professional journey, Rabi is moved by joy and states, “I want to create a cultural mix that European women can also enjoy. I feel something very strong in finding myself creating what represents me and being appreciated for it"


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