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Inside Chanel’s Métiers d’Art Show in Dakar, Senegal

Africa is on the global fashion map. In recent years, countries such as Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, and Senegal, to name a few, have risen as fashion power players, each with their own thriving style and aesthetic that champions their heritage unapologetically.

Naturally, luxury fashion brands have taken note, and not only look to Africa for inspiration but come to the continent to stage their collections.

Locations that serve as the pulse of the diaspora now offer a backdrop to European style.

Chanel is one brand that has taken to Africa. The French fashion house brought their Métiers d’Art show to Dakar, Senegal - the first show of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the first venture of Chanel into the region - a place where they have no stores and have not yet established a meaningful presence. Yet the showcase was beautiful and tasteful, and paid homage to Dakar in the most beautiful way.

The collection featured reimagined tweeds, sunset hues, intricately woven belts, beaded vests, jewellery, and accesories.

Alongside the show, Chanel commissioned filmmaker Ladj Ly and students from the Kourtrajmé school (a leading institute for aspiring directors and writers) in Montfermeil and Dakar, to make a documentary series about the show.

In a press release, Chanel emphasised that their interest in the city is part of a broader intiative to establish “concrete actions in terms of creative dialogue, transmission of know-how and sustainable development."

They have also stated their intention to “supporting several entrepreneurial initiatives with Senegalese organizations and experts.”

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