Cradle of Creativity - Chris Seydou

Seydou Nourou Doumbia, known as Chris Seydou (May 18, 1949 - March 4, 1994), was a Malian fashion designer known for his use of traditional Malian fabrics, particularly bogolanfini (mudcloth).

Born in Kati in Mali's Koulikoro Region, Seydou lived part of his childhood in Ouagadougou before moving back to Kati with his mother in 1963. In 1967, he returned to Ouagadougou where he opened his first tailorshop. He soon moved to Abidjan (1969) and then to Paris (1971), where he worked first for Yves Saint-Laurent and then at Mic Mac with the stylist Tan Guidicelli. 

Leaving in 1981, Seydou moved again to Abidjan, where he created his Chris Seydou line. For the new line, Seydou designed Western-style jackets and miniskirts from traditional African patterns and fabrics, marketing the clothes in the United States, Europe and urban West Africa. 

In 1993, he founded the African Foundation of Fashion Designers, but died in 1994 following a brief illness. Atelier Chris Seydou, a group of tailors who worked with him in the past, continue to produce a bògòlanfini clothing line in Bamako.

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