In our travels throughout Africa, The Folklore team constantly comes across amazing and unique designers and fashion influencers that serve as major style inspirations. These influencers take pride in their countries and use their platform to bring forth the richness of their culture from head to toe. This is especially true for Senegalese influencers, who for the past decade, have been making major waves in the global fashion community as stylists, editors, and designers.
Senegal, itself, has increasingly become a hotspot for fashion designers and creatives to take center stage and showcase the vibrant craft that compliments the gorgeous landscapes of the country. Senegalese influencers like fashion changemaker Adama Ndiaye and designer Sarah Diouf have put Dakar are just a few of the many designers leading the nation's fashion industry.
Diaspora-based stylists like Jenke Ahmed Tailly and Julia Sarr-Jamois also represent Senegal in Paris and London. Although we only highlighted seven Senegalese style stars, the pool of creative talent is massive and only intends to expand in the coming years.
The Folklore created a list of 7 of the most stylish Senegalese fashion influencers that you most definitely won’t regret adding to your Instagram feed:
In 2016, Sarah Diouf created Tongoro, a Dakar-based ready-to-wear fashion brand designed to fill the gap in the market for wholesome African labels. Her clothes include strong prints and motifs at an affordable price, which has led to a strong following in the USA and UK. The brand broke even in its first year of inception and there's no doubt that major clients like Beyonce have helped with that. The pop star has been spotted wearing the designer's clothes on numerous occasions during travels, and even in The Lion King's music video for the single 'Spirit'.
Senegalese designer and entrepreneur, Adama is the woman behind the creation of Dakar Fashion Week, which has been running for 18 years now. She also has her own eponymous brand, Adama Paris, which is based in Paris where Adama also owns a unique retail concept store. Alicia Keys is one of the many celebrities spotted wearing styles from Adama's collection. If you are in Paris, make sure to stop by her African designers-based concept store in central Paris dubbed SAARGALE in 2019.
Former Senegalese basketball player, Badara Ndiaye, was forced to reinvent himself when his athletic career came to a sudden halt following an injury. But his love for aesthetics, beauty, and fashion led him to embark on a successful modeling career. At 6'11" Badara brings a fresh perspective to the men's fashion platform, his personal style has made him a trendsetter amongst his growing social media followers.
Jenke Ahmed Tailly
On any given day stylist Jenke Ahmed Tailly and Naomi Campbell can be spotted together traveling around the world making airports and hotel lobbies their own personal runways. Jenke is the man responsible for some of the most iconic looks of the decade, including some of Beyonce's most talked-about pieces. He is very vocal and proud of the role his African heritage plays in his creative vision. After working for Beyonce as a creative director for three years, he then built a roster of other high-profile celebrity clients and has become a front-row staple.
Her unique personal style and eclectic elegance positioned this Franco-Senegalese fashion editor on the best-dressed list of many publications. As the editor at Large for i-D and British Vogue, she is known for her editorial work that provides unexpected clashes of texture and idiom. This also translates in her day-to-day style, as she likes contrasting colors and textures and mixing risqué prints, but often sticks to simple cuts, very few layers and accessories to add a masculine touch. She loves the freedom that runs in London as no one judges other people's clothes. Another strong inspiration for her is Dakar, where striking styles abound, which she likes to reflect in her looks.
When she was only 19, Senegalese model Khoudia Diop skyrocketed into social media fame following the release of 'The Colored Girl', a viral photo campaign that showed black women of all shades. She's a strong advocate against skin bleaching, which is a prevalent habit in Senegal and other areas. Growing up, her family had tried to convince her to use such creams, but she's happy she never succumbed to the pressure, as she's been able to carve out a unique path for herself in the world of fashion.
Part of Vogue's top ten models for Men's Autumn Winter 2020 Milan Fashion Week list, 20-year-old Serigne Lam was first discovered in high school and did his first modeling job for Prada in 2019. He's now booking other major campaigns with the likes of Gucci, Dior and Valentino and he's only just getting started!
Written by Christine Noumba Um