International

Bernie Seb -The winner of the Social Enterprise Award for fashion

January 11, 2018

We met with rising fashion designer and winner of the African Social Enterprise Award, Bernie Seb on Tuesday at an exclusive event held in Mayfair by Prospero World. The room was brought alive by the colourful outfits on display in the room.

Bernie is the Creative Director of De La Sebure and was born in Burkina Faso before moving to Paris at the age of 18.

Having lived in a country where fabric is bold, colourful and daring which differed from the conservative Parisian style of grey, blue and black colourless Bernie moved into the world of fashion.

His earlier life was spent at KPMG working in finance with his creative streak online. Bernie spent years working in finance at KPMG, and like every creative his creative streak did not let him rest. He wanted to explore his creativity and after quitting his KPMG job, he spent time exploring his culinary skills, working as a chef for a short stint till he rested on fashion.

De La Sebure is all about not conforming to set standards of beauty, with daring colourful fabrics that are produced in a workshop in Burkina Faso, you don’t have to go to Paris to get style. The workshop in Burkina Faso employees women, one woman now working at the workshop was able to look after her 11 children using income earned working here. Her children were previously distributed to different relatives. De La Sebure is bringing communities together, thanks to the African Social Enterprise Fund.

With the help of the award, De La Sebure are able to develop and hand weave their own 100% fabric, using new machinery made possible by the award, they are able to modernize production. Fabrics are now produced three times bigger and faster. Bernie was also able to take course in leadership in London courtesy of the African Social Enterprise Fund.

So what next? Bernie who currently retails online intends on opening a store in Burkina Faso and he also has plans to bring big loom machines and offer his workforce training to expedite production. The aim is to produce clothes in Africa and sell them not only in Europe but in the whole of Africa.

The African Social Enterprise Fund (ASEF) is a flagship programme by Propsero World based in London.
It is a carefully-tailored, integrated awards and leadership programme dedicated to empowering and supporting emerging African leaders in the arts and creative industries. Winners selected by industry leaders learn to incorporate social impact into their business models and communities, and scale-up their operations while enhancing their visibility to new investors.

 The programme is unique in combining leadership, social impact, business development and mentoring for the creative industry entrepreneur or artist growing their practice.

Through the power of collaboration the aim is to – Build the pipeline of social change agents in the creative industries, source and develop talent and boost the careers of social entrepreneurs and to inspire the next generation of creative change-makers.

Written by Wanja Knighton

W: Prospero World

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