MEET KASSIM LASSISSI, AN AFRICAN FASHION DESIGNER WITH A GLOBAL MENTALITY
We travel to Dakar, Senegal to see how Allëdjo designer Kassim Lassissi is inspired by his global upbringing.
Kassim Lassissi truly is a fashion designer with a global mentality. This French national with Beninese parents had a colourful upbringing in Benin, Togo, and France where he was inspired by Parisian culture.
He pursued his studies between Paris and London, combining a Degree in Literature and Business Administration. Today, he is the man behind Allëdjo, a unisex, African-made clothing brand.
With such a diverse upbringing, it’s no surprise that Kassim’s inspiration comes from his travels, which he shares stems from the people he encounters, to the flora, wildlife, landscapes and nature.
We caught up with Kassim in Dakar, Senegal, where much of his clothing line is produced.
“I have always loved fashion but I never knew I had the creativity, or the confidence, to have a brand. Allëdjo was founded [in 2017] from my desire to merge fashion with travel and exquisite apparel. Each collection was meant to be dedicated to a destination,” says the designer.
Fabrics are integral to design in African culture, and have a long history on the continent so it was only apt to visit the store with Kassim’s favourite selection of fabric and prints in Dakar.
It is a vibrant city that’s buzzing with activity at every corner, so thereafter we seized the opportunity to find out more about the culture, cuisine as well as Kassim’s top places to relax.
Q & A WITH KASSIM
How does ‘living better’ influence your design process?
“I choose noble fabrics that are light, airy and fluid. Our clothes are meant to feel comfortable while being ethically produced. I believe my work would connect with people who believe in the beauty of the diversity of the world and the improvement of the social economic conditions of African artisans.”
What legacy would you like to leave behind through your design / work / business?
“That black people, African people, are capable of creating great designs in Africa that the world would crave to wear. Also that wax prints are not the only designs for Africans, we have plenty of other fabrics that the world has yet to discover.”
How can our viewer’s live better and improve their home design simply?
“By being minimalist and only using design and objects that they truly needed in their homes.”
How does your work incorporate or lead the conversation around sustainability?
“Sustainability was not something we aimed for when we started the brand. Yet, we slow produce, have short supply chain production and use noble fabrics most of the time.”
Are there any last comments you’d like to end on?
“Try our clothes, see how they make you feel.”