Raised in Europe as the daughter of Diplomats Adama Ndiaye established her successful fashion Brand, Adama Paris. She built her empire all-around showing the beauty and creativity of Africa on several platforms like Dakar Fashion Week, the African Fashion Awards, Black Fashion Week and the Fashion Africa Channel.
For this week’s Blogpost, we asked Adama to answer some questions and allow us to get to know her a little better and dive into her thoughts on what inspires her life and her designs.
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a designer and how old were you?
I was nine years old when I went to a show with my mother. That’s when I realized that I wanted to design fashion. As a teenager, I still wanted to do it, so I started when I was 17.
How would you describe your personal style today?
My style is effortless, and obviously, it’s African. I am attached to my roots, to Senegal. So my style is a mix of African, casual and comfortable stuff. I am all about comfort now but in a modern way.
What inspires you the most?
Definitely women, Africa and travelling, inspires me the most. What inspires me personally are people that are passionate and dedicated to their work. Also meeting phenomenal women and extraordinary people, who do whatever they want and make it happen. This is how I try to live my life, as well. Those people inspire my personal life. My travels, women and Africa inspire my designs.
If you could go back and give yourself advice, before beginning your career as a fashion designer, what would it be?
To not let people disappoint me. I was young and I was quickly disappointed by people because I expected them to be like me or to feel the same and understand my vision. It was painful, but with experience and time, I became stronger.
What can the African Fashion industry learn from the European Fashion industry and vice versa?
It’s not about learning. What we need is more structure, and we need people to come and invest in the African fashion industry. So we can be more formal and more structured.
I think the European industry can learn from us to have more passion for fashion. Fashion is a feeling; it’s like painting or singing. It’s not about dictating trends like everybody should be in green or in blue this season. Africa is still about this passion for being vibrant and expressing yourself.
Can you give young and aspiring designers a tip?
Be sure about what you do. Everybody will tell you what to do and how to do it and why you need to do it. Just don’t let them. Be sure about what you do, and do you. If you are passionate and good at what you do, people will come back to you. You matter. This is your universe, your job, and you need to protect your light, your passion and your creative space.
Can you tell us a little secret about yourself?
If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, but what I can tell you about myself is that I love Africa in my bones, in my blood and my head. I am so glad I came back. I am humble and thankful to be able to live on this continent and to live my African dream. I can’t thank God enough to have brought me back home and to be able to spread the word and inspire young designers and young people. Thanks to Africa, I was able to build my empire from scratch.