FOUNDER, DAKAR FASHION WEEK
Adama Paris didn’t wait for fashion to make a space for her. She created her own lane. Founding Dakar Fashion Week nearly 16 years ago, the Senegalese fashion designer wanted to make room for other West African designers to show their work on an international stage. Its massive success prompted calls from well-known designers who wanted her to see their shows. But after attending fashion weeks in other major cities, she was alarmed with the lack of Black representation in models and designers. To remedy that, she created Black Fashion Week in 2010 to promote talent often excluded from the mainstream fashion world. Cities include Paris, Geneva, Prague and Montreal.
“I thought it was right...to try to do something to help my own people and to get more exposure," she told CNN in 2014. That year also saw the birth of Fashion Africa Channel, “the first 100 percent fashionable African television channel,” according to Paris’ website. With every endeavor, the thread is the same; amplify Black creatives. "I want them to see us in Nigeria, Ghana, Dakar. That was the purpose of this channel," she said.