By Chere Di Boscio
Who Made Your Clothes? If it was Sophie Zinga, you can rest easy that it was a happy, well-trained employee.
The young designer, a graduate of the Parsons School of Design, is dedicated to bringing work to women in Senegal by training them to create her elegant, ethical collections.
In fact, this notion was always the motivating factor behind the young woman’s company: “When I first thought about creating the label, giving back and creating jobs in West Africa was my biggest motivation,” she says. “I have a background in development and economics and I’ve extensively volunteered and worked in development issues regarding Africa so naturally I always wanted to incorporate that in the label’s DNA. I made the conscious move of keeping the manufacturing done in 100% in West Africa”.
The business model has worked–the clothing is created expertly and designed beautifully, creating A-list fans like Solange Knowles, who has worn 3 Sophie Zinga dresses so far.
Apart from dressing stars on red carpets around the world, Zinga has also showcased her SS14 collection at Fashion Week in Johannesburg, and it has also graced the fringe catwalks at Paris and New York Fashion Weeks.
But all this success has only motivated the designer to get even more socially active: “I am currently working with different multinational entities to improve to livelihoods women and girls and to give workers from disadvantaged communities the opportunities to have a dignified job in fashion, which in return benefits the whole community,” she stated proudly.
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