Renowned Fashion Designer Pathé’O Leads Training Program in Boundiali, Côte d’Ivoire

Boundiali, a city in Côte d’Ivoire, is poised to become a hub for craftsmanship thanks to a recent training program for tailors. This initiative, funded by the city council and led by the renowned fashion designer Pathé’O, equipped 36 tailors with new skills in fashion design and management.

The program aimed to elevate the tailoring industry in Boundiali, transforming it into a centre of excellence. By providing participants with valuable knowledge and practical experience, the initiative empowered these tailors to reach new heights in their craft.

Pathé’O, a celebrated figure in the fashion world, lent his expertise to the program, sharing his design sensibilities and industry insights with the eager participants. The curriculum covered a range of topics, including:

Fashion Design Fundamentals: Tailors honed their skills in garment construction, sketching, and pattern making. This knowledge will allow them to create well-structured and visually appealing clothing.

Management Skills: In addition to design expertise, the program equipped participants with practical business knowledge. This included lessons in marketing, customer service, and financial management. These skills will be instrumental in helping the tailors build successful businesses.

The program culminated in a ceremony where the 36 tailors received certificates in recognition of their achievements.  However, the initiative went beyond mere recognition. Three outstanding participants were selected to compete in national and international design competitions. This is a significant opportunity for these talented tailors to showcase their skills on a wider stage and potentially gain recognition beyond the borders of Côte d’Ivoire.

Ivorion-Burkinabè fashion designer Pathé Ouedraogo, known as Pathé’O, poses for a photograph in his store in Abidjan. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe’O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the “fight” for the recognition of fashion on the continent. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

The commitment to empowering Boundiali’s tailors extended beyond the training program itself.  Mariatou Koné, the Minister of National Education and Literacy, played a vital role in supporting the initiative.  She provided industrial-grade machinery to the tailors, significantly enhancing their ability to produce high-quality garments.  This investment in equipment ensures that the tailors have the necessary tools to translate their newfound knowledge into exceptional craftsmanship.

Minister Koné’s contributions didn’t stop there. Recognizing the need for a dedicated workspace, she also donated land for the construction of a new craft centre. This centre will provide the tailors with a professional environment to work, collaborate, and showcase their creations.  The establishment of a craft centre fosters a sense of community among the tailors and creates a platform for them to network and share ideas.

The Boundiali training program is a shining example of how targeted initiatives can empower local artisans and revitalize traditional crafts. By equipping tailors with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to thrive, this program has the potential to transform Boundiali into a centre for Ivorian fashion.  The dedication of the city council, the expertise of Pathé’O, and the support of Minister Koné have all played a crucial role in laying the groundwork for a brighter future for Boundiali’s tailoring industry.  As the tailors embark on their creative journeys, the city is poised to witness a flourishing of craftsmanship, design innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit.

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