Interview with designer Ramadan Djamdoudou (Djamdoura)
The clothing and textile sector can generate millions of dollars in revenue. It is also the second sector after agriculture to offer the most jobs. By enabling millions of people to earn a daily living, this industry has an impact on the well-being of the people of Africa.
Among other things, fashion designer Djamdoura has chosen to embrace the social aspect of the sector. In an interview with Fashionomics Africa, she talks about her professional background and the actions she takes in the textile and clothing sector.
Born in Cameroon, it was in Ivory Coast that Djamoura, “infinite peace” in her mother tongue, began her course of study. To well-born souls, value does not wait for the number of years.
“Arriving to Côte d'Ivoire at a young age, I followed a classic course of study. Then, being passionate about textiles, sewing, photos, pearls, I joined the school of fashion design and modeling 'American Lady Beauty Institute' and then the Professional Training Center of Gazi Mesleki in Ankara, in Turkey”.
Passion or nothing…
Djamdoura entered the fashion industry early on. Over the years, she began to make a name for herself while gaining experience.
“Very young, I quickly illustrated myself in the media, through the magazine 'Femme d'Afrique' as a model, while working with many stylists, including Pathé'O, with whom I worked many years before I started my own business. During my work experience at Pathé'O, I was involved in the management of production teams, the organization of fashion shows, the management of Pathé’O sales outlets. And I have gained a lot of experience in cutting, finishing and sewing men's shirts”.
Today, the fashion designer continues to attend fashion shows, but no longer as an assistant. With her brand, Djamdoura Collection, she is a fashion designer and accomplished business owner. According to the designer, certain skills are essential to be a good leader.
“Know-how in sewing, meeting delivery times to customers and business management are essential attributes”.
To create beautiful things, Djamdoura also knows what she needs. There is therefore no shortage of sources of inspiration.
“I draw my inspiration from my many trips, my meetings. Of Peul origin, I passionately combine African tradition and modernity, which led me to also train in machine embroidery to make works of art”.
However, her greatest pride to date isn't his brand, but to have helped set up a sewing training center for young girls in the far north of Cameroon. This project, which became a reality with the help of German cooperation, was carried out for the reintegration into the social fabric of these girls who were physically and sexually abused. In this center, girls in a precarious social situation in the north of Cameroon can benefit from several specialized training, in particular in dyeing, crafts, and of course in sewing. After their training, they can offer their services to the local population to earn a living and invest later in the education of their children.
Thanks to the Saare Tabitha center in Maroua, these young girls can be independent and avoid being outcasts for society.
In some parts of the world, there are still groups of people despised for reasons most often beyond their control. Initiatives like that of Djamdoura in the context of social reintegration will help stem this kind of phenomenon sooner or later.
'African fashion crosses borders in Europe, North America and Asia'
Regarding the current state of fashion, the Cameroonian stylist sees the glass half full. The good news according to Djamdoura is that African fashion is crossing borders more and more. She is present in Europe, North America and Asia.
This credit goes to all these new generation designers who always want more. Certainly, the internet has played a big role, but without ambition, nothing can be done. Twenty years ago, the only Fashion Shows were those organized by each State: Miss Côte d'Ivoire, Miss Nigeria, Miss Ethiopia, etc. It was expensive to organize a beauty contest, a fashion show. But now, at least 2 fashion shows are organized per month in certain African countries. There is a desire to conquer the world that must not stop, and designers must continue to contribute to it.
With a little ambition and means, great things can be achieved according to the stylist. Like many other young Africans, Djamdoura has not yet said her last word. Already focused on the future, her next mission is to set up a workspace for sewing.