Featured workNafytoo: Dress Canda

Founded in 1998, Senegalese fashion brand Nafytoo was the first specialized lingerie brand in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The brand’s creator, fashion designer Nafissatou Diop, returned to Dakar following her studies in Paris, and struggled to implement such a project in a conservative, mainly Muslim country. Using traditional, artisanal techniques, she works with cotton or synthetic fabrics to create complex, semi-transparent ensembles that reveal and shape the female body, in decidedly sensual creations. The designer creates sophisticated details with glass beads and satin accents, using strong colours or muted neutrals. In Dress Canda, a simple white ensemble envelops the body of the user in a semi-transparent layer, in a game of hide-and-seek where the body is highlighted by accent beads and a satin thread. The powerful piece has an air of mystery and sophistication, seeming to effectively empower the user. Diop – who maintains that most of her clients are married women – states matter-of-factly that “the Senegalese client wants to be as sexy as possible, and I try to push them beyond their limits.”

 

  • Crocheted cotton, satin, glass beads © Nafytoo, Dakar

    Nafytoo. Dress Canda, 2008