Vancouver Fashion Week VW22 - Interview With Aline of Couleurs D'Afrique (Reunion Island, France)

Couleurs D'Afrique will be showing on the runway on Fri. April 8th at 5:40 p.m. TIX HERE!

VFW bio - 

Aline is a French Cameroonian from Reunion Island. At 18 she started literature and law studies but didn’t feel passionate about it. She finally went for the profession of air hostess and obtained the certificate in 2012 in Paris. Her father got seriously ill at this time, she finally decided to go back to her island to support her parents.

After 2 years of battling cancer, her father passed away. Her mother Jolie saw at the same time her business sinking, simply because she had stayed at her husband's bedside for 2 years. This business was Couleurs d’Afrique. When Jolie thought about selling the enterprise, Aline convinced her not to, the two of them would find a solution. By chance, Aline had been designing clothes from an early age. Why not create their own clothing brand? Aline opened the social networks of Couleurs d'Afrique and proposed her own designs. The public reacted so well that the mother and daughter traveled to Madagascar, Cameroon, Kenya, and Ethiopia to build their sewing teams and develop their ready-to-wear brand. Aline then learned, on the job, management, marketing, and communication with the support of her mother who had stability and experience.

Today the company is flourishing and is proud to be able to employ not only people from Reunion Island but also Kenyans, Malagasy, Ethiopians, and Cameroonians to whom it offers the opportunity for a better life.

Aline and Jolie’s biggest dream is to have enough resources to be able to actively engage themselves in humanitarian work.

Interview -

Please share a bit about your journey to embrace fashion design as a career.

I never thought I would become a fashion designer. I studied literature and law for 3 years and then i got my cca (the cabin crew attestation to be an air hostess), but then my father died and my mother was all alone in Reunion Island. So I found an alternative to stay with her. And it was design :)

How did you learn your skills? 

I drew clothes in my school notebooks from my earliest childhood. So, the day I presented my first creations to the public, I had excellent feedback. And I had so much fun doing it, I just continued as a self learner.

Who are you as a designer? Aesthetic? Customer? Brand?

I am an Franco Cameroonian woman. My brand has the same mix. My customers are from Reunion Island, where I am based. But I also have customers from around the world, thanks to my website and social medias. Couleurs d'Afrique is a ready to wear brand, joyful, colorful and uninhibited.

Where do you find inspiration for new collections? How important is colour to your design process?

In my dreams I guess, I wake up some mornings with my head full of new designs. I also follow tons of designers all around the globe, there are so many talents on Earth!

Readers would love to hear a little about the collection you will be showing at Vancouver Fashion Week FW/22. Can you describe it for us - aesthetic, fabrics, palette, silhouettes, inspiration, etc.?

Unfortunately, i can't talk about my collection right now. Because of COVID and war, I'm not sure to present the collection that I would have liked to present. But in any case, it will be super colorful.

Where can readers purchase your designs?

For now, i have shops only in Reunion Island. But i send my creations all around the world thanks to my website.

In closing is there anything else you'd like to share with readers?

Have fun, wear what makes you happy, or confident, or fatal. Life is a game, invent your rules.