Selly Raby Kane
Designer

Selly Raby Kane

Selly Raby Kane

About

Selly Raby Kane is a renowned Senegalese fashion designer and artist, immersed in the vibrant art and design movement in Africa. Kane is an interesting figure to grasp fashion involvement in the current debate surrounding identity and empowerment through innovation in Africa.

She is the founder of the brand SRK and a member of the collectives Muus du Tux and Les Petits Pierres: the former is a group of artists that explore the connections between Dakar’s urban life and mysticism across different mediums, and the latter is a multidisciplinary organization that promotes social innovation across the city’s neighborhoods, where Kane curates and participates in exhibitions.

Born and bred in Dakar, she moved to Paris to study business, economics, and Law, but her passion was drawing. Kane swapped Law for fashion and began to develop an unconventional aesthetic that draws on diverse influences like sci-fi, surrealism, and nature. Utilizing wax print, Bazin, fake hair, PVC, leather, and denim, her challenging silhouettes go beyond style to invent her fantastic alternate reality. In 2008 these illustrations instinctively formed a collection, which she felt compelled to bring home and present to her peers by organizing a fashion show.

Today she is one of Senegal’s most appreciated designers in her home country and abroad. Her characteristic style, mixing traditional and contemporary cuts, targets a diverse international clientele that includes celebrities like Les Nubians, Flavia Matatta, and Beyoncé Knowles, as well as middle-class customers from Senegal, Italy, France, and the U.S.

Kane’s objective is to create styles that would reference Dakar’s “incomparable visual identity” and give shape to a speculative universe populated by fantastic creatures. She designs surrealist garments that showcase an encounter between local and international influences, applying a creative lens to the Afropolitan notion of hybrid identities born out of interweaving[s] of worlds, forms, and signs.

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