The Tuareg Prince Designer – Alphadi
Seidnaly Sidhamed, otherwise known in fashion circles as Alphadi, has done what no other designer has done for the Sahel region of Mali and Niger–he has brought the traditional attire of the Tuareg and Dogon ethnic groups to the mainstream fashion world. Alphadi has managed to marry traditional African fabrics with western silhouettes. An example of this is his spring collection in which he showcased the blue men of the Sahel. The blue men are his Tuareg ethnic group who are known for their brilliantly colored blue cloth that they use to protect their heads from the fierce winds and sand of the Sahel.
He paid homage to his heritage by pairing the cloth with linen textured block-print fabric. It is this intermixing of fabric, and essentially culture, that has paved the way for many other African designers. Alphadi was ahead of his time when he pioneered the first ever International Festival of the African Mode in Niamey, Niger. This exposition was a watershed mark in African and European fashion. Never before had an African designer managed to present African style at the international level and as a result of this European designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Yves St. Laurent began using African fabrics in their respective clothing lines. He is truly an African lover.