When it comes to this designer, ain’t no bubu big enough, ain’t no head wrap big enough, ain’t no rings or earrings big enough to make a fabulous entrance.
Koko is a force to be reckoned with in this fashion game. From her looks that are always impressive, remarkable and sometimes shocking in a positive way, she has managed to be one those designers you immediately think of when you hear the word “bubu” in just a few years.
Very inspired by her mother, her designer name was actually her mom’s nickname back in her teenage years.
“ When I was younger, my mother was very stylish and people used to call her Coco to reference Gabrielle Chanel who was the only woman to impose herself in a fashion era dominated by men. So to not copy and paste and because I wanted it to sound the same, I wrote it with 2 Ks.”
With her “Make Bubu great again” statement, you would almost believe that she’s running for the presidency of bubus.
“Back in the time of our grandparents, bubus were great but over the last 20 years, that amazing garment has not experienced any evolution. The charged embroidery and the quality of the fabric made the value of the bubu so my vision was to make it great again by borrowing the men’s style or rearranging the cut in a way that women can wear it with having to carry all that material from the 3 pieces.”
More, more, MORE ?
With bold colors, bold animal prints, bold cuts and bold everything, for Koko, it is like more is never enough with her.
Koko’s aesthetic is something that we would call Senegalese Extravaganza which really makes sense with the woman she designs for : bold, confident and not scared to break codes and boundaries. “Wear who you are” she says.
“ The identity of the brand is to create clothes that allow women who wear them to constantly stand out ... In my design process, there’s mostly the choice of fabric, the combination of colors but above all the cut, so I would say yes to Extravaganza but no to being tacky.”
Always trying to reimagine the bubu, she recently created a limited collection called Flower Bubu which was sold out in Abidjan even before it reaches her store in Dakar. But she promised that it’d be available in a few weeks.
Alongside with the Flower Bubu, Koko has also imagined different types of bubus which the Bubu Dress that she obtained with a Fashion Equation as she’d like to call it.
We couldn’t help but think of some similarities with Diarrablu who gets her prints from quadratic equations and had to ask if we would ever get a joint collection of bubus made with Diarrablu’s prints but the only answer we got was : “I am glad I did ... For the moment it is not on the agenda but it is something that I would consider if the opportunity knocks.”
In a fashion market that is evolving with people that are happy to wear Made In Senegal, she thinks that one of the most negative things is “the fact that some so-called designers copy the work of others without scruples and take credit for it.”
As she wants more with her designs, we also want more with Koko and she let us know that she’s working on some couple of projects which include a fashion show and a potential menswear line. So stay tuned to see what Koko has in store for us.
If she puts the same creativity and dedication for her womenswear to her future projects, they can only be breath-taking and spectacular.
Credit photo: Badara Preira