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A new branch for popular designer fashion

A successful fashion designer in Senegal: Touty

A new branch for popular designer fashion

I’m Touty. I have a passion for fashion. In 2020, I already reported on how I launched my own label “Touty”. When the Corona pandemic came along, I joined forces with other creative people. Our network is called Atelier221.

My greatest challenge in the last two years was surviving the pandemic with my company intact. Others in the design industry felt the same way.

We used Atelier221 to join forces, combine our knowledge and launch a joint campaign. We wanted to provide a mask for lots of Senegalese people in the Dakar region. Over 600 creative individuals were involved, even people with physical disabilities and trainees.

Her needles and threads enabled Touty to defy the pandemic.

Keeping jobs

We had 3 goals:

  1. We wanted the face masks to give some health protection.
  2. We wanted to keep jobs during the Corona crisis.
  3. We wanted to boost the local economy by buying all our materials locally.

It was a success. We produced 300,000 masks. Lots of national and international organisations bought our masks, including the GIZ and UN organisations. They then distributed the masks to the local population – mostly in schools, markets and prisons.

We can all do something

The most important lesson I learned during the COVID-19 pandemic was that development comes from within. What does that mean? We’re not simply impacted by something like a pandemic. We can actually do something. We can achieve something and improve things.

Atelier221 is now a well-known gallery in Dakar. It has become a real meeting place. It’s where artists can rent rooms and exhibit their work. “Successful in Senegal” initially covered the rental costs and assisted us. That’s a programme run by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It made our project possible. But now it’s creative Senegalese individuals wanting to exhibit in Atelier221 who are contributing to the monthly costs. These include the salaries for the five sales staff and the rent for the premises.

Creating more jobs

I’m now working on the opening of a second branch selling my “Touty” brand in Guédiawaye, a town in the Dakar region. The Senegalese Agency for the Development and Support of SMEs provided me with materials and equipment for this. I’ll be creating jobs for at least 40 more people. I’ve already employed 20 young people from the local tailoring college. My fashion is in high demand and we need to produce more.

Touty has created many jobs in her studio.

Prospects to be offered by a design academy

My plans go even further. I’d like to offer young creative talents a professional future in Senegal. So I’m planning to set up a design academy. A place for training and professional development. That’s how I can help lots of young people to get high-quality vocational training. It will make it easier for them to enter the job market. I’d also like to help them see that the African continent offers them lots of opportunities. I’d especially like to appeal to those who may be considering leaving Senegal and emigrating to Europe. I don’t believe they should take this risk.

As of: 08/2022

This text is written in simple language, which makes sure that it’s easy for everyone interested to understand.

Support for Touty:

The fashion designer was supported indirectly and directly by:

  • ADEPME Senegal, the Senegalese Agency for the Development and Support of SMEs, which funds companies that show high socio-economic potential.
  • “Successful in Senegal“, a programme implemented by GIZ on behalf of the BMZ.
I’d like to offer young creative talents a professional future in Senegal.

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