The African born designer Alphadi opened his tenth store in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn three months ago and is very happy about the launch.
"It's the first boutique of an African designer. And for me it's an opportunity to be here, an opportunity for African design, to open doors for Africans that are not often considered as designers. We think of Africa as a continent of war, a continent of rebellions of coups. But I wanted to show also that Africa is a continent that creates, that moves, that should be loved and have a human face. This is why I chose Brooklyn, also because Brooklyn is a superb city, diverse. A city where there is everybody, a city that has become very fashionable in New York. BecauseBrooklyn, next to Manhattan offers everything that Manhattan offers," he told Reuters.
Although this is his first store in the U.S., Alphadi said he has acquired American fans throughout his career, which began in 1984 in Paris.
"America is really big. America is really interesting. And America, I know they love me. I know they like my collection. Since 20 years I came here, they buy Alphadi, they love Alphadi. They said because that is Alphadi - he is not like for one race. Alphadi is mixed, Alphadi is for white, Alphadi is for black, Alphadi is for everybody," he explained.
"This market is very free for us, it is very nice for us. It's like America promote African market and help African market, give chance to the African market to be here. And give chance to African designers, intelligence, African handcrafter and worker to get chance to get money in Africa - to stay Africa also. That's why the market is really very different than the European market. Everything is difficult inEurope - they help African also, but I think American market helps more," Alphadi said.
"Africa has a sense of the development and promotion of fashion on a global scale. Africa has a savoir faire. African has primary resources, gold, diamonds, silver, all of this allows it to contribute to the emergence of global fashion, luxury. Leather is a material that's African, cotton, today, the weaving, the beadwork, the embroidery - these are the images that Africa has and that is why today the contribution that Africa makes to global fashion is indisputable."
However, in order to do this, he said the local government must continue to help residents thrive.
"I want to do my work for the population, for my design, for the party to give nice for the creativity and to give chance to make maybe thousand or million employment for the country. If politicians do the work nice - democracy, liberty, no problem for the (people) Africa can grow."
This summer Alphadi will launch his new sportswear line "A for Alphadi" in hisBrooklyn store.