Based in Dakar, Senegal, Diarrablu is a conscious, contemporary resort wear brand founded by Diarra Bousso in 2013. The Stanford-educated designer began her professional career on Wall Street as a bond trader, but soon left to pursue her passion for arts and design. Inspired by the craftsmanship of Bousso’s own Senegalese ancestors—her grandmother was a renowned leather, ceramics and metal artisan—she employs the skills of local artisans and seamstresses, whose techniques have also been passed down through multiple generations. The designer maintains a focus on sustainability and social responsibility, and as her business grows, she continues to empower her local artisanal community with employment opportunities.
While Bousso’s own African heritage is certainly paramount to her design process, intricate geometric prints and patterns are present throughout the brand’s versatile, beach-ready pieces. Her striking prints are designed using mathematical concepts and practices, in a nod to the designers’ own background in finance and math. Through a sartorial celebration of geometry and modern art, Bousso’s collections are marked by strong structural cuts, bold prints and colourful accents. The brand imbues a sense of wanderlust into every creation, brought to life by an unexpected merger of Senegalese tradition and mathematical algorithms.
Since its founding, Bousso’s label has racked up the awards; in 2019, the luxury label was selected to be a part of the San Francisco Fashion Incubator, an initiative developed by US retail giants Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. The opportunity saw Diarrablu occupy space at the latter for a pop-up event, one that introduced new customers to the label, and even included a “Math Lab”. Then, in 2020, the brand was selected as one of ten finalists for the African Business Heroes programme. Established by Chinese investor and philanthropist, Jack Ma, the initiative fosters UN sustainable goals in Africa for an ethical and sustainable fashion future.
- Africa Business Heroes, Finalist, 2020
- Fashion Incubator San Francisco, Designer-in-Residence, 2019
- Stanford Graduate School of Business, Best Social Venture, 2018