Though born in Côte d’Ivoire, designer Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud spent most of her childhood in Switzerland before moving to Paris, where she worked with Louis Vuitton, as well as French fashion journalist and television personality, Agnès Boulard. In 2010, the designer launched her debut line, Laurenceairline. Known for combining graphic African textiles with sleek, sophisticated construction, the brand, like the designer herself, is simultaneously influenced by West African and European culture. Notably, the brand avoids traditional Westernized clichés, and instead, re-imagines the continent’s culture with a universal urban appeal. The result of her efforts is a meticulously-crafted line inspired by streetwear and tailoring references, oozing with vibrant pops of color and African-influenced prints.
Committed to ethical production practices, Laurenceairline’s collections are sourced and manufactured in Côte d’Ivoire, where artisans are trained in couture sewing techniques. “We started up a real training centre there in Côte d’Ivoire; we train people on their sewing techniques and then we offer them a job with us in the factory,” said Chauvin-Buthaud, speaking to Business of Fashion. For the designer, this work presents an opportunity to empower others with practical skills and shine the spotlight upon African cultures and creativity.