DEMBA COUTURE 
Documentary, 2019

Demba Couture, fashion designer and tailor from Guediawaye, Senegal.

I met Demba Couture one afternoon in his studio. I was looking for fabric for a workshop which we were carrying out in the neighbourhood with the other members of the Make collective; locals and people of the Ghiphop Association.

Not only did Demba give us a bag full of sparkling, bright fabrics, but he also insisted on giving me a bespoke dress, which I gratefully accepted.

Demba, designer and tailor of Senegalese origin, opened his own shop-workshop in 2003 in one of the streets of the city of Guediawaye, close to Dakar.

He sews his designs amongst laughs and music, cut and assembled for his clients; arriving from the same neighbourhood and other parts of the world. Demba, seated underneath the broadcast of a football match, proudly tells us the story of his business.

The shop-workshop, which hasn’t stopped growing since its opening 6 years ago, is the place where he plans, designs and guides. Alongside him, a further 6 youngsters work on the sewing machines. Whilst entertained by our intrusion of cameras and microphones, they continue with their stitching and assembling.

Demba’s designs, which clothe both men and women, stand out for their prints and shapes, and in wearing them you can almost feel the power of their symbols.

 

Credits

Voice & Interpreter: Leopold Tine

Sound: Giorgia Cadeddu

Special thanks to Make collective & G Hip Hop

In Madrid, Mirai Totoki, photographer and performer, took a series of photographs of the outfit that Demba gave me. And thus, the green snakes wandered around the Retiro Park.