Accelerator 2022

Azède Jean-Pierre is an independent women’s ready-to-wear design label based in New York City. The eponymous brand was founded in February 2012 and sits between fashion and art, femininity and avant-garde.

Azède is dedicated to developing clothing that empowers women by pushing the boundaries of functionality and innovation. Her endless curiosity and enthusiasm for exploration have always informed her creative design process.

With over a decade of industry experience, she has learned how to effectively integrate innovative design, technical development, creative leadership, and business applicability.

After a well-deserved break from the fashion calendar, during which she focused on philanthropy in her native country Haiti, Azede returned with a knitwear collection, designed with the support of Italian luxury house, Gucci.

Azede Jean Pierre is part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

The luxury brand is named after Armando Cabral, a renowned Guinean-American model.

The brand creates luxury footwear and accessory collections for men’s modern lives, integrating a personal vision of traditional African heritage with European design and bespoke craftsmanship.

Armed with his innate love of footwear and knowledge of luxury fashion, Armand Cabral has fully immersed himself in the design and production of footwear, becoming intimately involved in every detail.

His inaugural collection was launched in 2009 and includes all the styles a modern man might need to create a streamlined shoe wardrobe: loafers, derbies, boots, and sneakers, all made from an array of fine leathers and time-honored craftsmanship. After an interruption, the brand was relaunched in 2018 and is experiencing a huge success in the US Fashion scene.

We are pleased to have a master shoemaker on board our elevation program.

Armando Cabral is part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

Founded in 2021, Chez Nous is a French-Tunisian ready-to-wear brand that celebrates multiculturalism through ethically designed pieces. Tunisians in the diaspora (essentially France) are used to call home : “Chez Nous la bas.” The brand is therefore an ode to the plurality of identity, to the “in-between”. The pieces are manufactured with low environmental impact in workshops promoting social and economic emancipation between France and Tunisia.

Camelia Hafsa Barbachi, founder of the brand, was born in Roubaix in the North of France in 1997 to Tunisian parents. In 2019, she studied the harmful effects of fast fashion through her MBA thesis. This research work made her want to become an actor of change and propose a fairer alternative to the existing offer.

Chez Nous is part of the 2022-2023 program of the IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa.

Endelea is an ethical fashion brand founded in Milan in 2018 to create clothes and accessories in African wax fabrics with a “made in Italy” design.

Behind the name Endelea, which means “to go forward, to continue without giving up” in Swahili, there is a group of dreamers guided by passion and courage who believe in creativity, connections, and empowerment.

The collections are primarily designed in Milan and ethically manufactured in Tanzania. The brand’s missions: To create a positive impact in fashion; to create value for its customers and communities along the supply chain; to strengthen local talent for the growth of the fashion industries in Africa and to lead the change towards economic and social development.

Endelea is part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

Launched in 2012, Pichulik is an ethical jewelry and accessories brand, based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Inspired by the continent, and rooted in ancient traditions, mythology and cultures, the brand uses the language of African artistry and ornamentation to create sculptural accessories that celebrate empowering feminine narratives.

Pichulik stands out with signature designs handcrafted from repurposed rope, combined with cast-brass elements, precious stones and unexpected organic materials. Once transformed, they create distinctive forms evoking journeys through the continent and inner travels of growth and self-acceptance.

The brand seeks to impart sacred feminine wisdom through its unique designs. Each collection captures a different chapter in a heroine’s journey – an odyssey imbued with mythology, symbolism and transformation.

Pichulik honors the bravery and beauty innate to all women, everywhere. We are proud to support a brand that honors women, and creates vessels for them to express and assert themselves.

Pichulik is currently part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

The eponymous brand was founded by Ivorian designer and visual artist Dion Dewand Marcia Lafalaise.

Based in Abidjan, her practice is driven by a quest to reconnect with her ancestral power. Using cowrie shells as her primary medium, she collaborates with local artisans to create distinct and striking pieces that honor the divine feminine.

The brand is inspired by the culture of the Dan people of western Côte d’Ivoire, who use cowrie shells as a means of communication with the spiritual world. The brand’s mission is to promote the richness and uniqueness of African cultures by celebrating this specific shell.

“We are rewriting our history by using a key symbol of West African identity: the cowrie shell,” Lafalaise explains.Each creation is a message to Africans and Afro-descendants to embrace and defend their heritage.

Lafalaise Dion is part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

The label is the eponym of RĒNWA YASSĪN, a designer born and raised in the Ivory Coast, with Lebanese origins.

She understands their connections as she is in the middle of these two cultures. “Cultures have no barriers” & this resonated with the designer’s commitment to putting cultural heritage at the heart of her home.” RĒNWA YASSĪN launched in 2019 and the brand is determined to create a wardrobe known for its innovative cuts and subtle cross-cultural inspirations with equally sustainable and innovative fabrics.

The brand has been shortlisted for the Fashion Trust Arabia 2022 award, of which six winners will be announced at an award ceremony on October 26, 2022. 

Renwa is part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

Suki Suki Naturals is a proudly African brand, sourcing powerful natural ingredients and combining them in refined formulations to achieve the best results without harmful chemicals.

Offering hair and skin care products, Suki Suki’s rich and luxurious formulas enhance one’s natural beauty. Based and produced in Johannesburg, it was founded by Linda Gieskes-Mwamba who is of Congolese origin.

In fact, the name Suki Suki has its roots in the Lingala word “Suki”, which means “hair”. It also has resonances in other languages, as the word “Suki” means “happiness” in Hindi, and “to have affection” in Japanese. These meanings perfectly reflect the spirit of the brand.

Suki Suki is part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

The eponymous South African brand Wanda Lephoto explores the notion of luxury clothing by fusing African cultures, traditions, identities, and approaches with global nuances to form new representational propositions.

Grounded in critical research focused on cultural fusion, collaboration, spirituality, inclusion, and tailoring, Wanda Lephoto aims to merge two or more worlds to create a free space for people to negotiate the boundaries of their own representation and identity through style and culture.

Wanda Lephoto is interested in the identities of otherwise underrepresented individuals and groups, with the African spirit being a key inspiration for the contemporary stories she tells.

The suit is the foundation on which most of the collections are built. The idea of how the past, through craft, can be interpreted in a modern way to create larger conversations where collectively we can find solutions for our shared experiences and our future.

Wanda Lephoto is part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

Wibes is a sustainable, high-end Parisian sneaker brand created by 3 friends born between Paris and Abidjan, and founded in 2017.

Inspired by their origins, they imagined sneakers that look like them, with an easy-to-wear design and original wax fabric from home. From the beginning, they wanted not only to offer comfortable and stylish low-top sneakers, but above all quality and respect for the environment and people.

The brand is a story of meetings. First of all, there was the meeting between the members of the team: Aurélie and Nicolas, the founders, and Julian, the artistic director. It is also the meeting between two cultures, France and Africa. Childhood friends, Nicolas and Julian were born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where they grew up and lived for 15 years.

Aurélie, born in France, was lulled by the stories and memories of Africa brought back by her father who has been working there for more than 20 years.

These human and cultural encounters, between Paris and Abidjan, brought them together around common values, stories and passions. And this is what marked the starting point of this beautiful adventure.

Vibes is currently part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

Zyne means beauty in Arabic, which is at the heart of the brand’s platform, with its unique interpretation of a timeless Moroccan tradition.

Each pair of shoes designed by founder Zineb Britel is on a mission to bring the ancestral Moroccan “babouche” and its traditional craft into the 21st century.
Each pair of shoes designed by founder Zineb Britel has the mission to bring the ancestral Moroccan “babouche” and its traditional craftsmanship into the 21st century. After studying fashion design at Esmod Paris, and gaining experience working at Christian Dior and Sonia Rykiel, Zineb discovered that her true passion and talent was shoe design. Gaining expertise in this discipline at Central Saint Martins in London and Moda Pelle in Italy, Zineb was inspired to explore footwear from her own country and give it a modern twist.

Her partner Laura Pujol graduated from INSEEC, one of France’s top advertising schools, and specialized in luxury goods marketing at the International School of Luxury Marketing (EIML Paris). Laura’s passion is to bring to life the meticulous craft of luxury goods marketing while honoring those who dedicate their lives to the craft. After working on the marketing team at Christian Louboutin, Laura decided to join the ZYNE venture with her best friend, to help it grow and make the magic happen.

Zyne is currently part of the 2022-2023 IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa program.

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