[Image credit: Le Dessein Rayee Dress – FrenchMorning.com]
I love hearing about brands that seek innovative ways to make a difference in the world and was immediately captivated by the story behind Le Dessein, no ordinary fashion brand. Based in the US, Le Dessein uses fashion to educate and empower young girls in developing countries and has a goal of educating 10,000 girls in ten years. And, what is different about the business model is that rather than simply creating a collection and selling the clothes, they have chosen to make the girls they support an active part of the brand. This is achieved by embroidering art sketches created by the girls into the clothing collections. By doing this not only do you get to support the provision of education -25% of the profits go towards their annual tuition- but you also get a personal connection to the brand’s ethos and more importantly the girls themselves get a boost to their self-esteem in knowing their sketches are out in the world, being worn.
When the girls witness consumers wearing the garments that they helped design, it creates a sense of ownership that directly affects their self-esteem – Eric Coly, Le Dessein founder
[Image credits: top, Drawing Embroidered on Women’s top;
bottom, La Jacket detail – Le Dessein]
Le Dessein was founded by Senegalese designer and entrepreneur, Eric Coly. A former investment banker, Eric one day decided to follow his creative calling and do what he really loved, and create a brand that made a real difference. Crediting his mother’s love of fashion for influencing his own interest in fashion, the inspiration for the company came from growing up in a matriarchal family, where each generation has inspired the other into education and bettering themselves, starting with his grandmother who attended college in 1930’s West Africa, and then his mother who instilled the family values in her children, and now Eric using Le Dessein to help educate young girls from disadvantaged communities. Le Dessein is currently supporting young girls at the More Than Me Academy, a non-profit educational organisation working in Liberia.
For further information about Le Dessein and to purchase visit: www.ledessein.com