© 2016 Dav Idega / J. Zam
Tight geometric patterns, big bold floral prints, intricate details expertly woven into colorful splashes of cloth; these are some of the things that define Senegalese fabrics. Once limited to its own little corner of the world, Senegalese fabrics have been spreading throughout West Africa, and now, the world, inspiring countless designs by “fast-fashion” companies such as Zara, H&M, and making their impact on the seasonal offerings of major fashion houses in Milan, Paris, and New York.
Senegal, a small, coastal nation is the westernmost country located on any of the “Old World” continents, including Africa and Europe. Its people are an ethnically diverse, religiously tolerant, and friendly population of around 13 million. Senegal can, perhaps, be seen as the tip of the spear pointing westward, or as a signal fire for old world values in the birth of a new, global creative marketplace. The Senegalese tradition in design and fashion is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a boldly unique source of innovation, and a place from which talent in the visual arts seems to spring eternal.
Dakar, Senegal’s capital and largest city, is the main conduit through which this international attention and collaboration flows. Interest in establishing relationships in the city has been rising, especially from the centers of European fashion in France and Italy. Senegal’s history was one of European contention and colonialism. Now, its future is that of cooperation, and having its unique voice heard around the world. One of the biggest players in facilitating this future is Platinium, based in Dakar.
Platinium is a multimedia production company based in Dakar, Senegal that specializes in bridging the gap between Europe and Senegal with ambitious projects that combine the skills, passions, and needs of international interests. Fashion, in particular, is an area of focus for Platinium’s productions, and this year has been a major one for the company.
In 2016, Platinium produced large-scale, glitzy, and stunning live events aimed at spreading culture and art from Senegal throughout the world. The project, called African Fashion Gate, has been showcasing Senegal’s design, fashion, and modeling talent for international audiences. Tapped by Senegal’s Minister of Arts and Culture to helm the project, Platinium produced an amazing African Fashion Gate showcase which premiered at the Louvre Museum in Paris in February, 2016. Dubbed as a “catwalk for social and cultural exchange,” the event brought the best of Senegalese fashion to a European audience in the absolute epicenter of French artistic heritage. © 2016 Dav Idega / J. Zam
Platinium also produced an African Fashion Gate event at Dakar’s Lake Retba (or Lac Rose) in April. The otherworldly pink colored waters of the lake, which once functioned as an important intersection in the Paris-Dakar Rally, served as an incredible backdrop to the event, which featured gala dinners, fashion shows, music, and participation from many major fashion houses from Europe and Africa. The closing ceremony was broadcast live on national television and on African Fashion Gate’s web portal internationally.
Platinium is a close partners with Rome, Italy based Abbey Road Productions, a similarly oriented firm that operates in Europe. This “virtual bridge” between Africa and Europe provides an all important avenue for cultural exchange and artistic growth on both sides of the Mediterranean and beyond.
Currently, Platinium is working on founding an Academy of Fashion Design in Dakar in partnership with IED, The European Institute of Design. IED is adding to its already impressive reach in Italy, Spain, and Brazil by building a special bridge into Dakar.
Thanks to the quality of its productions, its humanistic and important international mission, its innovations in communications, and its contributions to the spread of Senegalese fashion into Europe and beyond, Platinium is being awarded with the 2016 BID Quality Award, one of the most prestigious international awards for organizational quality, excellence, and innovation.
ABOUT BID AND THE INTERNATIONAL ARCH OF EUROPE AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.