by Monika Blichar
Like most little girls, I dreamed of lovely clothes and used to play dress up with my friends. The hours we would spend trying on clothes, playing dress up and finding unique things from our treasure chests to pair together are a fond memory from my childhood. As I got older, this love of unique designs and accessories moved me to follow local artists and designers like Alethe Kabore for Kaborette ya nèré . I caught up with Alethe today to learn more about what inspires her as a fashion designer based in Edmonton, Alberta.
What inspired you to start designing clothing?
I grew up around beautiful vibrant wax prints and a community of women that loved to dress up. I started giving pointers to tailors on what styles I wanted when getting outfit tailored. After moving to Canada from Burkina Faso, I missed being able to readily access affordable tailors and wear my usual colorful and warm weather outfits. I gradually started learning how to sew and started designing clothes that mixed various fabrics to give me the finish I wanted with the comfort that is adequate to the various Canadian seasons. You can say my inspiration started by trying to wear outfits that were not available in Canada and grew to trying to offer the same access to a wider audience.
Your work is colorful, vibrant and unique. What is your inspiration behind this season’s designs?
I choose most of the colors and designs based on how the fabrics appeal to me. Sometimes you see a fabric and you just have to make something out of it or it inspires the style you need to bring to life. Even though it is cold or winter, I believe we can and ought to wear colorful and vibrant clothes. Seasons can definitely affect our choice of colors but it should not limit us to grey and black.
You create a variety of fashion. What do you like to design the most?
I enjoy seeing more than one fabric mixed together to yield an elegant and slick finish. Being able to design, a piece that is fresh, elegant and unique is what I love designing the most. Dressing women of various body shapes is the most exciting!
This is your first time in an Art World Expo event. What would you like guests to know most about you and your clothing line?
This approach of design, work with unique prints is quite new to most people in Canada. Although inspired by beautiful African prints it also incorporates lots of fabric usually found in current fashion. This is meant for all and everyone that wishes to dress elegantly and with unique pieces. Do not be shy and try one of our piece be it an accessory or a full outfit, you will love it.
Will you have any show specials or never before seen work at this event?
I will have a special gift certificate that the guests can enter to win. They can then have the pleasure to choose what to spend it on, as it would be too restrictive to choose one item for the winner.
Just for fun. If you woke up tomorrow with access to an unlimited bank account with funds just for you to spend, what would you do?
I would definitely expand my business, have a physical store, work space, start a partnership with locally hand woven, die, and tie fabric producers back in Burkina Faso and Africa in general so I can infuse some investment on the continent while exporting the expertise and beautiful prints to the rest of the world.
Kaborette ya nèré is a fashion business that is striving to offer modern ready to wear and African infused attire to the Afro-Canadian community across Canada while working to carve a space in the fashion world for African prints. The business specializes in incorporating traditional woven material from West Africa, vibrant African prints commonly known as “Ankara” with European fabric in its stylish designs. Kaborette ya nèré offers clothes, and clothing accessories and is based here in Edmonton.
The founder and in-house designer of Kaborette ya nèré is Alèthe Kaboré. Born and raised in Burkina Faso, she moved to Edmonton to pursue her studies and could not leave behind her love for African prints and fashion. Alèthe has always had an eye for colors and forms and has a keen interest in fashion design. She is a self-taught designer and seamstress with still a lot to learn and as much to contribute to the fashion world. Her dream is to increase the use of African prints and material in modern wear in Canadian fashion and internationally. Alèthe is looking forward to showcasing her creations and dressing you too!