Who would have thought that one day, Dior and WaxUp Africa would become sisters in arms, to defend the same cause? On April 29th, Dior’s voice joined ours to shout out to the world, in unison, that Africa is a land of extraordinary wealth and know-how. The trigger and key role in this exceptional turning point: Anne Grosfilley.
Everything is a result of meetings, vision and coherence. A little luck too, maybe?
We get in touch with Anne Grosfilley, following a dedication that she signs in her book Wax and Co. for our co-founder: a wonderful gift from Shyaka Kagame. It was early 2018. After that, everything will go very fast! Perrine, co-founder of WaxUp Africa, personally meets Anne at the Geneva Book Fair in April 2018; event to which Anne is invited. The magic is instantaneous. Perrine clings to each of her words that resonate in her so strongly. Two textile enthusiasts, activists and fans of made in Africa met and, without even realizing it, began an adventure that will offer them many surprises and opportunities!
Anne is introduced to the WaxUp Africa structure and we decide to stay in touch and bring strength, respectively and at our scale. In the summer of 2018, we are invited to Anne’s home where we spend three days, together with respective families, in her sanctuary of textiles and treasures by the thousands. We build even stronger bonds and our roads become one, in this mission to defend a genuine and authentic African Wax to wear. Our observation is the same: there is urgency! Her fascinating work, with 30 years on the ground and traced through her various works, allows us to rely on her expertise to push the message more strongly! Projects such as our special Art Deco Art Deco collection, designed by Anne Grosfilley and WaxUp Africa, were created.
Our story reaches its peak on Monday, April 29, 2019! In front of our screen, we are witnessing an unexpected miracle: Dior unveils to the eyes of the world its next collection Dior Cruise 2020, which honors the Wax made in Africa and presents it as a luxury fabric, as well as the other materials of the parade, made in France and Italy! Anne, our friend and mentor, was commissioned as a consultant to follow the design of this collection and guide its vision in the right way. She managed to convince the Dior house of an imperative: work the Wax, yes, but by valuing an African sector. Deal ! In route to Abidjan to the factory that also provides WaxUp Africa: Uniwax!
Dior is convinced and signs: quality made in Africa is excellence.
The house Dior does therefore the same course WaxUp Africa did a few months before (read our article “WaxUp Africa at the heart of the source of fabrics Wax Made in Africa: the factory UNIWAX!”). Dior is looking for the best source of authentic Wax fabrics on the continent and will access the Uniwax factory to its entrails. It discovered its industrial know-how, which has been its strength for more than 50 years now. The Wax made in Africa has nothing to envy to the famous Dutch Wax and makes a push to counterfeit – the one we have been fighting since 2013!
This showcase that Dior offers us, in the role of ambassador, is an incredible opportunity! Dior, a pioneer of luxury fashion, supports and validates the WaxUp Africa vision. To see them follow our steps is simply incredible, for us small Swiss startup and, nevertheless, it is very real!
In addition to all this, the fabrics and cuts of this Dior collection are sublime, with the centerpiece: this blouse with the effigy of Nelson Mandela, designed with the participation of the great Pathé’O, known among others for being the designer of the shirts worn by Nelson Mandela. During our stay in Côte d’Ivoire, in October 2018, we, like Dior, made a stop in his workshop and his business. It was an unforgettable moment for us great fans!
Today, yes, we are proud and we intend to proclaim it: our vision has been followed by Dior. We hope this will allow us to spread the wax wear in occident, to have the Made in Africa quality excellence recognized, and to show that African Wax is a highly qualitative product. WaxUp Africa has been shouting it for more than 6 years.
Indeed, we have tried to educate consumers about conscious wear, through various actions and a dynamic presence in the field. We also transmit this vision in a pedagogical way within the HEAD (High School of Art and Design) which has granted us a mandate to intervene in their academic program.
We hope that all our efforts and passion will help to highlight Africa, and give it the honor and respect it deserves. We aspire for the WaxUp Africa movement to grow and carry its voice even further, thanks to Anne our mentor. Dior’s voice counts. If consumers hear it and understand it, we accept it. It strengths our work.
These rare and exclusive pictures from our team at the Uniwax factory are for us a strong symbol of the entire journey already accomplished and a promise of a future full of hope. We are honored by the trust Uniwax has given us and are grateful for the bonds that are growing stronger every day. They chose and agreed to go with us, a young start-up that started in 2013, under a utopian impulse: “yes we can do it!”
Impossible does not exist! Believe it and work hard to achieve it, here’s the trick. We are ready to continue and go even further.
Let the African Wax shine from its own beauty and value. That the revenues of its production and global trade return to the continent and to its children, afro descendants. Our mothers gave it his strength. It is an emblematic, unifying and pan-African fabric!
WaxUp Africa is at its service and it gives it back well to us!