African Fabrics Interest The Whole World!

Published June 3rd, 2021 - 06:35 GMT

Pathe'O has never seen without one of his own vibrant shirts. 

Tailor Pathe'O can look back on a 50-year career that has seen him rise from self-taught improviser to supplier of Africa's wealthy and powerful, including Nelson Mandela.

As well as South Africa's first black president, his richly coloured shirts have graced the backs of Moroccan King Mohamed VI, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, and the continent's richest man Aliko Dangote.

Now he's doing his best to change attitudes to his profession across Africa and create opportunities for the next generation.

All the work is done by hand on old cast-iron Singer sewing machines, and Pathe'O moves among the tailors, designers and pressers to check their work and lend advice.

He finds inspiration on the street, from women who go to market decked in multicolored clothes and scarves.

Pathe'O himself plans to put all his business success and international recognition behind what he calls his "battle" to win respect for Africa's fashion industry.

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Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent.

Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP

Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent.

Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP

Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent

Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP

A woman hangs up dyed cotton fabric to dry at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent

A woman hangs up dyed cotton fabric to dry at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP

Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent

Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP

A dyer smiles as she poses for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent

A dyer smiles as she poses for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP

Dyers pose for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent

Dyers pose for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP

Ivorian-Burkinabe fashion designer Pathé Ouedraogo, known as Pathé'O, poses for a photograph in his store in Abidjan on May 26, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent

Ivorian-Burkinabe fashion designer Pathé Ouedraogo, known as Pathé'O, poses for a photograph in his store in Abidjan on May 26, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP

Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent.
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent.
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
A woman hangs up dyed cotton fabric to dry at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
A dyer smiles as she poses for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
Dyers pose for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
Ivorian-Burkinabe fashion designer Pathé Ouedraogo, known as Pathé'O, poses for a photograph in his store in Abidjan on May 26, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent.
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent.
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP
A woman hangs up dyed cotton fabric to dry at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
A woman hangs up dyed cotton fabric to dry at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
Dyers dye cotton fabric at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP
A dyer smiles as she poses for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
A dyer smiles as she poses for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP
Dyers pose for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
Dyers pose for a photograph at Pathe'O house in the popular district of Treichville in Abidjan on March 31, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP
Ivorian-Burkinabe fashion designer Pathé Ouedraogo, known as Pathé'O, poses for a photograph in his store in Abidjan on May 26, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent
Ivorian-Burkinabe fashion designer Pathé Ouedraogo, known as Pathé'O, poses for a photograph in his store in Abidjan on May 26, 2021. A small self-taught tailor in his early years, the Ivorian-Burkinabe Pathe'O became the designer of African heads of state and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his brand, leading the "fight" for the recognition of fashion on the continent. Issouf SANOGO / AFP