Fashion Designer Creating Prints from Maths Equations


Diarra Bousso Gueye is a maths teacher. She was grading algebra papers when she got a Eureka moment.

She had, for so long, wanted to become a fashion designer right from her childhood. Diarra was inspired during the time she was making clothes for the dolls. She thought of taking the equations she created prints and drawings for her clothing.

Diarra Bousso Gueye

After completing her classroom sessions, she started using mathematics concepts like quadratic and geometric transformations in creating multiple prints using bold colors,

“My work is fully  on the use of mathematics for the creative process,” she said

Some of her prints, like Joal print, got a name from the iconic coastal town in Senegal. The name of the town is Joal Fadiouth.

According to her, swimsuits, dresses, and kimono are digitally generated and then graphed  from the seashells

“I am proud to call myself a creative mathematician, and I spend my day doing or teaching math. As a result, all my creations have this DNA,” she said.

Wall street to fashion designer

In the year 2015, Gueye launched a clothing label. She started using the mathematics equations during her designs sessions. She operates between the U.S, where she is a maths teacher, and Senegal, West Africa, where she does her clothes.

Her birthplace has impacted so much in her work. The Senegalese coastal town inspired one of her latest collections she said.

“I developed the Joal print for SS20, which results from essential graphing seashells instead of drawing them, to recreate the ecosystem of Joal Fadiouth, an iconic coastal town in Senegal,” she said.

She moved to Norway to finish up her high school at sixteen. She then moved to the U.S after she graduated, where she took a course in maths, statistics, and economics. After that, she got a job on wall street where she worked at an investment bank then the trading floor. However, this did not make her forget the love she had for fashion. She later started a blog where she would document the fashion inspirations while in the New York streets.

The creative wave of the African designers

Gueye left the wall street in 2013 to register her fashion brand. She would then start organizing fashion events and weeks in countries like U.s and Senegal. This was before she embarked on a master’s program in Mathematics, which she did at Stanford University. She is part of the wave of designers in creativity that are innovating the fashion industry in Africa hence expanding rapidly.

According to Eurominot 2015 report, it reported that sub-Saharan footwear and apparel markets are approximately $ thirty-one billion.

Nigeria’s Maki Oh brand, which is worn by Beyonce and mantsho brand from South Africa are trying to establish themselves at an international level beyond Africa.

Just like other fashion brands, Gueye’s growth has been exponential in Africa. She hopes for more collaboration between African designers in Africa.

“I am happy that African designers are taking stronger ownership of the narrative, and I encourage us to keep writing our own stories and create our validation.”



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