TEDGlobal: Adding an African touch to a Japanese symbol

Cameroon-born Serge Mouangue has transformed the classical yet plain Japanese garment with vibrant and colourful African prints.

    Serge Mouangue is a cross-cultural designer who merges African influences with Japanese traditional designs. Born in Cameroon, Mouangue moved to France at the age of six where he studied art and design in Paris.

    He switched between being an artist and designer and eventually worked as a car designer with Renault Motor Company. This led him to Japan, where he joined Nissan as a designer of concept cars.

    What are the similarities between Japan and Africa? Mouangue tackles this question through the most traditional and structured of Japanese garments: the kimono.

    He combines the colour, vibration, and "beat" of his native Africa to the kimono, combining vibrant coloured fabrics with the kimono’s tailoring.

    As a TEDGlobal fellow, he was in Edinburgh this July for the TED conference. I caught up with him there and discussed his work. Listen to it below:

    Serge Mouangue - WAfrica designer (mp3)


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