December 30, 2023
diarrablu around the world
I welcomed the New Year in Côte d'Ivoire and celebrated my birthday with the fam
I designed some amazing custom outfits just for the occasion. And there's more - January is a special month for us. It's when we celebrate the birthdays of Maman, my sister Sokhna, and Papa. It's like a month-long party for our family!
We had a DIARRABLU Summit for our Dakar and US team to meet
During a week, we reflected together on our accomplishments over the past year and charted out future goals. The gathering was such a wonderful opportunity to celebrate each other. A standout moment was the garden party hosted by Maman dedicated to our artisans. This event was marked by stylish attire and delicious cuisine and a dance competition making it a true celebration of our team's camaraderie.
We were featured in a documentary by i-D Magazine with Pharrell Williams
For Black History Month, i-D Magazine released a beautiful documentary featuring both local and global talent in Dakar to showcase Senegalese craftsmanship and culture and how it is influencing the next generation of fashion creatives. In the documentary featuring Pharrell Williams, I had the opportunity to share what makes our work so unique and meaningful.
I was a speaker at the Museum of the African Diaspora
I had the chance to meet with amazing participants as a panelist at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco for the Engage Symposium 2023 focused on Photography, Fashion, and Black Representation. The event brought together scholars, artists, curators, art writers and more for a day of dialogue and learning about timely issues related to art and artists of the African Diaspora.
A Dreamy Gift for our Community
To wrap up our incredible Filun campaign in the Maldives, we partnered with the private island resort for our biggest giveaway ever! A 4-night stay for two at the Lux South Ari Atoll.
I was a speaker at Harvard's Going Global panel
Alongside great panelists, we brought a mix of expertise in policy, finance, design, and operations to offer important perspectives to this conversation centered around the global fashion industry and the place of textile and fashion as drivers of economic growth in Africa.
We launched our Spring Collection Captured in Marrakech
We launched our Spring ’23 collection, inspired by the radiant colors of the palmeraie sunset and the geometric patterns found in traditional Moroccan architecture, the collection is a nod to the Arabic word 'DIYA' ضياء, which means light.
A Spring escape to Mexico
I took a spontaneous trip to Puerto Vallarta for a week of remote work to reconnect with my creative side after an intense month. The highlight of my trip was an incredible hike to 7 hidden beaches where I literally had a spiritual awakening and felt a deep sense of purpose, connection and infinite love for the universe. The BLU in DIARRABLU aims to capture this endless feeling of magic and wonder just like when you stare at the ocean, into the horizon.
I also had so many magical deja vu moments in Mexico related to my recent trip to Morocco. Despite being located on opposite sides of the world, these two countries share some stunning similarities in their architectural design that can take your breath away.
We launched our first handbag range
After over a year of teamwork with talented artisans and creatives in Spain, we launched NUUR, our first DIARRABLU handbag, imagined with conscious design and a sustainable ethos. Made from ethically sourced Italian leather and , upcycled ocean plastic waste, this convertible bag and its iconic bamboo handle are an ode to nature’s magic.
I was featured in Forbes
Forbes featured us in an article about the successful alliance of technology and creativity. Seeing our work celebrated brings us so much joy, and we couldn't do it without our amazing muses and our amazing team supporting us daily !
Our work is transforming Math education
I received an email early this year from a second-grade math teacher Susannah about how my design work inspired them to create their own textiles with math and coding. Did you know that the majority of DIARRABLU prints are made from math concepts or equations? Having been a math teacher for five years, I have found so much fulfillment in this profession and seeing these 8 year old students' designs was incredibly special!
Family trip to Mexico
Family time in Los Cabos was such a wonderful time. This stunning destination, which includes Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo is renowned for its luxurious resorts, pristine beaches, and endless sunshine. This beautiful destination was also a big inspiration for our Summer 2023 campaign.
We launched the Alegria Collection
Inspired by the enchanting walls of Bo-Kaap in Cape Town, the captivating alleys of Old San Jose del Cabo, and the sun-kissed shores of Mykonos, ALEGRIA is a celebration of joy and freedom from vacation. This collection marks the beginning of my annual Summer escapades.
We created the Diarrablu Squad
In our quest to thoughtfully merge tradition and technology, we created the Diarrablu Squad (Mamy, Lara, Roky and Safi), a group of digital model avatars we have been working on for months in order to easily showcase our clothing on diverse bodies and ethnicities.
I went to Dakar to celebrate Biggie Boo’s 1st year birthday
My baby nephew is growing up so fast. We had a beautiful safari inspired garden party and invited all our friends and family. It was incredible!
This trip was quite special because we organized artisan training workshops and worked together to improve the production workflows of how your beautiful dresses are made.
📍Split and Hvar, Croatia
The Mediteranean summer begins
A standout experience during my European Summer this year was the visit to Croatia. I delved into the lively atmosphere of Split and fell in love with the vibrant scene of Hvar. This was my first time in Croatia and I can’t wait to visit again and discover more magical landscapes
Next up we went to Ibiza and got to experience the epic parties everyone talks about. The highlight was concerts of David Guetta and Ozuna in Ushuaia. We also got to see the cultural and relaxing side of Ibiza and enjoyed walking around the old town, eating street paella and exploring the quieter beaches.
My new favorite gem in Italy
We had a unique adventure in Puglia, the southern region forming the heel of Italy’s boot. Discovering Bari, Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, and Alberobello left me mesmerized by the region's beauty and allure. We spent a week in Puglia and shared in a blog post unique activities and restaurants we discovered during our visit.
We launched a guide for the 10 best beaches to visit next summer
If you share my enthusiasm for sun-soaked adventures, you'll undoubtedly appreciate this carefully curated blog list of the 10 best beaches to visit next summer. Tell me on Instagram if you ever get to visit any of them!
We were featured in Teen Vogue
I got closer to my fitness goals
This year was a special year for me. Since January, I decided to invest more time and effort into my health and really prioritized sleep, nutrition and wellness. I napped for 2 hours most days and found a way to build exercise into my daily life. I still work way more than I would like and even when traveling to these beautiful destinations, I am mostly remote working. But the biggest change was incorporating weight lifting and cycling in addition to dancing to my routine and I was able to keep up even during my travel days. By October I started seeing true results in terms of getting stronger, fitter and feeling a lot more calm in general and now I feel very inspired to keep taking care of my body and giving it all the love it deserves.
DIARRABLU Summit Trip to Mexico
I spent a week in Mexico City for another Diarrablu Summit and got to spend quality time with our head of operations and discuss our future strategy. Being in person with the team is always so amazing and I loved discovering new restaurants and cute shops in this beautiful city. I could see myself remote working from here longer in the future.
I also had the amazing opportunity to speak on a podcast with GenWXM about my incredible journey with Diarrablu.
OMNIA Collection Launch
We launched our Resort 24 collection OMNIA, which originates from a female name meaning 'wish.' Captured against the breathtaking backdrop of a hilltop mansion in Cape Town, South Africa, this collection captures the essence of the effortless villa lifestyle. I still can’t get over the beautiful villa where this campaign took place!EXPLORE THE OMNIA CAMPAIGN
Trip to Paris for a major surprise in 2024
I went to Paris for a life-changing experience. Can't wait to share everything with you! Stay tuned in 2024 :)
We were featured in Google's Black Owned Friday campaign with Keke Palmer
We are so honored to be in this campaign starring Keke Palmer in a 90s-inspired music video. Watch the video to see our pieces featured.
We upgraded the website
After over 6 months of UI/UX research with qualitative user interviews and quantitative research, we upgraded our website for a better shopping experience! The site is now so much faster and you can see all color swatches available for each style. You can also now filter by color, have a better navigation experience and hopefully find what you need. Feel free to drop us an email anytime at email@example.com for any additional improvements you would like to see on the website.
Career Interview with Fashionista
It was an honor to sit with Fashionista for an interview as part of their “How I’m Making it Series” to talk about my journey from student, to trader, to teacher, to designer. This whole experience feels sometimes unreal when I think about the journey and how exciting but also challenging it was at time to build this company. I feel so lucky to have the amazing team, family and community that make this work have meaning every single day. And even when it gets hard sometimes, I always have a reason to keep going.
I took my first real weeklong vacation and completely left work behind. Generally most of my travels are for work, and as much as I generally show the glamorous photoshoots and experiences, it’s also zoom calls while jet lagged and a lot of remote work in general. This time was different, I completely disconnected. I visited my best friend in Kingston and we went on a roadtrip across Jamaica. I had traditional jerk chicken every single day and felt so inspired by all the colors and music. Jamaica is like a second home since 2007 and I can’t wait to go back again.
I Got to Teach Creative Mathematics at Stanford
In the Fall, I was honored to be a guest lecturer in Jo Boaler's curriculum and instruction class at Stanford's Graduate School of Education to share the realm of my work in creative mathematics and inspire future educators and researchers to reimagine the 21st century classroom. I just shared in a blog post on how I used Art to teach Math as a teacher and how this led me to create the best seller prints at Diarrablu.READ THE BLOG POST
We welcomed DIARRABLU Baby #4
Last year my nephew Biggie Boo was our first baby. Our team experienced wonderful moments of joy throughout the year, marked by the arrival of new little members. It began with Baby Ari's arrival in January in San Francisco, followed by Baby Gael in Sao Paulo in August, and concluded with Baby Eden's birth in Senegal in December. Witnessing the growth of our global team's families alongside their unwavering dedication to our work adds immense value and depth to what we do. Eagerly looking forward to welcoming more bundles of joy in the team in 2024!
This year was full of love and growth. I learned to prioritize my health, believe in my dreams, work more intentionally and think with longevity in mind about everything. The concept of alignment became so important in my life and my choices. I spent a lot of time reflecting, interviewing, planning and daydreaming on the next phase of DIARRABLU and how to merge this work and a lifestyle that fosters more happiness in every realm. This journey has been such an amazing testament to the power of dreams. 10 years ago I left everything behind and decided to start building this company. I chose love as my compass and I never looked back. This work gives me so much gratitude.
Thank you for being here and Happy New Year!
Want to join our team?
We are hiring a VP of Operations and applications can be submitted here. We will also be hiring for many more roles in 2024.