Birimian announces the launch of an accelerator with the French Fashion Institute and the signing of an exclusive agreement with WSN


Birimian, the first operational investment company dedicated exclusively to luxury and premium brands of African heritage, announces the signing of two partnerships with the Institut Français de la Mode, one of the world’s leading fashion schools, based in Paris, and WSN (Who’s Next, Première Classe, Impact, Traffic, Bijorhca), a strategic player in the international fashion scene specializing in the exhibition and distribution of emerging and independent creative brands.

These two exclusive partnerships illustrate the desire of the three players to be part of a long-term dynamic dedicated to the emergence of emerging brands with African heritage.

Birimian and the Institut Français de la Mode announce the launch of the “IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa”, an innovative acceleration program for emerging brands of African heritage in the fashion, accessories and jewelry sectors. Each year, the program, funded by Birimian, will support ten young designers over ten months, selected for their talent, their singularity and their potential by a creative committee made up of experts from the international creative scene.

The call for applications opens on Monday June 28 and ends on August 31, 2021. The young creative brands selected will be offered personalized support for the development of their business by a dedicated team of experts in the main areas of which a need a young creative house:

  • Definition of a brand platform
  • Strengthening the creative process
  • Targeting a relevant audience
  • Definition of a coherent marketing strategy
  • Planning and structuring of collections,
  • Distribution strategy
  • Communication policy
  • Presence and digital strategy
  • Financial management

Brands participating in the program will also benefit from investment or advisory and support services from Birimian.

This acceleration program will begin and end with a Parisian experience with the aim of immersing the selected brands in the world capital of Fashion and creativity and offering them unique and privileged access to the main players in this ecosystem.

The partnership forged between Birimian and WSN should enable it to strengthen the visibility of African brands and broaden their international distribution opportunities. As part of the acceleration program launched with the IFM, Birimian and WSN are notably planning to organize events on the sidelines of Paris Market Week and Fashion Week, highlighting the brands and designers of the program.

The partnership covers several components:

  • Identification of emerging brands
  • Participation of the selected brands in events organized by WSN and bringing together major players in selective distribution on an international scale
  • Incubation and commercial development of the panel of brands supported by Birimian
  • Organization of events for the promotion of African fashion and its know-how

These two partnerships are therefore intended to accelerate the entrepreneurial, creation, distribution and expansion capacities of emerging African brands in line with Birimian’s ambitions.

Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, Chairman and CEO of Birimian, commented: “The partnerships announced today meet the requirements that we set ourselves at the launch of Birimian: on the one hand, to support and train the young African creative guard by strengthening their skills and know-how in order to guarantee their level of excellence and, on the other hand, enable them to accelerate their development by helping them to integrate the ecosystem of fashion and the international creative scene. It is in this sense that the two partnerships announced today are perfectly complementary, at the service of the influence of the history, the tradition and the know-how of the African heritage on the international creative scene. “

Xavier Romatet, Director General of the Institut Français de la Mode, declared: “Through this accelerator, we will highlight the extraordinary creativity and exceptional talents of the African continent through an adapted and demanding training course based on IFM’s best practices. For us, it is about giving them both the educational tools necessary for their growth and access to an ecosystem of professionals, experts and actors of the international creative scene. »Frédéric Maus, Managing Director of WSN[Ui1] , added: “For us, there is no doubt that the next wave of international fashion inspiration will come from the African continent. This trend continues to assert itself and our partnership with Birimian will allow us to actively listen to this exceptional pool of talent and creativity. We are eager to contribute to their international development in the largest distribution networks.


put “WSN” [Ui1]

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