Founder and Creative Director, Steeven Kodjia, uses his deeply rooted ancestry to help tell the story of his collections. This year, his collection, “Volume 4”, was released in conjunction with a fashion short film that garnered six nominations at the 2019 La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival (Winner of Best Fashion Film).
“At the core of fashion, there’s always a fragment of culture that sparks inspiration.” For the Parisian-based men’s luxury brand, French Deal, this statement couldn’t be more accurate.
Kodjia says, “My home country, Cote D’Ivoire, directly inspires ‘Volume 4’. It’s so different there compared to my life in France. Even though I grew up in Paris, I am African first. Since French Deal is my creation, it’s important to me that I embed my roots into it. The film I created explains the story of my people, the Baoulé People of the Ivory Coast.”
Kodjia goes on to say that the film came to life on location in the City of Abidjan, where the campaign was being shot. “The native fabrics we used were what originally triggered my imagination. Initially, the story was about where the fabrics came from, but that evolved into telling a story of the Baoulé People and their Queen, who made the ultimate sacrifice to save them. I knew then that the collection deserved a film to help carry this story out.”
Steeven is an artist, and he approaches his work the same way hip-hop artists create their music. That’s always been a big inspiration for him and is the reason why he names his collections as Volumes. “I look at my collections like mixtapes. Hip-hop music was always a big influence of mine growing up. When I released my premiere collection and called it, ‘Volume 1’. I knew this would be the perfect way to look at my work as personal mixtapes or music albums.”
His story is clear, and it’s meant to resonate in a way that shows the intersection of his life as a French and African man who wanted to pursue his dreams. “French Deal is my story. It’s a mix of my life in Europe and seeing hip-hop in the streets while staying true to my African culture. It’s a total blend of those three universes.”
There’s no wonder why the likes of music superstars like Offset, Nick Jonas, and the late Nipsey Hustle have all donned French Deal. It’s because Steeven Kodjia is a visionary and has crafted a label that steers the line of cutting edge fashion and luxury design. This secured French Deal’s win for the Best Fashion category at the 2019 La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival, which is quite a notable award for a first-time attendee.
The film officially releases Fall 2019. When asked about the Volume 4’s success, Kodjia says, “I am humbled and honored to have won the award for Best Fashion. It was a tribute and celebration of my African heritage, and I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to share it with everyone at the festival.”
FRENCH DEAL – FASHION FILM VOLUME 4 / VERSION FRANÇAISE
All photographs by Urivaldo Lopes