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Bespoke tailor Sir Baba Jagne is the secret weapon behind many of the well tailored looks we’ve seen on Cardi B, Normani, Naomi Campbell, Kelly Rowland, and Monica. His attention to detail and ability to tailor, deconstruct, and reconstruct virtually anything makes him the go-to for stars who truly want to shine.
The Gambian designer has fashion in his blood. He says, “I was born into it. My dad was a tailor and my mom was a seamstress. I learned how to walk and crawl in the atelier.” He perfected his craft over the years, eventually working in the Atelier of a 5 star hotel in Gambia. He said, “People would bring in Versace suits, and ask me to remake it in African fabric. I was able to deconstruct and reconstruct, and that’s where [a lot of my] experience comes from. “
After moving to the States in the 90’s, Jagne created his own line called Jagne. He says, “I wanted to produce it and stay in that lane of having my own brand. It was very hard for people to produce my garments. Samples weren’t right. I ended up going myself and fixing the patterns and sewing. And I realized that I should go into manufacturing and help other people develop their brands. Doing that gave me better insight into what people were bringing in. After people realized what I could do, I was busy, and I wasn’t able to create anything anymore. What I am doing right now wasn’t in the plan. “
What he does now? Create sartorial magic for glamazons who want to slay when they step on the scene. He jumped onto our radar thanks to his work with stylist Kollin Carter, who he met at a dinner party. He says, “Our friend was late [and] It was a good thing she was. We started connecting and realized that what I do and what he does is intertwined. Next thing you know, we’re here.”
Since working with Kollin, Jagne has used his talents to tailor runway pieces and create custom creations for certified fashionistas like Cardi B, Naomi Campbell, Normani, and Kelly Rowland.
His most recent work of art? The reconstructed Fendi look singer Monica wore to a Verzuz battle with Brandy, which he created in 24 hours.
He says, “The look came into my lap when I was on my way to the airport. It was two days before the event. We went in, we shot the promo, then Kollin said, ‘This is what we’re trying to do.’ I worked on the look from 7am-7am. Literally 24 hours of straight work, without a break. Even the pants were apart of the 24 hours. I deconstructed the jacket; The jacket needed to be deconstructed, then reconstructed. I used the bottom part of the trench (not a lot of fabric), to create the bustier. I created the pattern in the hotel. “
In response to some accusations of creating a ‘knock off‘, Jagne responds, “We give respect to the fashion houses enough not to buy knock off fabric. I don’t think these big fashion houses design for our culture or the way we see fashion. We can give them the respect to go buy the stuff, then we remake it the way we see fit for our culture. It’s not a knock off. What I love and what I do is important. It’s my honor to go out and make these designer clothes. [Our clients] want to wear these clothes–some are just adamant about logos–but sometimes the fit is not all that. I can deconstruct anything I want and make it into the way the client would like.”
Jagne took a Louis Vuitton NeverFull Bag and made it into a Beret.
As for potentially collaborating with a European design house, Jagne offers, “We always have to be open to those big houses, there’s so much depth and knowledge over there. I feel like we have to come in and bring our touch. Our culture is buying it anyway, we might as well just go over there and show them how to create stuff for us. There’s so much depth into their archives, and actual knowledge as well. Yes, absolutely, [I would love to collaborate].”
We the people would love to see it.
Follow Sir Baba Jagne’s stylish steps on Instagram @SirBabaJagne , and give him a visit if you are ever in LA.
He concludes, “If they want to take themselves seriously, if they want to look fly, come to me. [From] suits to jumpsuits to swimsuits, we make anything. Even white t-shirts, we do it for a lot of people. Patterns, samples, production, creative direction, [we even design] as well.” We’ll be sure to stop by!
What do you think?