Artist showcases West African heritage through fashion

Jennave Traoré said she was inspired to create Tailor Roots after her own journey of self-discovery while living in Mali for a little more than three years.
Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 2:09 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - An up-and-coming artist has launched a new business to bring the beauty of her home country here to the Tri-State.

Jennave Traoré opened her online boutique Tailor Roots in July.

Originally from Mali in West Africa, Traoré wanted to create a fashion line that shows the culture and beauty of the village her family is from, which led to the creation of Tailor Roots.

She said she was inspired to create her new business after her own journey of self-discovery while living in Mali for a little more than three years.

“My family is originally from Mali, so I went back just to explore my culture,” explained Traoré. “Get to know my roots, my heritage. I went to the village, explored everything about the culture and fell in love with the fashion and fell in love with the jewelry, and realized I can do this as well.”

So, she did, opening Tailor Roots.

Traoré says the intricate designs of the jewelry and the bold colors of the fabrics for each garment tell a special story.

“A lot of people aren’t familiar with Mali,” Traoré says. “They don’t know about the country. They don’t know about the culture, so the jewelry is more than just pretty jewelry around their necks, it’s bringing awareness to the culture. It’s bringing awareness to Pan-Africanism, so I like bringing both cultures together.”

Although Tailor Roots launched a short time ago, the company has already received a huge response from shoppers across the city, quickly selling all of her pieces at various events.

“I’ve had three events so far where I was a vendor, and people came up to my table, people from all different backgrounds, and they all wanted a piece, men as well,” said Traoré.

Tailor Roots is not Traoré's first time managing her own company.

The Lakota East and Butler Tech graduate is also a photographer.

She says her two businesses, Jennave Traoré Photography and Tailor Roots, are the perfect combination of both loves.

Now, she’s enjoying sharing her creations with others.

“I’m very proud of myself,” says Traoré. “I’ve come a long way. I used to be a very shy person. It was hard for me to interact with people and engage, but now this business has definitely opened up my voice, my mind. I realized you have to start where you’re at. You may not have everything that you need. You may not have all the supplies, but you just have to start where you’re at.”

So far, she’s been off to a great start. Find out more about Traoré and her businesses here.

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