Fatimata Ba, Founder of the brand Salyel

Art Kelen
4 min readDec 7, 2018


Could you introduce yourself? What is your background ?

I am Fatimata Ba, creator of the brand Salyel. I am French of Senegalese origin.

I do not come from the world of fashion at all, I used to work in finance. But I had the feeling of living a life that was not mine. I needed to do a creative job that made sense to me and I have always been passionate about fashion. I have been drawing since my childhood. So I started the entrepreneurship adventure. I first created the brand in parallel with my full-time job, then, 8 months ago, I decided to dedicate myself full time to the development of my brand.

How was your brand born?

Salyel was born from my need to create and share my world, my inspirations, my values and to deliver positive messages because we need them in these days.

Salyel is my grandmother’s nickname. I wanted to pay tribute to her. I was born in Senegal and I left my grandmother to come to France when I was 4 years old. Despite the distance, the bond with her remained very strong. The values ​​of the brand are those that my grandmother embodied: respect, strength and kindness.

Tairra, Collection Tribale

Can you tell me about your realisations?

I created a collection of sweatshirts and t-shirts, designed in an ethical approach in line with the values ​​of my grandmother, that is to say the respect for the environment with the use of organic cotton and the respect for the men and women who locally produce our clothing in human-sized workshops that meet my quality requirements. The collection revolves around 2 complementary themes, reflecting my double culture: “The Modulables and the Tribals”.

Lena, Collection modulable

Where does your inspiration come from?

For “the Tribals” I am inspired by traditional masks (African, Native American, Asian …) but also by different artistic influences depending on my finding. I am also inspired by the women around me, the eveyday heroines. As a woman, we need to become aware of those super powers that society and our cultures tend to try to annihilate or minimize. As for traditional masks, I assign powers to yhe ones I create. And I wanted my clothes to become a pointer of the powers that we have in us. I consider my community as a chosen tribe in which we encourage and support each other and whose sign of recognition and belonging is the mask.

“The Modulables” are inspired by the lives of active women and the different roles they take on during the day, with the idea of a ​​clothing we will adapt and make up, according to these different roles of women (mother, collaborator, manager, friend, wife …) or simply adaptable to one’s desires, moods and different styles.

Because fashion is a game and clothing is a tool of expression. To dress is to say a little bit abour who we are and give free rein to one’s creativity.

Henna, Collection Tribale

How do you work?

To create the masks, I first draw them using a pencil while concentrating on the peculiarities and the qualities I would like them to have: strength, kindness, courage, determination, serenity, to in some extent infuse them these positive waves and pass them on to my clients. Then I scan the drawing to rework it on a computer. And finally to give emphasis to the pattern I often add ornaments (pompons, pearls, nails or cowries) posed by hand.

Which stage do you prefer in the process?

The creation obviously! Drawing is for me, at the same time a mode of expression,a way of sharing and a personal fulfillment.

What is your particularity, your singularity?

The Masks. I have always been fascinated by masks. Wearing a mask is to become someone else a bit, it is , to live a transformation from the outside to the inside! It is also to call upon mystical forces, to invoke the Universe. I create my own mask in a colorful, graphic and cool way. The idea is to transpose masks into an urban environment by modernizing and reinterpreting them in a more contemporary way.

Where to get your creations?

On my website



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