Sudanese-British label BDN launches new collection, part of the profits to help Sudan

By  | 

| BDN, for Boutique De Nana is a Sudanese-British luxury sustainable fashion brand founded by multi-award winning designer, mother of 2 and optometrist Yousra Elsadig, BDN was founded after Elsadig settled from Canada to the UK. The focus? Producing fashion that creates a social impact. Elsadig sees her brand as a tool to advocate for global issues such as girls’ education and under-age street sellers.

A finalist of the Ready-to-Wear category at the Fashion Trust Arabia Fashion Prize in October 2022, BDN just released Collection VII, inspired by the peace the designer wishes to see in her homeland and the country’s 1980’s fashion. We spoke to Elsadig to know more

Interview/Cynthia Jreige
Photography/Tom Marshak @tommarshak

Hi Yousra! We’d love to hear more about the inspiration behind this new collection

It is inspired by the peace I’d like see in my homeland, Sudan. The collection is predominantly white to symbolise peace, with a hint of traditional colours, fabrics and patterns to give it character and pay tribute to the Sudanese culture. There is also reference to famous beads that are used in traditional jewellery in many parts of Sudan. The bead is black and white to represent unity and strength. There are hints of green to symbolise the greenery of the country and yellow for gold.
Other materials used in this collection include duchess satin and reclaimed buttons and zippers. The pieces in this collection are bold, with masculine silhouettes that radiate femininity and symbolise strength and resilience. The collection takes us back to early 80’s, which is a period where Sudan was its peak in many areas and industries including fashion.

What drives you to create?

Creating is a necessity for my existence. I create to exist and exist to create. It is a form of expression, and advocacy for global and societal issues I feel strongly about like girls’ education, under-age street sellers and victims of global warming. My brand is my canvas that I use to portray any story I need to tell. I use it to bridge cultural differences, break stereotypes and advocate for inclusion in the fashion industry. It is a liberating process that enriches one’s soul.

How does Sudan inspire your creativity?

Sudan is the very essence of my existence – so all my creativity is inspired by Sudan. I believe that culture is the spice of life, and so it needs to be injected into fashionable creations. I’ve always aimed to advocate for my Sudanese culture and subtly merge it with other cultures to achieve the harmony we sometimes fail to perceive past our appearances and traditions. I’ve always used Sudan as a reference in previous collections.
My 2018 and 2019 Paris and London Fashion Week shows were inspired by the revolution our country was undergoing at the time.

“Sudan is the very essence of my existence – so all my creativity is inspired by Sudan.”

Where can we purchase your creations?

My work, particularly “Collection VII; Dear Aazza (Sudan)” I am in Love” is available via our Instagram @boutiquedenana and website A percentage of our profits will be donated to help combat the affect of the recent political unrest in Sudan.

Can you tell us more about where part of the profits will go?

The donated profits will help families who were not able to leave the country and did not have a stable source of income before the start of the unrest. We will liaise with local activists on the ground to provide basic needs like telephone credit, weekly groceries and regular medications like insulin and asthma pumps. We will also donate to SAPA, The Sudanese American Physicians Association who have been assisting with medical care missions for those affected by the war. A percentage of the raised funds will also make be added to a future campaign we aim to launch to help re-build Sudan. We basically have three areas that we’ve been working on providing funds for.