Born in Kati in Mali's Koulikoro Region, Seydou lived part of his childhood in Ouagadougou (now the capital of Burkina Faso) before moving back to Kati with his mother in 1963. Even in childhood, he designed and created clothing to dress dolls and, in 1965, he became an apprentice of the tailor Cheickene Camara at Kati. In 1967, he returned to Ouagadougou where he opened his first tailorshop. He soon moved to Abidjan (1969) and then to Paris (1971), where he worked first for Yves Saint-Laurent and then at Mic Mac with the stylist Tan Guidicelli. At this time he also met designer Paco Rabanne.
Leaving in 1981, Seydou moved again to Abidjan, where he created his Chris Seydou line. For the new line, Seydou designed Western-style jackets and miniskirts from traditional African patterns and fabrics, marketing the clothes in the United States, Europe, and urban West Africa. The designs are particularly noted for their pioneering use of bògòlanfini, traditional mud-dyed cloth.
Seydou returned to Mali in 1990, becoming good friends with soon-to-be-president Alpha Oumar Konaré. In 1993, he founded the African Foundation of Fashion Designers, but died in 1994 following a brief illness. Atelier Chris Seydou, a group of tailors who worked with him in the past, continue to produce a bògòlanfini clothing line in Bamako.
This article began as a translation of the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia, which cites the following as a source:
- Revue noire n°13 (June 1994)