The first thing Moulaye told me to introduce himself was : “I was born in the 90s, the best years (Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z…)”. In addition to being a proud 90’s kid, he’s also the founder of Nuit Noire, a premium ready-to-wear brand, founded in Alsace, France. His journey isn’t really typical, he started communication studies before discovering his passion for fashion. It’s when he started his job at Noyoco (sustainable brand), that he learned what he wanted to do with his brand : sustainable. He tells us a bit more about it today.
How did you get from communication to fashion design ? Did you always have a sensibility to it ?
My sister was the one who was in it and she kind of dragged me with her, starting with thrifting. I remember when I was 18, I used to have a Youtube channel with a fashion content but I stopped after a year to focus on my studies.
Did quarantine pushed you to launch your brand ?
Quarantine helped me to put things in perspective, I have a little sister, she has a strong handicap and my father died in 2016 so my mother was alone. I decided to stay at home where I also have an atelier. When I started making clothes, I used to make my first prototype with second hand clothes, and the second prototype with the chosen fabrics. Then I brought them to a parisian atelier I work with and they produced the final model.
An emotional connection to the environment
How would you describe your brand ?
It’s hard to describe it. Let’s say it’s an influence I’ve always had. I won’t tell you that I get inspired by nature, a country or a culture. Because I’ve always been in the heart of nature since I was born. It’s more an atmosphere that pushes me to do what I do.
I’ve always liked the night time, I’m much more alive at night, I work more and I just like to watch the stars. In Alsace there’s always a starry night and that’s how I got the idea of Nuit Noire. It’s always dark nights here, deep, without any artificial light.
All of my life experiences brought me here to create what I do today. I’d say it’s really organic, natural, simple. It may be an idea of what fashion could have been if we weren’t in a capitalistic and consumerist society.
Where does your sustainability start from within your brand ?
The fabrics I use and accessories always come from France, Belgium, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland. All the production is made in France. I want to create from the best fabrics so that they won’t have any impact on the environment. Disclaimer though, I use organic coton but it’s not sustainable, it wastes a lot of water. Even the so called organic fabrics aren’t really organic. I’d like to go even further and use more sustainable and natural fabrics (hemp, linen, nettle etc.). I’d also like to reduce my electricity use with more hand sewing and less sewing machine.
You offer made-to-order clothes, can you tell us why ?
I’m still in the early stage of the creation of the brand. All I know is that I don’t want to make only clothes, I’d love to work in the textile industry. With more intelligent, sustainable fabrics, the ultimate goal is to create my own fabrics and use them in my designs.
How can we be a sustainable brand when we just started ?
I think today more than ever small brands have a new power in the industry, thanks to social media, that bring them a lot of visibility. If you communicate well, you can have a real impact.
What advices would you give to someone trying to change the way they buy clothes ?
I always ask them : are you ok with what’s happening to the Ouïgours ? Or the fact that in Sénégal, Cameroun, they receive so many clothes they don’t know what to do with them except for burning them ? They breathe toxic products everyday and they die because of that.
Plus, we live in an era where there are so many alternatives now that if you don’t do anything or at least try, you can’t have any excuses. If you don’t want to try, you’ll have that on your conscience. I am not asking a drastic change starting tomorrow, but at least to start by consuming less or to stop changing clothes for every occasion. I think the most important thing is to reappropriate our clothes. If we give them a value, then we can rediscover them. We find a new passion in fashion, we spend more time finding good quality clothes. It’s a new way of consuming fashion and it’s fascinating.
Written by Elena Gaudé.