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Alphadi (born Sidahmed Seidnaly 1 June 1957)[1] is a notable Nigerien fashion designer often known as the "Magician of the Desert". He is Touareg, from an upper caste lineage,[1] on both his parents sides. Alphadi was born in Timbuktu, Mali, but moved to his parents native Niger at a young age.[2]

Alphadi studied at Cardon Savard Studios in Paris,[3] started his label in 1984,[1] and his first haute couture line was released in 1985 at the Paris International Tourism Tradeshow. His line has since extended into sportswear and perfume. The Alphadi line, which has 'Complexe Alphadi' boutiques in Niamey (on Rue Vox),[1] Ivory Coast and Paris

In 1998 Alphadi was the one of the three African fashion designers to win the Principal Prince Claus Award; the other two were Tetteh Adzedu from Ghana and Oumou Sy.[4][5]

In 1998, he created the first FIMA, the International Festival of African Fashion which was located in Niger.[6][7] This event allowed African designers to come together with other international designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo, Jean Paul Gaultier and Paco Rabanne. Since then, the event has been going on every 2 years.[8][9] In 2007, he launched a new contest during the FIMA and Hip Hop FIMA Contest.

Alphadi maintains production facilities in Niamey and Morocco, and splits his time between homes in Niamey and Paris.[1] He is married, a father of six children.[1]


  • Chevalier de l'Ordre de Mérite de la France (2001)
  • Kora Fashion Award – South Africa (1999)
  • Meilleur Styliste Africain – French Federation of Couture and Prêt à Porter (1987)
  • Principal Prince Claus Award - Prince Claus Fund (1997)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Niger's Alphadi pushes African fashion to global scene. Sophie Mongalvy (AFP). 2011-06-01.
  2. ^ Adam Levin. The art of African shopping Struik (2005) ISBN 978-1-77007-070-7 p.174
  3. ^ Prince Claus Fund (ed) The Art of African Fashion. Trenton, NJ: Africa World; London: Turnaround (1999). ISBN 0-86543-726-2. p. 208
  4. ^ Trouw (10 December 1998) Mode kan Afrika óók een belangrijke impuls geven (in Dutch)
  5. ^ Prince Claus Fund, Journal #2
  6. ^ Adam Levin. "Alphadi's Folly" in Wonder Safaris. Struik (2003) ISBN 978-1-77007-242-8 pp.172-175
  7. ^ The Tuareg Prince Designer – Alphadi. Roxana Bangura, Jamati Online. Friday, October 12, 2007
  8. ^ Alphadi: 100 createurs qui on choisi France. French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
  9. ^ Festival international mode africaine. France24, 2007-11-26.

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